Moving the Chickens to Their New Home

From the moment they arrived at Pig Row, Mrs Cluckerbuck, Gene Simmons and Bertie the Cockerel (also known as, 'Big Bert the Bantam Wrestler') have been tucked behind the house in the ginnel. This wasn't a case of shove them there and let's learn what to do with them but more a case of getting them on the day the avian flu prevention zone is declared. So, they have sat there until the prevention zone has been slightly, if what slowly, relieved in its crack down - think chicken police with galoshes and night sticks, that go bock-bock as their jack boots hit the ground. Now, we can move them and we have decided to move them to where the old polytunnel was. There's an old concrete path there and it is a perfect fit for the coop and the area around it will give them an extended run of 10x20 feet when the rain stops and we can build it. To move the coop means we have to shift a barrel of comfrey juice, which basically means tipping it towards the raspberry bed and running like hell in the opposite direction as 200 litres of the stuff sloshes out with throat ripping reeks. This involves Little D who is a fast mover when the stench takes him.

chickens, keeping chickens, life on pig row

The comfrey juice still lingering in the air, the ground boggy from the juice and days of heavy rain it's now a case of disenfectant and washing/brushing off the concrete to get rid of any moss and disease. Little D returns from his running away from the comfrey smell to oversee the situation and basically give a running commentary of, 'Why are you doing that?/It stinks! Oh, the smell is abhorrent (a newly learnt word that has come with the tipping of the comfrey)/Pewww!/Mummy, can I do that?/I want to do that/Does it smell?' This commentary is on continuous loop and we have to move a chicken coop soon, first we have to catch the chickens, Little D has to watch them (and boy did that go spectacularly wrong) and then take the coop to pieces so we can move the coop and run separately over slippy, muddy ground. Not the best idea but chickens do need to be moved, like crops the soil can hold diseases and viruses for livestock too, so rotation is the game here.

chickens, poultry keeping, life on pig row

We're halfway up the hill when Little D screams, 'Gene Simmons has made a break for it', no one saw that as a sentence that would ever be uttered in their life. Gene Simmons apparently jumped out of the temporary run and we think this has more to do with Little D who we catch still strutting around and crowing loudly. Gene Simmons is under the hedge, in the hedge, behind the glasshouse, on the opposite side of the garden, basically strutting his stuff whilst crowing, 'God gave feather and eggs to you'. Eventually, in a startling but somewhat botched and slippery pincer movement we catch him and back into the temporary pen he goes with another running commentary from the sage world of Little D, 'Naughty Gene/Bad Gene/Shouldn't have done that, Gene/Ho-ho, oh-oh, no-no, naughty chicken'. Words to live your life by. After another ten minutes of struggling and trying to remember where we put the screws to put the run back on the chicken coop, all is settled and now we have to catch the chickens in their temporary pen. Easier said than done but after twenty minutes, a lot of cardio work, the chickens are in their new home. It is at this point that Carol notices the run is slightly twisted and as she stares at my frazzled eyes, the words, 'Shall we just twist it that way...' drops to the mud beneath her feet. 'Another day?'. Yes, another day.

life on pig row

Thankfully, this move seems to have shaken up Mrs Cluckerbuck and over the coming days she actually starts to lay her first eggs and we are delighted as the chickens start to pay their way in the garden as weeders, fertilisers and food.

life on pig row


  1. Fab names for the chooks. I LOVE having our own eggs; we now have 11 girls, 5 brown and 6 white and had 9 eggs yesterday. We've just starting to sell the eggs and will be bringing home 4 ducks on Sunday to add to the poultry population. Hop over to my blog and see the new enclosure for the ducks etc.

    1. Ducks are great but they foul the ground and make it acidic. Lovely to have though. We want pigs here but do not have the room.