Josh & Chooks

An animal update and new addition




Chick and mama Joan


My sweet boy cat, Josh is 11 this year. He's such a mummy's boy and loves a cuddle on the couch especially if i'm knitting and in the middle of a complicated pattern row!

Julia and Joan chicken are as always a delight to watch. I had never imagined chickens would be such entertaining pets, but I really do get lost for hours just watching them scratch around the flower beds (!!). We've had these girls for just over a year and they are great little layers keeping us well stocked with lovely free range eggs.

And our sweet Joan has successfully hatched an egg! Baby J, as we don't know if it's a boy or girl yet, is the cutest little thing I have ever seen <3
Mama hen got broody a month ago and a work colleague offered me six fertilised eggs (he was given them but his broody hen decided she wasn't broody after all!) and I accepted a little tentively I must admit. You see our chicken house isn't really set up for babies, and honestly I had no idea how to care for a mama hen and chicks. Anyway I didn't really need to do much because Joan knew exactly what to do and set up a very cosy nest for her eggs. She sat on her nest for 23 and a half hours a day only getting up for a quick drink, munch on pellets and a dust bath.
A few days before the 21 day incubation period was over I caught Joan off her eggs so I could take a look and see how things were progressing. There were only three eggs in her nest, which surprised me but I learnt that chickens will push out any eggs that are 'bad'. I don't know if that's what happened or if it was an accident. I checked two of the eggs with a torch - one was very full (ie a big blob in the egg) and one was less full (ie only a small shadow in the egg). Having no experience with hatching eggs I just had to leave it and see what happened.
On Thursday the 16th I got home from work to find that one of the eggs (the one with the big blob inside) had hatched and tucked under my sweet mama hen was the tiny little chick that instantly stole me heart. I rushed out to Pets at Home to buy a bag of chick crumbs and find containers to supply food for our baby. See I told you I have no clue!
She got off the two remaining eggs which were in a raised nesting box but didn't go back to them because she couldn't get the baby up there. I brought them into the house to be warmed under a lamp but they didn't hatch :(

This has been such a huge learning curve for me and if I am going to hatch more eggs I need to do some redesign work on my chicken house.

So our sweet chick is 9 days old (6 days in the photo) and learning every day from it's mama. Joan has been wonderful, well done mama hen.

C xx


Meet Julia and Joan

Over the bank holiday weekend we welcomed these two little cuties into our family...


The black and silver chook is a Silver Nick and her name is Joan, after the bitchy Joan Collins. She is a feisty bird with a big attitude.
The brown chook is a Gold Line and her name is Julia after a cat that the girls met in Greece. She is a very curious friendly little sweetie.

By the end of their second day in the run they had flattened all the grass that had grown since the last of our first brood of hens died.

They've settled in so nicely, putting themselves to bed at night and making sure they eat plenty grit to help with digestion.

Josh is his usual indifferent self where chooks are concerned although they haven't been allowed to free range yet!

My kidsilk WIP is not finished as I had hoped, although I am making good progress and plan to complete it by Sunday.

Happy sunshine days!

Ciao xx

Colourful living

Usually the weather prediction is nicer than the reality, but this weekend it was the other way around. On Friday the weekend prediction was cloudy and a little cooler, so I was prepared to spend most of it indoors sorting and clearing and cleaning, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was in fact sunny and bright and actually quite warm.

We had a stuff to do in the morning, but by 1 o'clock we were home and settled on the bench to enjoy an al fresco Mediteranian/eastern European inspired lunch.

Garden lunch

This polish sausage is just delicious, we buy it often to either pop under the grill or on the gas BBQ. The yellow blob is a polish mustard which is perfect for this sausage and just the right taste of spicy.

After lunch I thought I would take advantage of the weather and sit out.

Garden blanket

I left my blanket and magazines on the kitchen counter as I popped to the loo and came outside to see my darling best husband and laid it all out for me and poured me a drink! He really is something special <3

Of course the cat joined me and did his best to be as cute as possible...

Garden Josh sleeping

But then decided that he didn't want me to be distraced by the magazine as I wasn't giving him enough attention...

Garden Josh magazine

He bored of me before too long and posed by the peonies where it was a little cooler.

Garden peonies

I do love to sit under a blue sky and soak up the warmth of the sun.

Garden sky

I discovered the Brown Stitch blog today. There are some lovely patterns so i'm bookmarking this one for a future project!

Speaking of projects, I am 90 squares into the 100 that are required for my latest WIP. Photos and update later this week, promise! My plan is to finish by the end of the bank holiday weekend so I can move on to my next finishing school project.

There is much to do this week in preparation for my lovely step mum and sisters arrival on Friday. It will be very strange for us all to be in the same house after 10 years. My poor darling best husband is not going to know what hit him!

4 sleeps!

Ciao xx

16 Jan 2013

RIP Henrietta :( my beautiful bovans nera chook went to Jesus on Monday. I had no idea that I would be so sad at the passing of one of my girls but they have such sweet little personalities and are so individual that she was special to me, as they all are. I was worried that she was ill and could have passed it on but the other girls are fine.

My photo today is a rowan big wool jumper that I knit at the end of last year. It took two weeks! Big wool and big needles means quick knits. I am keen to make another just need to decide on a colour :)

It's been a snowy few days with more forecast for the weekend, no photos yet but I will get!

Yay I love snow! Caz xx

16 Jan 2013

The time has come!

It started in April 2009! With the humble beginnings of a home made custom built garden shed.


That has turned into a Chicken Chateau!


Complete with 4 very happy, sweet chooks. Henrietta, Matilda, Rose and Winnie!

PC130026 (2) 

They are terribly cute and awful time wasters! I find myself stuck by the run for the longest time, when I know I have chores to do!

PC130026 (4) 

Sadly the veggie patch is a dust bowl, being used by Josh to roll about in!

PC130026 (6) 

My coccyx is still very painful and bruised so i'm unable to dig the soil over. I'm not sure if i'll be able to catch up, but I do know that even if I am, i'll be buying all my plants this year and not sewing any seeds. It's far too late to start now! I wonder why I got so behind?

Today I started a crochet tea cosy. It's fab and i'll share photos of my progress and the pattern book during the week x