There are lots of houses around to look at and some of them are very nice. And that is all I can bear to say about it for now.
Now, here are some pictures of our bantam house.
This is where the Pekins live (think six-cup-sized teapots wearing crinolines and very fluffy socks). There are four hens and a cockerel (Egg Head the cockerel, Black Beak, Teapot, Aunty Flo and Left Behind Chicken) and they live quite happily in this little space - they've got a pile of logs to perch on in the sun and a three-foot long rabbit hutch that we've put a perch in for them.
The downside of keeping chickens in any kind of pen that isn't approximately the size of a football pitch is that they eat everything green within about two minutes. I am in the process of planting up some big trays of grass that we are going to rotate in and out of the pen so they have some greenstuff - and they like it when we hang up cabbage or cauliflower for them to peck at. Egg Head is very gentlemanly - he hops up and breaks off bits and then calls the ladies over to eat each piece.
The floor of the pen was originally about an inch of clay soil, on top of rubble - basically what was there when we moved in. We have put a mixture of sand and some pea-gravel in as well and will have to keep on top of cleaning it out so that it doesn't foul up. The hens up in the top garden now have a thick layer of straw in their pen and we may go that way with these, too, to keep it sweet for them.
The end of the pen over the house is roofed with corrugated plastic sheeting - Pekins *hate* to get their socks wet - and the 'Houseladder' 'for sale' board has come in very nicely as a windbreak attached to the gate. They like to dustbath in the dry soil/sand mixture.
We were getting four eggs a day from them - teeny-tiny ones about half the size of a 'size one' egg from the supermarket - but three of them have now gone broody and stopped laying in order to start a family. I keep taking away the daily egg from the one who remains in lay, so they aren't actually sitting on anything, and we keep turfing them off the nest; however, one of the reasons we got them was because they make fantastic mothers and I am going to try to set some eggs underneath them I think, although we'll have to put them in a little pen on their own so that can concentrate properly.
The new full-sized cockerel is settling in well - he's very keen on the ladies and so far hasn't attempted to savage either of us. He has fabulous eyebrows, so we have christened him Dennis.
I had a chat with Ma yesterday and tried to tell her how upset I'd been. B said I did quite well - I'm not sure whether it went in or not though.
Today, we are gardening. And we have a skip coming, which is quite exciting - I am going to have to restrain myself not to throw away stuff that we could Freecycle.