18th May 2014
Last week, in response to the media frenzy over methods of animal slaughter, the Daily Mash ran an article headlined ‘Perhaps your concern could extend to not eating us, say chickens’. Jane Thomson, a four month-old chicken from Lincolnshire is quoted as saying “Perhaps one day we’ll all live together in a big orchard and you can give us corn and we’ll give you eggs and no-one needs to die.”
In pursuit of this idyll, we have just been to Manchester for the weekend where our friends Michael and Jaco keep chickens on their allotment, which is just out the back door of their house. Lunch today was kedgeree with perfectly poached newly laid eggs and freshly picked asparagus. It was sublime.
Michael has four chickens in a modest cage with a coop and a nesting box where each chicken pushes out around six eggs a week. The feed is cheap and the chickens contribute to the allotment both by fertilising the ground and by hoovering up insects when let out to forage. It all seems too good to be true.
So a little redesign of the back garden of The Orchard is in order. In the shady far corner, currently occupied