Friday, 11 March 2011

Gert & Daisy*

May I introduce two new members of the clan? 

These two lovely ladies joined us last week.   We saw them advertised online by a farmer who was giving up the free-range egg business after 25 years because the supermarkets don't pay him enough to cover the cost of his feed bills.   Sad.   Fortunately he has managed to sell nearly three thousand of the flock, with another two thousand still to go before the end of March.

So we drove over to Silverstone, just beside the Grand Prix circuit, and joined a queue of people waiting to load their hens into some pretty fancy modes of transport.   Nothing less than a new Range Rover in most cases .... or at a pinch a BMW towing a horsebox.  Reminded me of a comment in a recent Country Living article about keeping hens now being a 'lifestyle choice'!

When our turn came I was feeling slighty anxious that the hens might take one look at us, under-dressed as we were without the Hunter wellies and Puffa jacket, (not to mention a vehicle that is more than three years old), and refuse to get in our cardboard box with airholes in it, preferring to wait for a better offer.  So when we were asked if we would like to come into the field and catch our own chickens, I said we'd be fine with two picked for us.  My husband stipulated that he would like pretty ones.   I'm not sure what the farmer's daughter made of this, but she did bring us these two sweet ladies who obviously passed muster in the glamour stakes!  


Settling them in has been a slightly troublesome business.   Madge and Fanny are not impressed at having their quarters invaded by two young glamour-pusses and have been making it clear what the pecking order is.   I hate all that, really hate it, so we've done our best to get them used to each other without subjecting the new girls to too much violence.   Bedtime on the first night took an hour and a half to negotiate, but we're now down to ten minutes, thank goodness.   The newbies are laying lovely eggs and having a whale of a time scratching up my veggie patch, so they seem happy enough, but all the growling from the other two doesn't seem to be completely subsiding quite yet.   I understand that it can take a couple of weeks (or more) for things to settle down - I hope Gertie's still got some tail feathers left by then.  

Anne persuaded me that what they needed was some toys to distract them, so we had a trip to the thrift shop to see what we could find.    I had to put my foot down about Anne's choice of a push-along plastic crab with nasty snapping claws.  She made it quite clear to me that, No, a jigsaw puzzle wasn't suitable.....  even though it was a farmyard one.    That's why we ended up with a tortoise with a revolving ball in place of a shell and a string of plastic people that rattle if you shake them about a bit.   I'll report back next time on whether these delights have been a success.   I think you can draw you own conclusions.

Instead of watching hens, my main activity at the moment ought to be making some things to sell at a craft and vintage fair I was contacted about a couple of weeks ago.   As it's not too far away from home and looks like it's well-advertised, friend Charlotte and I are taking the plunge and sharing a table.  I've made myself a display board - wonderful what you can do with a bit of Amazon cardboard box, a staple gun and some wadding - so that the brooches I've been making can be properly on show. (see my comment below for design credit)
I've also felted a few bangles, but need to get on and make some more.   I used some silk fibres and nepps that Lesley was clearing out from her stash.   That girl never ceases to amaze me with what she's got tucked away in corners!

And here's a cute button card that I treated myself to from Etsy
 and thrifted glass buttons with a sweet mother-of-pearl brooch that was amongst them
pretty pink
and we all know that the answer to this question is 'Sugar and Spice and all things Nice'
don't we?

Hope you have a good weekend


marigold jam said...

I hope your new girls will be accepted and settle down into their new home soon. Love your little brooches - such a simple but effective idea. I have a mother of pearl brooch like your Sister one except mine says Mother and I think belonged to my grandmother. Good luck with the craft fair. I've seen Lesley's "shed" and I am not surprised at what she has stashed away there - she seems to have tried so many different crafts!!


Anonymous said...

I can't possibly be held responsible for your ladies fussy tastes if they reject our choice of toys! But if they do snub our offerings, perhaps we should go back for the jigsaw after all!! Love your brooches and bangles - they should be perfect for the fair. And as for the buttons and bits ... ooooh.

Chrissie said...

Just ought to mention that I can't take the credit for the brooch design - it's a version of some that are in the Imperial War Museum from the WW2 'make-do-and-mend' days.

Jill said...

Love the girls, I'm sure they will be very happy and serve you well. The little brooches are a brilliant idea - I've been on the receiving end of a few Lesley bits too - she has a hand in many a project!

Fiona said...

Oh I so want to get chickens again but my OH isn't keen! The brooches are a fab idea. Have a lovely weekend.

Toffeeapple said...

I am so pleased that the hens are going to good homes. Silverstone is just up the road from me! I've heard of several bloggers who came to get some hens.

Those brooches are simply charming, what a lovely idea. I am covetous of your buttons and brooch.

Menopausal musing said...

Oh wow! Look at those brooches and bangles! I particularly love the brooches.

Re your newbie girls....... they do take a bit of settling don't they? We think we might be taking charge of an unwanted cockerel by the name of Bamboo pretty soon......... exciting times! Any birds we pick up usually end up coming home in a plastic cat basket. Lidls wellies are the order of the day here..........
:O)))))))))))) Off to google "nepp"....... I haven't a clue what it is.......

Jenny said...

Hope the girls are starting to get on, the new additions are very beautiful so I can understand a bit of jealousy. Your items for the fair are gorgeous too, I'm sure you will be really successful and you could always take a few free range eggs to fill any spaces on the stall.

Joanna said...

Gert and Daisy are gorgeous, I do hope they settle in soon. Your brooches and bangles are so lovely, you're bound to sell out.

That button card is so sweet.

(fellow postcard exchanger!)

Anonymous said...

Delightful post! Chickens are lovely aren't they. Your bangles are brilliant too.