I've always dreamt of having a few chickens grazing in the garden, keeping our family in eggs. Full self-sufficiency it isn't, but like growing your own it is a start, a personal contribution to a better way of life. Best of all, you can do it whether you live in the town or the country; even if you have only a small garden.
On Saturday we collected our first hens from a working farm on the edge of the picturesque Wylye valley. After a short but fairly bumpy ride home our six new girls were stowed safely inside their house so they would become familiar with their home base.
The next morning I opened the pop-hole and eagerly watched and waited, but two coffees later they still hadn't made an appearance. By lunch time I was just thinking I may need to give them a gentle shove to get them out of doors when one by one they slowly emerged.
They have been with us now for only two days and already I've noticed many hours can be easily wasted watching them scratch around eating all those garden pests. It's strangely addictive...