The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Poultry in the snow

Posted in Chickens, Cottage tales, Guinea Fowl | 11 comments

Poultry in the snow

Sara at Farming Friends warned me that Guinea Fowl hate snow. This week’s snowfall is the first since they hatched in July 2007. So I was interested to see how Thunder and Cloud would react when I opened the hen house door. The feel of snow underfoot is always a pleasure for me. The crisp squeakiness takes me right back to our childhood winter garden. The shock of the cold and brightness.  And there are always the footprints. “Are those really my steps?” As I walked down the garden I remembered my ninth Christmas. I was given a...

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Bottom of the pecking order

Posted in Chickens | 14 comments

Bottom of the pecking order

Barbie has finally tumbled to the bottom of the pecking order. The chicken that holds this place is the one that does not fight back when pecked. Mrs Boss languished there for four years but has found new status since she has hatched out five guinea fowl keets. She has her own coterie and doesn’t need the companionship of the other hens. They, on the other hand, want to be around Mrs Boss. Perhaps they have heard the cluck that she is now the heroine of two movies on YouTube. Barbie has always been a pretty bantam. She is noticeable as...

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