We have three chickens at Lou Messugo. I’m not sure why I haven’t written about them before as we’ve had them for nearly a year, but I haven’t so here goes. Meet Diana, Pic-Pic and Poppy! (L-R)
Don’t they have pretty tails? Here are their heads, popping over the lavender….
I’ll let you in on a secret; Diana (the white one) is acually Diana-2 as Diana-1 only lasted a week or so. Our neighbour’s dog, excited by the new arrivals, got into the garden and chased the chickens off. After searching for hours we found Pic-Pic and Poppy but there was no sign of Diana. The next morning there was evidence of her demise in the form of feathers. Since then – touch wood – we’ve had no losses, despite seeing Mr Fox regularly, other visits from neighbouring dogs and rampaging wild boar.
This is our first foray into keeping farm animals. We’ve not even had many family pets (nothing larger than a rabbit), so it was quite a new thing for us, but I have to say, they’ve been the easiest creatures to look after. Having said that, they are completely free-range, free to roam the whole 2000 m2 garden, and in doing so have destroyed an enormous amount of plants. And where do you think their favourite place to hang out is? On our terrace, looking in at the living room. And what’s the result of this being their favourite spot? Poo all over the terrace!
Here they are looking bedraggled and miserable, sheltering form the rain (above) and just plain cheeky (below).
Luckily their destructive habits and mucky poos are just about counter-balanced by their amusing characters and egg production. We get 19-20 eggs a week and have yet to have a period with less. We have eaten a great many omelettes this year! And probably made more cakes, quiches and meringues than in our pre-chook days. Guests in the gîte get some eggs in their welcome basket and can buy more if they want. This has been a very popular development.
The most surprising thing we’ve found about keeping hens has been their entertainment value. They are very amusing, often because they are so stupid (just look at the size of their heads, there’s not a lot of room for brain in there is there!) But also because of how they race across the garden to greet us, how they follow JF everywhere, how they stand in the flowerpots, how they jump to catch flies, how they stretch to steal the feed we put out for wild birds….
JF isn’t a big user of social media, but he does have 3 loyal followers!
Pic-Pic and Poppy are friendlier than Diana.
The cheeky chooks sometimes sneak inside the house and we often catch them red-handed eating the flowers.
And just in case you’re wondering, “chook” is Australian for chicken! You knew that though, didn’t you? Do you have hens? Would you like to keep poultry?
UPDATE 2018 We no longer have chooks at Lou Messugo! Owing to the fact that we rent out the whole house every summer it just got too complicated.
We used to keep chickens and I miss having them around. They were wonderful pets for the 5 kids when they were younger and so much easier to look after than the dog and cat we have today. We had to rehouse our last one, called ChickenRuby when we moved to South Africa, she lived for 6 years and was a much loved family pet
Je t’aime les poulet.
Ive always thought it would be great having chickens. Love the sound of all the eggs especially all the cakes & meringues coming from them 🙂 They do look like cute chooks!
gorgeous chooks. i love them – so pretty.
I loved your Chooks!! They are adorable and the photos were delightful!! I love to visit anyone that loves all creatures, great and small.
I am from the Grow Your Blog 2015 event, and so happy I visited this evening!!
Stop by and say hello sometime
He was in competition with the magpies at dawn. In Australia magpies sing and whistle
Lucas says – Our neighbour has chickens and they used to escape into our garden. Ash the Dog wasn’t happy about this and it got a bit stressful for him so the Mother had a little chat as it wasn’t fair that Ash couldn’t go into the garden, especially when it was hot. The chicken have their own proper enclosure now and I love watching them. Every so often I open our front door and my neighbour has left me an egg for breakfast and they are very yummy. I love your photos – your chooks look very cheeky 🙂 #animaltales
I didn’t know that Richard, so thanks for pointing that out. Love your humour as always!
Nice to hear about other cheeky chooks. Our neighbour has exotic breeds, all fluffy and completely un-chook-like and she sometimes has bantams too. They definitely are vey sweet.
Great names! A kitten isn’t the same but I bet your kids prefer it!
I imagine your garden isn’t fully fenced as it’s more of a farm Rosie, so the chooks could wander anywhere. Ours is fenced so they don’t annoy the neighbours, but it’s pretty big for a garden. Yes the grey one is Poppy. She’s my favourite.
We chose them on colour rather than anything else Ness as we didn’t know anything about chooks! I love Diana’s back and Poppy’s overall colour. They are lovely.
And I bet you still remember them well Molly.
Did Rupert sing to you every morning at 4 am? We won’t have a rooster for the sake of neighbourly relations and our morning lie-ins.
How lovely that the chicken plays with your son. Ours really are characters!
“Chook” is also northern English for chicken, so perhaps that’s a chicken and egg matter as far as the Oz use is concerned?
Hi Phoebe – yes, we have quite a few chooks. 7 laying hens and 4 Pekin bantams. Yours are so sweet. Personally I can’t imagine not having chooks of some kind around the place. I do have a soft spot for my bantams though – they are so cute. Ours get onto our verandah when it suits them too! cheers Wendy
We had three chickens imaginatively named Rufus, Till and Bruno by our three children Rufus,Tilly and Bruno. I miss them and their eggs, a kitten isn’t quite the same!
Yay, so glad you blogged about your chooks. Ours are also very popular with our guests and children love collecting the eggs (which I currently have rather a large mountain of). I love the fact yours free range. Ours used to but we lost a couple to the fox and then the farmer complained as he said they were eating too many of the seeds he had planted in the adjacent field. Ooops. I also love their colours, especially the grey one. Is she Poppy?
Many thanks for joining up with #AnimalTales again. I am loving meeting so many different animal from around the world.
What beautiful and yet different plumages they have. Your guests are very lucky to get free range eggs on arrival.
They are lovely! I used to have chickens when I was a child!
It is sweet that the three chooks seem to always be together. You make them sound very entertaining. I had a rooster called Rupert when I was a child. I guess we must have had chooks too. Rupert was very fierce!
Oh my goodness they sound like quite the characters! My son has become firm friends with a chicken at the stables where my daughter rides – every week they actually play and hang out together during her lessons! Plus we get our eggs from there too.
The eggs really are lovely. Thanks for stopping by Dean 🙂
Things have moved on since the 70s but you don’t have to have as big a garden as we do to give chooks a good life. Ours are pretty spoilt though.
They are pretty aren’t they? I love your menagerie with lorikeets, how lovely. I have a son called Oscar, what’s your “Oscar”?
How nice to have fresh eggs every morning! I’m envious of your chickens, now if only we had a garden big enough to have them too. #animaltales.
They’re gorgeous! We had chooks when I was little, so I don’t really remember a lot about them other than having to chase them when they got loose and the top of their pen being the cat’s favourite place to sunbathe. We lived in a city so they were kept shut in all day which, looking back, seems very sad but I guess in the 70s everything was different 🙂
I’d love to keep chooks but we just don’t have room. We’re all full up with dogs and the cats and the corellas and the lorikeet and the oscar. So maybe one day we’ll be able to have chooks, perhaps a duck or a goose and lots of yummy free range eggs. Your girls are so pretty too.