The Cottage Smallholder

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Mrs Squeaky Clean

Mrs Squeaky Clean

Mrs Squeaky Clean

We have two Pekin bantams, Mrs Boss and Mrs Squeaky.

Mrs Boss is an International film star (two movies on YouTube). Mrs Squeaky is an undiscovered beauty queen. Her glistening feathers challenge the whitest teeth. Hence her name.

Mrs Boss has raised a clutch of Guinea Fowl, three runner ducks and a couple of chicks that hatched from a lucky dip box bought on eBay. Mrs Squeaky went broody for a day a couple of years ago. I put her in the anti broody coop with Mrs Boss. Within hours she was begging for release. Clearly she loathed being in close proximity with a being that hadn’t discovered the joys of the bathroom. Mrs Squeaky never went broody again.

I think that S suspects that Mrs Squeaky doesn’t exist.
“I’ve never ever seen her,” he asserted.
“She must always be up in the nesting box, preening,” I countered.
“She rarely appears in the run. That’s how she keeps so clean.”
“O.K,” he smiled.

Mrs Squeaky is real. And she is absolutely spotless. In wet weather only her feathered feet are brushed with mud. Mrs Boss lives at the other end of the spectrum, always grubby and ruffled looking, even in a drought. Mrs Boss is a hands-on worker bee whilst Mrs Squeaky lounges and prinks. Quirky and individual, I love them both

When I open up the hen house door in the morning, Carol bursts out to be the first for the corn. She’s swiftly followed by the Guinea Fowl pair and the ginger hens. After a few minutes, Mrs Squeaky steps softly out into the muddy pen and picks her way over to the water fountain for that early morning ‘cup of tea’.

Meanwhile Mrs Boss alerts young Beatyl to the fact that I have sprinkled some wild bird seed in the Emerald Castle Grounds. Her enthusiasm has no bounds as they rush out to feast.  Sometimes her shrieks and clucks are so loud and attractive that the hens in the run leave their treats to peer into the Castle grounds. When they discover that they’re comparing like with like they return to peck and scratch for their corn and seeds.

Meanwhile Mrs Squeaky has vanished. She has no interest in the allocation of handouts and is canny enough to stand tight. When the others are grouped around the Emerald Castle walls, Mrs Squeaky is firing on all cylinders hoovering up the unsupervised corn.

By the time that they return she has slipped away to the comfort of the girls’ dormitory. Warmth without mud. Our very own Garbo.

Update November 2009:

Sadly Mrs Squeaky died this year

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  1. I didn’t realise that you had two of these pretty bantams! Well Mrs. Squeaky, beautiful as she is, can’t better the track record of Mrs. Boss super-Mum. As Pamela says no wonder you enjoy chicken watching – so would I. x

  2. Chickens are brilliant! I had a pedigree pair of bantams (amongst the rest of my motley flock), the hen of which would lay a single clutch of eggs each year (no more) and refused to sit on them. They had a surrogate mother who managed to hatch one of them, which she adored – and so did I. The bantie who snuggled in bed with the dogs, who watched TV on your lap and croodled on your tummy when you were sunbathing. And who fell in the pond and drowned one summer day.

    I’ve not kept chickens since.

  3. Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding

    What a princess! My girls love muddy puddles, they’res straight in there , scratching and almost paddling. Yet somehow when they emerge, their feet and nails are pristinely clean. For ex-batts, they take a lot of pride in their looks!

  4. Alexandra

    Hi I am new to your blog and I just wanted to say how much I’m loving it

  5. Chickens are so funny. I wish I could have some. but I am a little scared of them! I will one day have some. Although I think I will go on a course first to see if I can cope.

  6. One of our prize layers (Mrs Crossbeak) has gone broody. What do you you suggest for getting her back to reality (and egg laying)?

  7. Jane aka:aromatic

    What a lovely story to start of a Sunday morning!
    Really enjoyed the antics of the hen house, and Mrs Squeaky sounds a really eggmatic lady!! (yep! I know that was a bad pun, but a girl has to try!!)
    Jane xxx

  8. You can buy chick eggs on eBay?? Drat – another thing for me to be looking at and dreaming.
    Your hens, dogs, garden, cottage, all sound so wonderful. I’m sure you have your penny-balancing moments like everyone else at the moment, but I do envy your set up.
    Before you tell me that anyone can do it, yes I have a fair amount of space for a town garden, but I no longer have the health. I can manage a small veg plot for the two of us, but no more. Reading your blog though, I wish I had realised years ago that this was the sort of life we were meant to lead. Keep telling us about it, won’t you.

  9. It’s no wonder you enjoy chicken watching so much!

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