…wild guinea fowl, fowlish hard work, magic mushrooms, and not much else…

…a balmy spring walk with my boy, my brother and his girl, led us not only to a carpet of snowdrops interspersed with rather magical and terrifying fungi…




…but also to a rasp of wild guinea fowl.  At first I thought they were peacocks, but through the tangle of branches there were no beautiful plumes, only a warning cackle.  I didn’t realise there was such a thing as wild guinea fowl – but there are – and I’ve since found out that gamekeepers use them to warn off any predators near pheasant pens.  We have so many pheasants around here and it seems a marvellously wholesome way to ward off any thieves, whether they be of the nasty Danny Champion of the World kind, or the Fantastic Mr. Fox kind.  Not that there is too much thieving or other untoward behaviour going on around here luckily.  A flick through our local newspaper today had the following headlines –

Firemen called to small electrical bathroom fire

Bin with green lid stolen, if found please contact the Telford police, and…

 Women left upset after a group of boys run naked through the village.

I’m hoping they may be coming to a village near me soon, but in the meantime at least there is no need to rush back to the big smoke for any major crime excitement.

Whilst my brother was visiting I thought I would put him to good use, and by working him to the bone we managed to collect and dry firewood…


…clear the paddock, burn piles of straw and scrub the chicken coop in anticipation of the arrival of our chickens.

I haven’t quite plucked up the courage to actually get the chickens yet.  So far, I have been the proud owner of a magnificently empty multi-levelled chicken coop since October.  I’ve been told to stop dithering and just get on with it,  but reading my Hen Keeping Manual: Inspiration and Practical Advice for Would-be Smallholders by Jane Eastoe, filled with its stories of scaly legs, mites and fleas, has slightly panicked me.  I am rather hopeless in that the simplest thing can make me feel very squeamish – I’m concerned that the arrival of chickens will also herald the arrival of some strange egg phobia, and potentially a major rat problem too.  I will have to stoically soldier on, besides, I’ve slightly fallen in love with four little chicks – a Speckledy, a Sussex, a White Star, and a sweet little plain brown girl.  In anticipation of their arrival I told my family that each couple could name a bird.  I was slightly amused when boys names were mentioned – maybe I’m not the only one who doesn’t really want to know where an egg comes from…

…With dusk falling fast on our day of hard work, pictures of the chickens, their names and subsequent adventures will hopefully be not too far in following…


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4 Responses to …wild guinea fowl, fowlish hard work, magic mushrooms, and not much else…

  1. I think you should call one of your chicks Eggphobia xx

  2. Exciting! Can’t wait to hear about the feathery girls and…..the naked boys running riot! Coming to a farmhouse near you…..

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