After many months of debating, and a lot of researching, we finally have our chickens.
Sally and Princess Leia (yes my 5 yr old's choice of names, Cars and Starwars being favourite movies) are now installed in our back garden in their fox proof coop and run.
They are rescue chickens, - which means that after a year of laying eggs for a farmer, they were about to go into their seasonal moult. - little hen rescue are a not for profit organisation that collects up hens that would be disposed of because they were not laying, and finds new homes for them as free range egg laying pets.
When choosing the coop, we talked to several companies at the various shows we've been to this year, - The Omlet eglu, was on our original list, as an easy to clean out and low maintenance coop, but at the Malvern show, we got talking to the people from chicube who work with little hen rescue and are getting lots of people interested in keeping chicken as pets. They impressed us with their friendliness and explanations, and so we signed up to receive our first 2 chickens.
I have done lots of reading and listening about keeping chickens in back yards, - my thanks go to @Robinripley and her bumblebee blog and regular twitter updates about her flock. To @akgpodcast Emma Cooper who has Princess Layer and Hen Solo, and has podcasted about them on the Alternative Kitchen Garden podcast - particularly no's 089 & 093 where I learnt about what to grow for my 2 to eat next year.
Also to @Sweetrebecca, Rebecca in her gossip in the garden blog (and guesting on garden rant) warned about the amount of chicken poop i'd have to deal with and the realities of having chickens in your garden - taken on board, i'm not going to let them on the patio! (luckily up steps so they havn't ventured there yet).
So far, no eggs, but i'll keep you updated when we get the first ones.
Sally and Princess Leia - free rangeing this weekend