The festive holidays are here again and I can't believe a year has passed already.
We have seen many things here in The Garden, some happy and some sad. We have had an influx of adolescents. They hang around the rough grass end of The Garden chatting and wondering what on earth the world is all about.
Us older ladies like to gather in the sunshine and rest our wings we chuckle at the youngsters, they are still trying to find their place in the coops and four of them go to bed on the roof rather than inside - The Humans come and put them to bed each night.
Some of the girls have been shedding their feathers and they look quite funny with half their tail feathers missing. Sapphire come to me for some advice as she was worried about her looks and if she was "normal". I assured her it was a natural event and she has grown most of her feathers back and is a beautiful deeper shade of red.
She is still very shy and generally keeps herself to herself. She is slightly older than the adolescent girls and came from one of those places where they keep you in a cage all day, I am so pleased I have always been in The Garden.
We are writing our Christmas lists for Santa Claws, I don't want very much but hopefully he will bring me the CD of Chicken Run and my favourite Christmas film of all time, Cluck Actually. A new pair of hot pants wouldn't go a miss either, I like to dress up on Christmas Day and we will also be having our Christmas Party soon, who knows what Charlie will get up to this year.
Have a clucking good week
Firstly I must apologise to our avid readers for being away for so long. It is a long story and I will tell you the main bits.
At the beginning of the year, the area we live with The Humans, was hit by a disease called "Bird Flu". The Humans built a big shelter and run but the longer it went on the more bored we got. They tried to keep us occupied with different things, swings, straw bails, CDs and of course our favourite, cabbage pinata (for those non-EU types, cabbage on a string).
Now I don't want this to turn into a clucky moan but something weird happened to me over this period of 6 months.
I wasn't my normal self and felt quite blue, which is odd because I am black in colour with some speckles. I would look at my reflection in the drinking trough and see a blue chicken. Then my very best friend Brave became ill and went to chicken heaven. Well that was very sad.
I started to behave weirdly and when we were finally allowed back into The Chicken Garden all I wanted to do was sit on eggs and try and get them to hatch. Oh how I used to laugh at Bluie when she was broody but here I was sitting on eggs and golf balls all day. I was also very grumpy and wouldn't chat with the other girls or have any fun.
One day Charlie came up to me and said, " Val enough is enough, you are not yourself and I have asked Dr Quack to come and see you". So along came Dr Quack, the local bird Dr, "well," he said, "I have seen this before in hens your age Val and there is nothing to worry about. You have what we know as the 'eggohpause'". Apparently hens of a certain age go through a period in their life where they do weird things and behave oddly. He gave me some Hairy Rats Tails and a few days later I felt back to normal.
So now I am feeling like my old self again I thought I would write some more and thank you to those who have asked for my Cluck to come back.
We have had a glorious summer and welcomed three more girls to The Garden - Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. They have settled in well and are over-coming their shyness. Ruby is particularly adventurous and keeps popping into The Dog Garden, I hope she doesn't get caught. I keep hearing The Humans shouting "Ruby, what are you doing?". They then come into The Garden and give us corn to distract Ruby from going back in - this is of course great for us as we get more corn :-). They came from a battery farm so have had to get used to being chickens and we have been showing them how to peck corn and scratch the ground. Sapphire is still super shy.
I hope you have all had a good summer, the small human is getting ready to go back to Human School, we will miss her skipping around with us every day.
We also miss The Humans with the white hair who stayed with us for a while. It was lovely having them here and they gave us double the amount of treats we normally have.
As the summer draws to a close here in The Garden I think it's time to get clucking fit and ready for autumn.
Have a clucking good week
Hello everyone, we hope you are all well.
The chaos of Doris is finally over, the fallen tree is down and some lovely grubs fell into our coop.
I hope we don't have a similar experience as my wings could not stand another day like that.
We are still in our penthouse run, I saw on the local news there are still some danger areas and we are right next to one. Because of this The Humans have decided to keep us inside for a little longer. It's not too bad, although I must confess I will be pleased when we can get out and I can hide my eggs again.
The Humans have kept us entertained by spreading wooodchip around and bringing us fresh logs full of grubs.
