Do you have some ideas of things you’d like to do in your lifetime but always have an excuse to not go through with it? I have tonnes of things. Or in my case, lists of things! I like my lists. One of these very things was to keep chickens. Now, to say our garden is small would be a very fair description. Bijou. Compact. Manageable. These are also fitting. So the idea of a chicken run and some chickens with two kids seemed madcap to say the least. However, knowing that this will be our home for the long term, we decided we didn’t want to have our dreams ruled by unfavourable economic conditions. So I did my research….
My findings were all entirely new to myself and my husband who both hail from south side Dublin suburbia. The first thing I needed to know was how much space they required. I spoke to very helpful people in Green Hen WorksÂ and decided that their loft ark coop would be most suitable for our sized garden and could take as many as six hens, far beyond our potential requirements. The next thing I needed to know was where to get the chickens themselves, what care did they require and what our commitment would need to be.Â The lovely Farm Fowl in Wicklow were so helpful and answered the many questions we had.Â So water and feed from specially designed feeders could be left in the coop. If we had three hens in the size of coop we were considering then they wouldnâ€™t need to be let out every day, weekend roaming a would suffice. The loft needs to be cleaned out weekly and new wood chippings, or straw, to be placed ‘upstairs’ for them. The waste can be composted. And the return for this investment? An egg from each hen every day for 300 days of the year. We were sold!
In February 2014 we welcomed Korma, Rogan Josh and Tikka Masala to our humble abode. We haven’t looked back. We have a constant supply of the most delicious eggs. They were about 19 weeks when we got them and started laying a few weeks after they arrived and haven’t stopped. I’m guessing they’ll take a break pretty soon, which I’m dreading! Â I’ve become more adventurous with my egg cooking, but maybe not as much as I had imagined. I’m loving my staples – poached eggs with avocado on toast with homemade pesto and some salad leaves. â€˜Omelette nightâ€™ features a lot in our house – cooking them in coconut oil and using a dash of almond milk, served with homemade chips and salad. Simple classics made amazing. Although, I have been known to like my own cooking more than anyone else so, I may be biased. I’ll post some recipes here soon and you can decide for yourself. In the meantime I’ll continue to close the blinds while I prepare roast chicken so as not to put the birds off their laying!