I am getting quite excited as this weekend work is starting on our new chicken pen. Those of you who know me, will know of the sad demise of my 20H flock last year, taken by the nasty fox. I loved them so much and don't think I have ever been so traumatised by anything!!!! The flock were my leaving present from Clifford Chance when I left the city - a perfect daily reminder of my old life.
Before we had chickens, I would never had imagined them making very good pets. I was so wrong. They all have such individual personalities and were so tame and friendly. They were forever trying to get into the kitchen for extra food - getting in through open windows and doors. Their eggs were delicious - particularly Dora's who was a legbar/dorking cross and laid perfect blue eggs. There was a noticeable difference in quality compared to what I buy in the supermarket and I am so looking forward to taking delivery of my new hens as soon as the pen is built!
In addition to corn and wheat, our chickens were fed with warm porridge every day in the winter. I would like to think that this enhanced the flavour of the eggs (clearly unlikely but I can dream!)
1 handful porridge oats
1 grated apple
Simmer the porridge oats in a saucepan until all the water has been absorbed. Stir in the apple and raisins. Leave to cool slightly before serving to your hens!
Postscript - I just had a call from Masterchef Ben to say he eats this type of porridge himself so clearly this is not just a dish for chickens! Ben has posted lots of news on what he has been upto and some lovely new recipes at http://www.thecheeseworks.co.uk/masterchefdiaries.php