Big Jeff and his harem 

He’s a handsome devil is our Jeff and a big hit with the ladies. Now spring is most definitely in the air, he’s wasting no time in paying his attentions to every hen on the plot. Starting as early as 6am, when it’s now gloriously light, and concluding with dusk around 12 hours later, he has a full 12 hours of amorous activity. The flock behave quite differently now he’s ruling the roost, too – there seem to be fewer squabbles between the hens and they cluster around the garden together in an orderly fashion. 

There’s something deeply satisfying about seeing them methodically peck and scratch about in the grass en masse. I’ll be talking to Sara Ward of Hen Corner and Francine Raymond of The Kitchen Garden about the pleasures of keeping chickens – and bees – at the Country Living Spring Fair in Islington’s Business Design Centre next Saturday 21 March at 12pm and again at 2.15pm. Why not come along to glean their expert advice and share some of your own tips? We’d love to see you there. 

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