Jane Lovering on The joy of Hens

The BBC is missing a huge trick, you know. Forget Springwatch, Badgerwatch, Lambwatch – what they should be doing, if my experience is anything to go by, is Henwatch. I have five Welsommer hens (called Helga, Quentin, Helga, Big Ginge and Helga (you read that right, there are three we can’t tell apart)) and watching them rioting around the garden now the days are longer and the sun is stronger, is one of the main pleasures of my days, now that David Mitchell has found love elsewhere. They ruin any attempts at planting, egg production is sporadic at best and they terrify the cats, but the pleasure of watching five chickens rush up the length of the garden like loose-knickered old ladies every time the back door opens is worth any amount of catkins or cubs. And their vocalisation is amazing too – we can tell by sound when one has got stuck round the back of the house or when a particularly juicy slug has met a beaky end. Hours of fun for all the family, plus bonus eggs and they even eat stale breakfast cereal!
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These are two of the ladies in question, when newly acquired. Before they were released on the world and before their elastic loosened.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and sob into some gin..David, why did you forsake me! Sniff.

11 thoughts on “Jane Lovering on The joy of Hens

  1. The hens are gorgeous, Jane! I hope watching them makes up – to some extent, anyway – for David’s utterly shameless and unjustifiable defection. But life isn’t fair…

  2. How cute – if that’s the right word.

    The play I went to last Saturday, The Recruiting Officer, had a real live hen on the stage. It was tucked firmly under the arm of one of the characters. The hen’s emoting was impressive, and it sounds to me as if your character-full hens could well have a future treading the boards.

    Liz X

  3. They look lovely and thanks for giving me a laugh – three Helgas, brilliant! :D

  4. LOL – Spooky! I have 5 hens – which I adore too, whilst the cats do not. The spookiness kind of ends though with the mention of David Mitchell :) X

  5. Blimey, they’re big, aren’t hey? No wonder you can hear them. Why not send them round to Victoria Coren’s house? When, they’re hungry? Just a thought.

  6. They do have very distinct personalities (although not so much that we can distinguish between Helgas). Am thinking of training them as Attack Hens, they can be quite scary en masse. And then inviting The Mitchells to tea…

  7. I take it – seeing as you’ve named them – they won’t end up being basted with garlic and butter, then?
    Break it to me gently……who has David Mitchell got hooked up with – fool! He could have had an award-winning author…….sigh.

  8. No, Linda, they are strictly pet hens and for the eggs. I couldn’t eat anything with a name. And David – the crazy fool – has got himself tied up with Victoria Coren! I mean, I know she’s gorgeous and funny and intelligent and famous and talented and well-off, but really? What does he see in her?

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