This week they have surpassed themselves. Cabbage, yes cabbage, better than bird burgers or caviar.
They hang them from the roof and we have to peck away and get them. Mmmmm delicious.
I have been getting very friendly with Wilemmina. She was so quiet when she first arrived and I didn't really know her. She was such a scrawny little thing when she arrived. No feathers, beak all out of line and the longest claws I have ever seen.
Now she is flourishing. Beautiful feathers, emaculate claws, curtesy of the parlour, and such a witty personality. Her beak is still mishapen but she can still eat and The Humans make sure she gets her share.
We are loving the warm weather and getting some heat on our wings, we have also managed to create a dust bath underneath one of the coops.
Have a clucking good week
I hope you have all survived Storm Doris. We had a very close shave here.
It was Thursday and the day was a normal day, the beauty parlour had their Thursday specials, nails and beak for a worm, the clucking club were in their clucking corner, catching up on the latest news and Charlie was either asleep or dancing, I am not sure which one.
Suddenly there was this incredible cracking noise and the earth began to shake. It reminded me of that book where the squirrel thinks the sky is falling in.
All the girls and Charlie were wondering what on earth was happening. They stood stock still, not one of them moving, not sure what to do next. Suddenly the big Poplar tree towards the human house began to fall. Oh my, we ran for our lives, not sure what to do, some of the girls were running into each other, Bluie and Blackie bounced off each other about 4 times. If I hadn't been quite so scared I would have found it funny.
We ran for shelter to the old coop and all crowded in huddling beneath it, hoping we would live. The big tree carried on falling out of the sky towards our new coop. We nestled our heads into our wings and waited to go and meet our chicken maker.....Nothing happened. The ground stopped shaking, the tree stopped creaking. Slowly but surely, one by one we peered out from under the coop. There was the tree, wedged in the branches of another tree....right above our heads....
"It's ok", squaked Charlie, "look it's got caught in the other tree", and yes it was. The other tree is shaped like a fork and it was caught, we were going to be okay. There was some flying debris with a large branch piercing through our roof and the blue thing, which stops the rain coming, was flapping in the wind like a huge kite.... We thought the whole run might take off!
That night as we took our place on the perch we said an extra little prayer to the big chicken in the sky, and thanked her for keeping us safe.
As we were about to drop off to sleep, Brave leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, "that was a bit too clucking close for comfort Val". It certainly was.
Keep safe and have a clucking good week
Hope you've had a great Valentine's Week. We have had an odd start to this year, in December Bird Flu hit the UK and as a result we have to live in a pen the humans have built for us. It's quite big and spacious but it's not the same as being able to roam freely round The Garden and I haven't had a chance to wander up The Drive for a while. I also haven't been able to hide my eggs from the humans!!
The humans have tried to keep us occupied, we have new logs, corn on strings and some CD's we can play. My favourite is one with S Club 7 written on, it makes a great sound when I place my beak on it and spin it round. The other girls have made up a dance to it and this passes the time. We have also noticed the big dog has one of her legs in a plaster cast, apparently she got injured and has had to have a piece of metal put into her leg. Doesn't seem to have had an effect on her barking though.
The only one of us who seems to be enjoying being cooped up is Charlie, he doesn't have to chase the girls as far and can get them in a corner and do his funny little chicken dance. I found a Valentines Card from him to Brave, which was very sweet, here are the words he had written:
Roses are red, violets are blue
There is no other chicken that's quite like you.
Lots of love Charlie.
I had a boyfriend once, a long time ago, oh he was so handsome but we were separated as I didn't come from the right chickenhood and his mum persuaded him to go to uneggsversity. I wonder what happened to him?
We have been playing lots of games and the human with the big hair also built us a swing. The only problem is it is quite high off the ground so we can only go on it for a little while before feeling a bit sick. The beauty salon girls are doing a roaring trade, as there is not much to do other than get our nails done and have our beaks cleaned. I will be so pleased when we get the all clear and can roam around again and I don't have to listen to everyone's chatter all the time.
I was thinking perhaps I could put my time to good use and run an "Ask Val" question day. Let me know what you think, readers could write in with any problems they have and I could give them the benefit of my chicken experience, normally I know eggsactly what to say :-)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Twas the night before Christmas,
And we had all gone to bed.
