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02 July 2010

Pecks in the City


When our Membership Secretary, Belinda Evans, was offered chickens as a birthday present, she immediately jumped at the idea. Fresh eggs for breakfast! Slugs and snails eaten up from the garden! But is the Good Life really possible in SE23? Belinda shares her experience:

After a little research, we decided on a traditional wooden coop and run and found ‘Ark birds and bees’ in Charring, Kent www.arkbirdsandbeeskent.co.uk for hybrid hens and all the chicken paraphernalia we would need for happy, contented hens. 
So Milly, Molly and Mandy came to live in Forest Hill.

Amazingly, one of the hens (we have since found out it’s Milly) laid an egg in the car on the way home. So even before we had unpacked ‘the girls’ from their cardboard box, we were tucking into the freshest boiled egg.  

The girls settled in well and we have had an egg a day since arrival, thanks to Milly.
Every evening when I return from work and during the day at weekends, the girls are out in the garden scratching around, destroying bedding plants and eating my new veg.

But disaster struck early one Sunday morning when an urban fox managed to push through the mesh on the run and carry off Molly. It was really sad as the chickens were showing their personalities and Molly and Mandy were inseparable. But chickens don’t seem to care and an egg was laid within 20 minutes of the massacre and I can be content in the knowledge that Molly’s last day in Forest Hill was a pleasant one.

In typical modern style we have created a spreadsheet that calculates the ever diminishing cost per egg (cost of outlay divided by the number laid). You’ll be pleased to know that as of today every egg has cost us nineteen pounds! That means that last Sunday’s delicious omelette cost us £114 even before we’d added the cheese.

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