I noticed on my last walk that very slowly the countryside is starting to green. Not the hedges and trees yet but the fields and verges are looking brighter and fresher as leaves of celandine, cow parsley and cuckoo pint push their way up first through the soil and then through the brown covering of last years leaves. I was pleased to see the grass growing too and hope it will start growing again in my garden.
Last spring when my garden had been scratched to bits by our two hens, I divided it in two, half for the chickens and half for me! This is how it looks now.
My part (which is actually rather less than half, I have been very generous to these birds) has recovered and is beginning to look like a garden again but the rest looks pretty awful. During the winter months the grass has been eaten far quicker than it can grow and there is very little left. As the weather gets milder and the grass grows more I hope that the lawn will recover. I had no idea that just two hens could do this much damage.
I could keep them inside their run each day but that seems a shame. I've always bought free range eggs so now I have my own hens I don't want to keep them inside a run. At the moment they are free to wander in their part of the garden during all the hours of daylight which seems much kinder and a more natural existence.
Here are the culprits, two healthy happy hens, Sage and Onion! Hopefully in a few weeks time I'll be able to post pictures of the garden looking happier and healthier as well.