Pecking Order: Feathers are still flying at Cluckingham Palace and Nancy checks out a wheel deal

It has been a hectic time here at hen HQ, flock politics have almost been raised to Royal family levels with trouble and strife and even feathers flying.

Dashboard diva

The low down from the chicken coop is that Aphrodite has been abusing her position of power yet again, and has been mean to Nancy.

So I've made the executive decision to separate the poultry pals permanently; although working from home is ideal for chook monitoring, I can't be clucking over them 24/7.

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At the moment I still shuttle two gals daily to the West Wing, whilst leaving troublesome peckers, Gertie and Aphrodite at Cluckingham Palace.

Keep those beady eyes on the road, Nancy

That is until I manage to persuade the fella, (who is not so fond of the chooks as I am) to create another bespoke hen run.

At bedtime I bundle them all in together in the hen house and cross my fingers. Luckily hens tend do nothing more disruptive than sleep when night falls.

Chickens are pretty robust, but they can suffer from a myriad of ailments which require human intervention so they are not pets for the faint-hearted.

Please don’t read on if you are at all squeamish: Clem managed to get sour crop, basically a blockage in her food pouch caused by overindulging in a spot of grass nibbling which then got stuck.

Wheeler dealer Nancy

As a hen owner, you haven't really lived until you have made a chicken vomit the contents of its crop up, first thing in the morning. This procedure comes with the slight frisson of danger that you can cause the hen to asphyxiate with one false move, but thankfully all is well. I caught the issue early, mainly because I am so hands on ferrying the poultry princesses from one location to the other.

As another health measure, all the chooks are being wormed, which means a strict no snacking rule is in place whilst they eat only their medicated food. This has left the ladies a bit perplexed: where exactly have the treats and other tasty morsels gone? I expect a delegation or a shop stewards meeting to discuss the possibility of strike action.

If all that wasn’t enough, Nancy then developed a slight limp. I decided to apply soothing balm to her shapely pins. She's quite a weighty bird, and as wrestling a reluctant chicken is not fun I brought her into the confines of our kitchen to apply the ointment.

Daughter number one is moving out and spreading her wings to rent a west end pied-à-terre, so is in need of a set of second hand wheels and I had arranged a virtual car viewing.

So at this most inconvenient moment the second hand car salesman decided to make his call and I had to release Nancy from my grip. Nancy was therefore tiptoeing around our kitchen while I was discussing mileage.

Sharp eared salesman, Lucasz asked if we were moving furniture, so I had to admit, “No, that is just Nancy the chicken,” before introducing her. “Lucasz meet Nancy, Nancy meet Lucasz.”

My guess is that has never happened on a sales call before and I'd love to hear what he told his colleagues afterwards.

Anyway, Nancy gave her approval and the deal was done, you see there is never a dull moment owning chooks.


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