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Sow The Seed follows the ups and downs of me, Helen and my husband, Simon - a couple trying to live a simpler life in south-west Wales.

I hope this blog will not only be a good reference and diary for us over the coming years, but will give helpful advice and tips for people trying to do the same thing, or dreaming of doing the same thing.

Find out more on how we got here.

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Tasks: Sowing; pruning; weeding; pottering

Harvesting: Cucumber, lettuce, radishes, strawberries, broad beans, potatoes

Eggs this year: 394 (hens) 317 (ducks)

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We’ve been down to two chickens for a while, and having also recently lost a duck, it was about time that we added to our collection of poultry. Because of the Avian Flu lockdown, we had found it hard to find anywhere offering hens for sale, as there are various biosecurity measures in place to restrict the movement of poultry during this time. However a friend suggested we try a local animal rescue centre, as they often have rescue hens available which are looking for new homes.

Last weekend we set off into the wilds of Pembrokeshire to Greenacres Rescue, west of Haverfordwest, and a few hours later came back with three brown hens. They are typical ex-commercial brown hens, bred for egg laying. We’ve had these breed of hens before, but at point-of-lay, rather than a few years old as these girls are. We’ve always found them to be friendly and inquisitive (perhaps too inquisitive), and these appear to be just the same. We don’t know their background, however, all commercial businesses will still get a new stock of hens every year, so it is just as likely that they came from a commercial free range business as a battery/caged business..

They have settled in nicely into their new home, scratching, dustbathing, lazing about in the sun, and already giving us eggs. We’ve kept them separate from the other two hens for the time being until they get used to each other and we are sure they don’t have any health issues. But in a couple of weeks they’ll all go in the same run and house, and find their pecking order, and hopefully everyone will get on.

Our three new hens – Pickle, Chutney and Cottontail

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