When a sound, louder than thunder,
Filled us with dread.
Charlie looked out,
To check out the sound,
And there was poor Santa,
Crashed into the ground.
"Oh no", cried the man
Who was all dressed in red.
There was a great flash of lightening
And my reindeer have fled.
"Don't panic", said Charlie,
For I have a plan.
I will check with the girls
And be as quick as I can.
So the girls fixed themselves
To the side of the sleigh,
And with some magic from Santa
They were up and away.
They travelled over rooftops
Delivering the toys
To each of the hosueholds,
All the girls and the boys.
And once they were done,
They returned to their coop,
Sore and a little tender,
And really quite pooped.
"Thank you", said Santa,
"You've helped save the day,
With your energy and spirit,
You helped fly my sleigh".
"So now get some rest,
And tomorrow you can say,
That you made a difference,
On this Christmas day".
So if there's a feather in your house,
Then you will know why.
Merry Christmas from us,
Who says chickens can't fly!!.
Dedicated to the memory of Lou Lou and Annie Chicken - You brought a smile to our faces and we are grateful to have had you in our lives. Have fun in Chicken Heaven.
It's been a real mix of emotions here in The Garden. The month started with us being invited to sell our eggs at the Riselely Village Craft and Produce Fair. We were very excited and laid as many eggs as we could to keep the residents of Riseley happy. The adult human, with the big hair, also made some meringues and macaroons, which I heard from our chicken neighbours went down very well.
The weather has been getting gradually colder here in The Garden and on several mornings I have seen the human who looks like Julia Roberts, defrosting the water. We are nice and warm in our coop and have the new Coop Central Heating, which means we can control the temperature from wherever we are in The Garden.
As the weather gets colder we find it harder to lay as many eggs so we are hoping our customers will understand. It's all to do with our mother, Nature. She knows we if we had chicks in the cold they wouldn't survive, so she has programmed our bodies to only lay when they would have the best chance of surviving. We are still doing our best though, as we know so many people appreciate what we do.
It is with great sadness I must tell you two of our new friends have died this month. First Lou Lou, she passed away a few weeks ago and just today Annie Chicken also said her final farewells to The Garden. I will miss our chats, especially with Lou Lou, as she was so lively and chatty and we had become good friends. She would follow the humans around as they cleaned our coops, checking they had done them properly and making a real fuss if she saw something out of place.
Charlie said a few words today in our memorial service.
Although they weren't here for long we saw a big difference in them, their claws were in much better shape, their crests had darkened and their feathers returned. Most of all they had learnt how to be chickens and I, for one, am grateful we had a chance to be friends and teach them the joys of outside, dust baths and general happiness.
Cluck cluck in peace.
To all my human friends, have a clucking good month and remember to cherish the times you have with the people you love.
Welcome to the latest addition of The Cluck.
Well summer has definiately disappeared and there is a chill in the air in The Garden. Thankfully we are all able to snuggle together and keep warm in our Coops.
There is lots to catch upon. Our regular humans went away for a week and we were looked after by two humans with grey hair. They were very lovely and gave us lots of treats. In fact they gave us so many treats I was at one stage worried I wouldn't fit through the coop door. I went to the local chick watchers and had a weigh in, needless to say I have now increased my circuit training and make sure I do an extra lap of The Garden each day. I know it's the run up to Christmas and certainly don't want to be mistaken for a Turkey!!
Me and few of the other girls like to have an explore of the bushes and also a leg stretch up The Drive, the only problem is the human with the big hair and the Julia Roberts look a like come chasing us and usher us back into The Garden. The human with the big hair keeps muttering something about ruining her bushes.
We have all made friends with the New Girls. They are looking much healthier and their incredibly long nails are now normal just from doing normal chicken stuff. The Girls Beauty Parlour has been working hard to get their beaks and nails looking gorgeous. Meshell, with the very large crest, has been clucking all about their lives and Lou Lou keeps us amused with her stories from The Cages. Then there is Wilemmina, she has a very short neck and is always hunched up against the cold, she doesn't say much but when she makes a joke she is very funny. The others are all still coming out of their shells -haha - but all are doing well and their feathers are growing back and their crests are turning red rather than a very pale pink. They are still funny as they continue on their journey of being chickens.
