'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Arietty and The Sith Lords. Part 1

Part One:  Arietty and Mary.

For some time I'd been thinking about getting some hens.  In the Tauranga City Council bylaws it says that as long as we don't have a rooster, we can keep up to twelve. They can even be free-range as long as they don't go next door.

I decided to get two bantams.

When they first came we kept Arietty and Mary in the old budgie cage. During the day they were on the front verandah and greeted visitors with excited peeps. It was hot on the verandah sometimes so we shaded them with an umbrella.  Sometimes the rain splashed back as far as the cage so we covered the cage with a plastic tablecloth.  We chose green for the umbrella and the tablecloth so they would feel it was leafy and tree-y and they'd feel at home.  As well as chick crumbles, they were given lots of green stuff to eat.  They would eat out of our hands.

We bought them in each night, because it was very early spring and still a bit cold.  We put down a plastic sheet on the lino to catch the tiny piles of poo they did during the night.

They were very good friends and preferred to be together in the same part of the cage. I put a little wooden perch in the cage so they could practice roosting. They loved being handled and I could fit each one in the palm of my hand.

Mary (back) and Arietty.


They each had a tiny little comb growing on top of their heads.  Mary (full name Mary Poopins) was a little more timid and usually allowed Arietty to come forward first, and show the way. 

Tomorrow:  Part Two.


  1. My two hens, Richard and Richard (named by my grandsons), are pretty useless. Not a single egg for weeks!

    1. Hens don't lay in winter. Pop a light on a timer and try and give them an extra four hours of light.

  2. Cro - Easy to tell which is Richard, then. He's the one not laying?

  3. I had my first pet Banties aged eleven. We had plenty of animals around but they were mine. Great birds they were. Some of the cockerels could be a bit aggressive but you won't have that problem. They are masters at hiding eggs.

    1. Adrian - We think bantams are just delightful! Much more people-oriented than our previous chooks.

  4. I haven't kept chooks for 30 or so years although I might be tempted if I lived permanently on Lewis. Mind you with the number of my neighbours who keep them (with no restrictions on roosters) and ducks and geese make me wonder why they don't sell free-range eggs to other neighbours like me.

    1. GB, I've missed having a pet about the place since Shelly died.
      I love to watch chooks going about their daily tasks... I could watch them all day.
      I wonder what your Lewis folk do with all those eggs. (If I have extra eggs, I make ice cream. I have the nicest recipe.)