I love hens.
They are social creatures.
They are inquisitive by nature and become very tame when treated well.
I have kept hens for years, even when I lived in London, I kept hens in my garden in Muswell Hill.
So, hens are familiar to me and have taught me a lot about what makes them happy!
Food is easy…lots of greens.
You can pick a few weeds every day and give to the hens, fresh is best.
Lots of starchy food leftovers is good for them as it provides a balanced diet.
I supplement with rolled barley, which they love!
If the girls can roam freely then this is good for all.
Mine get out for a good long roam-about when I’m working in the upper gardens.
This is because the handsome old fox lives on the hill above the cottage!
Say no more!
I have watched the girls jump up high to eat these from the bush on winter days.
Here they are scoffing the remains of blackcurrants from wine-making.
Hens are great foragers and will happily troop off on a good old forage through the bushes and woodland, emerging hours later at some unexpected point!
This is because it has a perspex roof, so all the sunshine and moonlight can brighten the inside.
In this way, the hens continue to lay eggs all year round as the light induces this process.
Trees are planted around it for maximum shelter, especially from the wind.
The hens even laid eggs on Christmas day.
Hens will lay for years and live for over 7 years and more.