Oh, what’s this?
It couldn’t be a chicken coop? For keeping chickens in?
More specifically for keeping the chickens Kelly, Claire and Marie in?
That’s right! My friends Elena and Danny from the canoe club just got chickens!!! How exciting is that?! And do you know what having friends with chickens means? It means having access to lots of good, proper eggs which means a whole day baking is needed to use them all up!
I went round to their house on Thursday for a baking day with Elena and to meet their chickens. I was shown the chicken palace where they live and then I was introduced to Kelly the lone ranger chicken, Claire and Marie.
We gave them some corn to eat from our hands, which is a very strange sensation! Something I’ve always wanted to do though.
Then we collected the eggs – they’re laying two eggs a day between them – and headed inside to bake. We collected lots of recipes, sorted through them and ended up having a bit of a baking marathon, ending up making chocolate brownies, carrot cakes with cream cheese icing and flapjack with lots of fruit and nuts and seeds in it. I will, of course, be sharing the recipes with you when I get around to writing them all up.
(Apologies for the awful photo of the flapjack!)
We couldn’t decide which one to try first, so we thought we’d sampled all three together. And what better drink to accompany the sampling than, of course, hot chocolate? Elena dug through her drawer to find the jar of hot chocolate, explaining that it had been in there a while. She found it only to discover that the sell by date was 2010! We weighed up the chances of us dying from consuming out of date hot chocolate and decided that they were very slim and that it was definitely worth the risk in order to drink it with our creations.
We came to the conclusion that each of the creations was delicious in its own way – the brownie was very chocolatey and gooey, the carrot cake was moist and full of flavour and the flapjack was bursting with different fruity flavours.
After ‘straightening up’ the edges of the brownie and flapjack, we headed outside to say goodbye to the chickens and to put them back in their coop. When we went into chicken paradise, Kelly the loan ranger chicken squatted right down so Elena could pick her up. She was very well behaved and Elena asked if I wanted to have a hold – “Yes please!!”. Apparently the trick is to hold them with your hands covering their wings so they can’t flap them and escape. I was a bit worried that she would somehow manage to jump and fly away out of the enclosure while I was holding her and I would be the cause for Kelly being a REAL loan ranger chicken. She was fine though, and I think any escaping will have to entail a plan similar to the one on chicken run where the chickens turn the coop into an aeroplane with lots of peddles that they all use to fly out of their enclosure. I can’t imagine why any of these chickens would want to escape from chicken paradise though, they all seem very happy in there!
We put them back in their coop (which sounds a lot easier and more dignified than how it actually was – trying to herd them through the door whilst making sure that any that were already in there didn’t come back out again!) and then packed up our baked goods to take them down to the canoe club. That’s one good thing about the canoe club is that it’s usually someone’s birthday or another occasion that requires cake so you get a nice treat after your training session. Everyone was suitably pleased with our creations and agreed that it was a very good thing that Danny and Elena had got chickens.
We’ve always mused about getting chickens ourselves at home as we go through a lot of eggs, what with all the baking and Patch’s addiction to fried eggs for breakfast, but it never really happened. I think it’s probably because we’ve already got rabbits and guinea pigs and it would take a bit of effort to make a chicken paradise. And the fact that one time when Patch had quails, my mum couldn’t bring herself to cook the eggs as she felt really guilty about it! Maybe one day though. I do think it would be really fun to keep chickens, if not just for the excuse to spend a whole day baking!