It’s a Family Affair – The Family Cup August 2015

A sneaky bit of bowling news in and amongst the poultry….

Whittington Cricket & Bowling Club

Sunday 9th August, the sun was shining and the green was like glass. It looked likely that a yard wood would be a good one as the Family Cup kicked off. (Unseeded doubles with the only proviso being “you ‘ad to be family”)

The prelims saw new club members Ryan and Anna earn a worthy 13 against equally new Mike and Anitas 21. Ray and daughter Elly reached 21 first against Roger and Peter, whereas the Humphreys husband and wife partnership of Graham and Helen saw off Grandad and Grandson Brian and Daniel to 16. Wenna and Ian Chalmers fought hard against Ju and Rainey in a Mr & Mrs match but, despite a brave come back from 20-8 down, the Chalmers ran short on luck losing to 19 in the end.

With the next round starting (and those who had a bye taking to the green) the clever money…

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A brief interlude….


I write, in fact looking back over the decade of magazine, newspaper and book contributions I seem to write quite a bit. I’m not sure quite how many words I’ve written but each piece always seems to be a relatively short or succinct journey. Even the book I was involved with last year was broken down into sections that at times it felt like I was penning a series for a magazine as opposed to writing a substantial chapter of a book.

Then there was the mini guide I did for Your Chickens, again it was a segmented delivery that could well have been run in a periodical publication. That’s the beauty I guess of feature writer or columnist versus that of being an author. In fact it’s not until you sit down with an idea, the idea you just pitched successfully to a publisher, that you realise the difference.

Why this little blogette? Well today I have sat in front of me the 40,000 word final draft manuscript of a book, this time though I’m the sole author and despite the invention of computers and word processing, I still feel a little like Samuel Johnson with the first ever Dictionary, wondering if I’ve covered all that I wanted to cover….



No matter how you ‘appened upon us, be it via a link, directly or simply stumbled upon, then hello and welcome to ChickenStreet; a place for chickeneers and garden-holics.

Below you’ll find a blog filled with procrastination’s about poultry and garble about gardening in an untidy tangle of the two, up above you can find pages for the poultry and plants we incubate and propagate for folks to buy, and the events, talks & courses we attend and provide. Finally if it’s books, articles, photography or media you are looking for then Freelance ChickenStreet is the page for you – Enjoy your visit, do come back, bookmark us, in fact why not subscribe?

Two Years Later…

I’ve just noticed that it’s almost 2 years to the day since I started this blog of random ramblings about poultry (in particular chickens) and gardening projects. Back when I started I recall saying at the time that some of the stuff would probably be best put in a book and oddly enough it is now, in fact in two books with another going through the editing process as I type… there’s also a bit of a cameo on a DVD due out soon. It’s been an interesting evolution that’s for sure.

So, a quick thanks to those of you who subscribe to the blog, I hope I haven’t bored you too much and thanks too to the sponsors I’ve had over the last couple of years and here’s to the almost 100,000 visitors who have dropped by for a read. It’ll be interesting to look back in another couple of years.

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A right Royal time of it…

I’ve been having a right Royal time of it recently and have been lucky enough to attend three of this years Royal Agricultural Shows.

NFU Countryside magazine invited me and a few of my chickens along to join them at the Royal Bath & West show at the very beginning of the month after we’d had such a successful Edible Garden Show working together and the event was excellent fun.

Next they teamed up with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and I was invited along (again with chickens) to the newly appointed “Royal”, the Royal Three Counties. Another fantastic event and it was brilliant to be surrounded by a number of Britains rarest breeds of livestock. It was also an honour to be involved with such an important agricultural & conservation charity, founded by Joe Henson and now heavily involving his son Adam (probably better known for being a presenter on BBC Countryfile), as it began celebrating its 40th Aniversary


It was a particular honour too to have the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking to the Countess Of Darnley JP who was this years Show President. Her interest in understanding the importance of utility breeds and the value they have to the small scale keeper provided us both with plenty to talk about, in particular the value of the Sussex and Ixworth.


Next up came the Royal Norfolk. Now it’s quite a drive from North Shropshire to Norwich but after being invited once again to join the RBST on their stand (along with the NFU Countryside crew) and being told that this particular time the stand would have 40 examples of rare livestock breeds of cattle, horse, goat, sheep, pigs and poultry currently under threat, the distance was no obstacle at all!

It was not only a fantastic opportunity to see such an excellent collection of beasts (all kindly donated for the duration of the show by RBST members around the country) but also a superb chance to be part of the celebration of some the best things about our heritage livestock breeds (and natter on about chickens to anyone wanting to listen).

The RBST Facebook page has a ruck of photos on it if you want to have a closer look

Finally to cap off what has been a fantastic month talking about & promoting British rare breed poultry for me, along came BBC Countryfile who shoved a camera in my face (actually they politely asked) giving me the chance to put them squarely in your living room…. so look out, one Sunday evening you might end up getting close up & personal with an Ixworth pullet!


Blog Sponsors – The Chicken Vet

When I set off writing this blog my aim was try and remain as impartial as possible providing constructive commentary on chickens, ducks and a self-supporting lifestyle. I didn’t want to litter it with adverts that had click through URLs that paid me when a purchase was made.

I am however delighted to announce the Chicken Vet as blog sponsors. You will see their logo on the front page and if you click on it you will be taken to their website , there’s no kickback for me or tracking cookies involved, just a simple link to their website. Have a look around, sure there’s a shop where you can purchase products but there is also a mass of other useful information including articles on poultry diseases and husbandry along with a comprehensive list of poultry friendly vets.

The St Davids Poultry Team are a commercial poultry vets whose work covers the majority of commercial flocks here in the UK. They realised the increase in backyarders though meant scalable solutions were required for smaller flocks. So they established “The Chicken Vet”, an online resource that provides a service to those of us who can count the chickens in our flocks. This gets my vote and I’m very pleased for this blog to be associated with them.


Are things a bit late this year?

Its a question asked quite frequently when it comes to gardening or the flora and fauna of the countryside but for me I can’t say I can always provide evidence to support my answer. Ok I know the date when the swallows return or the first chiff chaff call but thats based on whether I’m paying attention and could, for all I know, be out by a few days or even weeks.

I was out taking some photo’s the other day and that was when some real evidence landed in my lap…. there are precisely 2yrs and 22minutes between these two pictures of the same oak tree… I guess that answers my question for this year at least!

May 12th 2010


May 12th 2012