A visit to the farm has good news and bad news

We have been so busy lately that we hadn’t had time for a visit to the farm where we had re-homed some of our girls.

Now that the school holidays have started we are less busy and yesterday we decided to pay the farm a visit.

There was good and bad news. The good news is that Peaches and Barley have settled in really well and they are looking absolutely great. The bad news is that there has been a fox attack.

The new girls that Moira had taken in along with our two girls were being kept in at the time. Her original flock was almost completely lost to a fox attack with only three of her girls and her cockerel escaping. Moira said she was especially sad to have lost Dotty as she was the tamest of her girls.

Moira had Dotty for four years and we had her for two years so although I was really sad about this I have to think to myself that she had a good six years with her last four years happily free ranging. It is so sad but it is the risk that comes with a free range life.

One consolation that I have is that Peaches and Barley are so speedy and flighty that I think that they would stand a good chance of survival against a fox attack. It was so lovely to see them happily free ranging which really suits their character and to see them still so closely sticking together. They have been with Moira for two and a half months now.

Peaches and Barley

They are now part of Moira’s flock

They have lovely red combs

They still stick together

They are happy with their flock

I was so pleased to see these two looking so happy and in such good condition. It was lovely to see them with so much freedom and looking so at home.

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10 Responses to A visit to the farm has good news and bad news

  1. Sophie says:

    How lovely to see them looking so well and happy but so sorry about Dottie! 🙁

    What a handsome cockerel that is – do you know what breed it is?

    • I don’t know what breed he is but his name is Claude and Moira also re-homed him before Dotty and Pepper. She asked me, at the time, if I was sure Dotty and Pepper were hens as she didn’t want more than one cockerel. I said that as they had been laying eggs for the past two years I was sure!

  2. Sophie says:

    What a fab name!! I just did some googling – he looks very much like a plymouth rock cockerel. I would love to have a cockerel some day!! 🙂


    • You are right, he is. I thought back then, four years ago, that he looked very similar to Dotty and Pepper but his comb was different. I researched then but had forgotten as it’s so long ago. I have just checked back and you are right. Moira and I started our friendship from then and now she knows I would never try to palm her off with a cockerel but we just acqaintances back then and she didn’t want to take on a second cockerel. We have become good friends since then and she now knows me better than that. She always has about thirty hens in her flock and doesn’t name them herself but when she re-homes them she accepts the names they come with hence Claude and then Dotty. She is a great character. One of her sayings that always stays with me and proves the difference of her being a farmer and us being pet owners is that when I have talked about taking girls to the vet, she said, there are two types of chickens, live ones and dead ones!

  3. David Anderson says:

    Peaches and Barley lookin superb condition. I presume that Honey and Btterscotch wre lost to the fox – sad way to end, but they did have good lives.

    • I know, awful and heartbreaking but the risk was always there. Moira was most upset about Dotty as I was too but as you say for me there was also Honey and Butterscotch. I can’t bear to dwell on it as it’s too awful. It’s always the balance of free range and risk from fox or my contained run which is safe but not free. Someone said it was barren, but it is safe. We have to make choices and my little girls are as safe as I can possibly make them but of course are not free. We choose and have to stand by that. I can only give my girls the best life possible from me and hope that what I do is the best that I can do.

  4. marion.pharo says:

    Good to see Peaches and Barley looking so good, and happy, thank goodness
    they were inside at the time, but so sad for the others, It must have been heart breaking for Moira to lose so many.

    • I was also relieved that Peaches and Barley were inside but terribly sad for the others. This was her biggest loss to foxes so far. She said that since the ban on hunting foxes (I don’t want to get into any debate here) their numbers have increased as they have no predators and they have got bolder. They have become a daytime problem rather than just at night. She has her two big dogs and her flock of geese as well as traffic going to the farm for disposables but sometimes they still attack. She lost all her bantams and now Peaches and Barley are her only current bantams.

  5. Kevin says:

    Such sad news. My sister lost her hens, including her favorite, a very tame White Star to a fox. She has a small holding that they free range on and hadn’t had any issues until she lost her dog. She thinks that the scent of her dog was keeping the fox away. She hasn’t had hens since but does have another dog.

    • It is so sad when chickens are lost to foxes and it is every chicken keepers dread. I have made my run as predator proof as possible and I know that we all do what we can to keep our girls safe and just hope that it never happens to us.

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