Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 5 January 2012

Update on the hens.

Am a bit run off my feet looking after the existing gang of 10 hens plus the 7 new ex batts.

I have just integrated the 3 new point of lay hens in with the existing flock of hens which is provng difficult - I did this to free up the Eglu for some of the ex batts  - but the old girls do NOT like the new girls and while Snowflake and Pearl are doing ok, Nightshade is very shy and is not getting enough food or water or respite from being pecked.

SO, I have had to add more feeders and drinkers into the Mega Hen Pen run so while the girls are all shut in they do not kill each other...

Also the 3 new girls do not seem to understand about roosting in the hen house and are settling into the nest boxes, which means I have to get up very early to clean out the poo, or the newly laid eggs are very dirty and I can't sell them...

The most feathery ex batts are now in the Eglu, and have names - Coriander and Cumin - and have been joined by the very bossy but rather bald hen now  called Attilla - because she was such a bully to all the other baldy ex batt girls in the polytunnel I had to move her out...

The lame hen (Yarrow) and the broken winged hen ( Comfrey) are doing ok in the Polytunnel - I open up the really rather tiny Broody ark first thing so they can wander around the polytunnel and talk to the other two baldy hens inside the big run in the polytunnel - these two are ok health wise but are weak and bald so need a bit of tlc and feeding up before they can go outside. I still have not named these two but am musing about it.

I am watching my new ex  batt girls  - and trying not to think about the disturbing behaviour they are all showing me - like the piling on top of each other even though there is loads of room and a heater so it can't be for warmth...and the hunched, head down postures when flapping their wings - even though there is no longer a cage around them to stop their movements. :-(

If I think about this stuff I get so angry I have to go off and cry...which doesn't help the hens at all..so I don't let myself think about it. Yet.

1 comment:

  1. It takes a lot of patience to integrate two lots of hens. Last time I tried it, I noticed that it was one particular hen that was the ringleader for the pecking. I isolated her for a day and when she went back, she had gone down a notch or two in the pecking order and life became calmer. That group are now living happily together. I haven't always succeeded but it makes life so much easier if it works out.

    Hope it works out well for you.


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