Charlie and Brave are still an item, although I did see Charlie pretending Red was a horse and then lighting a cigar and taking himself to bed. He is a funny thing, but is always smiling and Cockadooling. He likes to think he is in charge with his pretty feathers and samba dancing, little does he know we have an HI, Hens Institute, where all the big decisions are made. This week we will be baking Chicken Fudge Cake, can't wait.
Have a clucking good week
New Arrivals Cause A Stir by Val
Well what a few weeks we have had here. It started last weekend when the humans disappeared off for the afternoon. I thought it was a bit weird as they had shut The Run and Old Coop area up and have never done this before.
Rumours were rife in The Garden as to what was happening, ranging from more chickens to goats. All manner of things was clucked about. Bluie, who is always over dramatic about everything, even suggested it was a sure sign some of us were being moved out to a new home. she could be heard clucking round The Garden, "not me, I'm not going, I was here first, no no not me." She spent the whole afternoon clucking away to herself.
All became clear not long into the afternoon as the Humans arrived home with a crate full of the most scrawny looking chickens I have ever seen. To be honest it took me a while to work out what they were. They were half the size of us, had the biggest crests I have ever seen, feathers missing out their bottom and as pale as pale could be.
The humans placed them into the run, settled them and spent what seemed like hours with them. I was getting quite impatient as I was desperate to have a good old cluck with them and find out who they were. finally the Humans left and I was able to catch up with the new arrivals. I clucked to Lou Lou, she was very chatty and told me their story. They had come from a big building where they had been kept in a cages, all she could tell me was it was very boring, lonely and like Cluck Hog Day every day - that happens to be one of my favourite Chick Flicks.
I tried so hard not to stare at her but her crest was so big. Having said that it's not as big as one of the other girls called MeShell, she really does have the biggest crest I have ever seen.
At night the New Arrivals had no idea what to do, bless them, they were all huddled up in a corner together keeping warm. The Humans had to come out and put them into the coop and bed. The next day there was no sign of the New Arrival. Charlie Cokerel spent nearly 2 hours standing outside their run Cokerdooling to get them up and out. He was actually very sweet coaxing them out and then walking round their run until they came out.
I think it will be a while before they know they are chickens. I will update you on their progress.
Right I am off to watch Chickly Come Dancing,
Have a clucking good week
I hope you have had a great summer. We have here in The Garden. We had lots of visitors from the human world and enjoyed some sunbathing and dust baths.
Here are this weeks headlines:
Poor old Cornflake was minding her chicken business the other day and the small human was pottering about in The Garden, collecting our eggs. I am not sure what happened but I suddenly saw Cornflake sprinting - yes sprinting - across The Garden in a right state, she had a yellow liquid running down her back. Suddenly she was surrounded by some of the other girls who started pecking at the liquid on her back, she was so distressed running round. Thankfully the Julia Roberts look a like human ( I shall call her JR from now on), came in, picked her up and her and the small human washed the yellow liquid off her. I heard the small human say she had accidently dropped an egg onto cornflakes back. It was no yolk I can tell you for poor Cornflake.
Finally we had a major incident in The Garden. We were all going through our daily routine and were gathered underneath our favourite bush having afternoon tea and a gossip, when there was an almighty crashing sound and a very large branch came tumbling down off the old oak tree. We all managed to escape and our clucking brought out the humans. The branch was lodged over the fence and so the human with the big hair disappeared and came back with the chain saw. She was busy for a while cutting the branch away from the fence when BOOM, disaster. The branch fell from it's position onto the humans foot. She opened her mouth several times but no words came out and then she was whiter than Albino. Small human and JR came dashing in and led her away. We didn't see them for the rest of the day or all night. The next day the human with the big hair had a big boot thing on her foot. Brave said she would be happy to have her in her foot parlour to give it the once over, but having seen Brave's new nail varnish the human might be sfaer without her help.
Well that's all for this week, hope you have a clucking good week,