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!

Friday 9 January 2015

Finally! I went to Ledbury, and a poorly hen.

Despite a reasonable quantity of sleep last night I woke up this morning at 7 am feeling dreadful so after decaff tea a and doing  normal morning routine  with Ellen to get her off to school I went back to bed         - up again at 10 am still very groggy and with pain in back. Slow to get moving but had a (rare) caf coffee with sm to get me going

Finally made it to Ledbury for shopping and stuff after lunch - and am very glad I did! I had an excellent time, despite the back ache. I managed to get a very short notice slot at my lovely hairdresser and she trimmed my hair and fringe just how I like it :) I also did a load of little jobs which have been on my "to do " list for ages, dropped off some stuff at the Red Cross charity shop, had a browse around it and several more charity shops, had a coffee with a friend, did some food shopping, tried on clothes and shoes, bought some of the clothes ( 5 sizes smaller now!) and generally had a good time. I came home via John our friendly organic farmer and got some veg and two bales of straw for the hens. That is now in the barn along with plenty of  food for the assorted animals.

I have a house hen at the moment - Lilac has sour crop so she is inside in a cat carrier and I am looking after her - unfortunately I had the delightful experience of her being "sick" all over me tonight when I was draining her crop. Yuck.


  1. Perhaps it was a more 'fortunate' event? She must have felt better afterwards!
    (even if you didn't LOL!).
    I do hope Lilac is on the mend. xxx

  2. I'm glad you were up to going out, there's nothing quite a miserable as being stuck in the house with a bad back x

    1. I was pleased as well - I hate it when I can't do stuff :(

  3. What are the symptoms and how do you drain a crop? I haven't had much experience with sickness.

    1. Sour crop is noticable by the crop being soft and squishy instead of firm. Caused by Candida /Thrush. In bad cases you can smell a sour smell if you sniff the hen's beak. Turn her upside down and carefully extend her head so it is verical in line with her body, downwards and the foul smelling liquid should run out of her beak ( hold her head to stop her shaking it and spattering it everywhere!)

      Withhold food for 24 hours and just give water. Then see how the hen is - if the crop has deflated give live yogurt to help kill the thrush

  4. Hi, just joined your interesting bog.
    I hope Lilac is on the mend. Coincidentally, I was reading another blog about someone that had a hen with sour crop, she said it was caused by eating long grass, anyway the hen recovered after she was sick.

    1. Thats interesting - in my experience I have found it is an impacted crop which is caused by eating long grass, usually tough grass at this time of year. That is really hard to treat as everything gets bunged up and the crop just gets blocked and larger and larger :(


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