Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Monday, 4 October 2010

Disaster, Roy, the sheepdog sat with his ears back looking ever so slightly guilty, Mist, his partner in crime, sheepishly hidden away in the hedge, well out of sight. White feathers scattered everywhere and the remains of one white chicken discarded close by. Carnage broke out while we obliviously went for an afternoon stroll in the woods. On our return we are greeted with a scene of total devastation and two very guilty looking offenders sitting as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths.

I run to the hen enclosure to find more feathers and no white hens, only the Blackrock and Isa Browns remain, and even they have to be gently coaxed out of hiding.
The hens have been venturing into the garden over the past few weeks, much to the happy farmer’s frustrated delight. The dogs have been stalking them around the hedges and borders, but up until now the hens have been holding their own, seemingly unfazed by all the attention, even making their way through the French doors and into the farmhouse kitchen on occasions.

Today the garden tells a different story. Dogs chastised and put away for the evening we need to move the remaining hens to the other enclosure, away over the road, where they will no longer venture into our garden under the watchful eyes of the dogs.

The children get a bucket of hen food and the happy farmer gets the cage to load the hens into. A solemn white hen appears from the garden hedgerow, feathers cruelly plucked from her behind, and then the cries of an excited child as a second is discovered on poppy hill. We gently coax them all into the cage and carry them across the field to their new enclosure, Hetty our older Blackrock greets them, but luckily is accepting of them and they appear to settle well into their new enclosure.

Our guests later relay to the happy farmer how they had been disturbed by a knocking on the back door of their cottage, they looked out to see a white hen tapping the door agitatedly with her beak, they opened the door and she strutted right in, made a beeline through the cottage and demanded out at the front door, they were highly entertained, especially as Charlie has been paying them daily visits. The white hen on the other hand saw it as an opportunity of survival and in a smart move escaped the sheepdogs cull!!

Charlie hen meanwhile cannot see what all the fuss was about and boldly struts her stuff around the farmyard and garden completely unfazed by those naughty dogs.

Until next time…..


bayou said...

Oh how terrible! Sheepdog chasing hens... But lucky that the chickens could go to a saver place. And how clever of that one to knock on neighbour's backdoor and walk out to the front, lol.
I love that last picture with the hedgehog. Sadly, we haven't any here.

Elizabethd said...

Poor hens! What a clever one to knock at the door, they arent stupid, are they!

Un Peu Loufoque said...

And that is why all our hens are now penned. Our old White sussex would play dead when the dogs caught them, the dogs got bored and left them lokking slightly damp and annoyed but no more the worse for wear. These French hens we have are far more hysterical and end up plucked by labradors if they aren't kept in!!Dogs will be dogs alas!

arosebyanyothername said...

Oh, this has dashed my hopes. I was planning, when we return to France next spring to get 3 or 4 hens to wander about.
Rufus, my WhippetX chases everything but I had hoped that I could persuade him not to . . .
We have kept chickens before and our Dalmations never touched them

Bluestocking Mum said...

Oh the little tinkers. Poor hens. But how clever they are xx

Jayne said...

Lovely chickens hope to keep some one day. Sheepdog chasing hens -just rounding up to him maybe.
Lovely blog Posie.

Exmoorjane said...

Oh gawd.....dogs can be such bardy butchers. :(

And Aaaaghhhh to your comment on mine - showjumping??? Eeek, even worse than rugby. :)

Posie said...

Bayou - they are not too happy about the hedgehogs here though as we have many birds and the hedgehogs eat their eggs.
E- aren't they clever, humans obviously safer bet when being chased by crazed sheepdog.
un Peu - lovely lovely to catch up with you again, white hens are very hysterical and flighty, Charlie hen isn't like that at all
Rosie - isa Browns may be the best choice to stand up to the whippet

Posie said...

BSM two didn't survive....
J- thank you, looking forward to reading all about your hen tales when you get them.
Jane- I know... I just can't watch...couldn't cope with rugby as well lol

jane said...

Hi Posie

So sorry to hear of your tragedy - I am glad Charlie was not hurt in the melee - I love the hedgehog we get one in our garden - bye for now x

Kathy said...

Well hello there, thanks for commenting on my blog! I popped over here to met you and find total carnage!The poor hens!
You live in a beautiful part of the country!
Love Kathy xxx

Pondside said...

What a smart hen - whoever coined the name 'bird-brained' couldn't have been talking about hens. Ours are survivors too.
The last photo was so interesting, as we don't have hedgehogs over here. I enlarged, and enlarged and had a good look/

Fennie said...

Poor hens. I wonder if the dogs thought they were a species of sheep, they being white and so. But dogs can do that sort of thing and kill for no reason. Hope peace has now been restored. Usually a hen can flap up into a tree out of harm's way when push comes to shove.