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!

Monday 15 April 2013

Happy 1st Henniversary to Babs, Bunty, Tiny and Titch.

Happy 1st Henniversary to Babs, Bunty, Tiny and Titch.  One year ago today we went over to the other side of Hereford and met up with the BHWT rescuers and brought home five pathetic looking hens. Sadly one of them (Ginger) died soon after but the other four hens have lived very full and happy lives during this last year, laying some eggs but generally just being the most friendly and entertaining group of hens we have ever had.

Tiny Hen now, still small but top hen in every way. Still terrorising the cats and trying to get into the house at every chance she gets!

and then...

Today, from l to r,  Babs, Bunty and Titch all trying to get in through the cat flap - their latest new trick to get up to mischief!

Babs in the sunshine. She still follows me around and sits on my feet :-)

And this is what they looked like a year ago :-(

Babs on left and Bunty on the right

and Titch

 Don't they look good now!

They have had mealworms and yogurt and cuddles and played "Chase the Cat" and "House break in" and generally done what hens do, all day, in the sunshine. Happy first year of freedom, girls !

Now for the serious bit

These girls were rescued a year ago. They came from an "Barn" system, so lived crowded together with thousands of other hens, under artificial light, inside a huge shed. Never seeing daylight or going outside. "Colony"  or "Enriched"  eggs mean the hens are also shut  inside a small cage, inside the huge shed.

If you do buy free range eggs already  - Babs, Bunty, Tiny, Titch, and Yarrow and Marjoram the ex battery hens thank you from the bottom of their hearts , as do I.

If you don't - please - for the sake of hens like Babs, Bunty, Tiny and Titch and all their sister hens still in barns and cages - switch to buying free range eggs - it is the only way to make sure that the eggs you buy come from hens that have had a reasonable life.

Thank you for reading :-)


  1. I mistakenly converted to barn eggs, then read up properly on them. Now I only buy free range. Our P.O. sells both kinds and once asked me why I prefer to buy the 30p extra for free range! I put them straight politely but obviously they still sell them because people buy them!

    1. Well done for reading up and making the change :-)

      All the CoOp own brand eggs are free range btw - and often it is even less than 30 pence per box to get the free range ones in other shops.

      I am about to go and post your giveaway parcel btw - so keep an eye open for it in the next few days.

  2. It was lovely to read about your hens.I hope to be in the same position this time next year & have my own ex battery hens. I have been doing an awful lot of reading up on them. And yes I do always buy free range eggs.

    1. Hello and welcome and hurrah about the hens next year :-)

      I somehow thought that people who like to read my musings would probably also buy free range eggs ;-) so nice to be correct:-)

  3. They are looking wonderful! Our free range chickens give us all of our eggs, and they taste SO MUCH BETTER than the store bought eggs that are from over-crowded chicken houses. I told my husband that I think eggs from the store taste just like a wet dog - gross! Free range eggs are so much tastier and healthier. We are trying to raise our on chickens for meat as well so that we can raise them in a healthy, happy environment so that we know they are getting a good life and we are getting meat that has not been contaminated with junk. My meat chickens regularly get to scavenge for bugs, get plenty of sunshine, and graze on the tender spring grasses just like any chicken should.

    1. Absolutely right Lana! Everyone who buys our eggs raves about how wonderful they taste - shop bought free range eggs, good though they are, don't really compare to eggs from back yard chickens free ranging.

      I think it is the wider range of things they get to eat and yes grass and weeds etc are essentials for chickens to eat well and lay well.

  4. I have 9 chooks aged between 3 and 6 years. The 10th hen has been blind for almost a year - lowest in the pecking order. She has her own area next to the chook house where she can hear the others and still loves her greens etc. I plant a tree on top of them when they go. Whenever I get new chookies I will be looking into ex-battery hens. Love your kindness and compassion. Joy

    1. We bury them in the wood, where they have had such a lot of fun. I love your kindness and compassion to your blind hen, Joy.

  5. Happy Anniversary to your girls. They look a million dollars now and must love their lives.

    I visited a barn full of battery hens when I was a child and it was horrendous.

    Free range eggs always taste better. We buy ours from our neighbours and they taste delicious.

    Sft x

    1. It is a terrible sight to see isn't it? Glad you can find free range eggs from your neighbour - I know people who buy ours love the taste.


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.