Tag Archives: scots dumpies

Meet my favourite girls

30 Jan

My girls: Madam Hetty (foreground), with Maisie (behind) and Poppy, the white hen

I’m getting really excited as it will soon be time for me to come out of hibernation in Amanda’s shed and begin the season’s work here at Wordsworth House and Garden.

I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming back my special friends, the girls, aka our Scots Dumpy hens Poppy, Madam Hetty and Maisie, who have been spending the winter enjoying the hospitality of Chris, the National Trust’s Whitehaven coast ranger.

Some people think one hen is much like another, but they all have distinct personalities.

Poppy is the boss of our trio and is always first out of their replica 18th-century henhouse in the mornings. She’s the most confident and, if she gets annoyed, tends to peck.

Madam Hetty was called plain Hetty to begin with but quickly acquired her prefix as her true nature made itself known. She’s rather moody and tends to throw clucking strops.

Maisie may be bottom of the pecking order with the other two, but she’s certainly our favourite. An absolute sweetie and very clever, she gets the most treats as she’s so savvy and quick to learn.

If you haven’t already met our girls, do come and see them after we open for the new season on Saturday, March 9.

Lonely this winter: House Steward Rachel (left) and Interpretation and Comms Manager Alex check the empty henhouse


Art to brighten a dull day

17 Dec

I’ve been missing my friends, Poppy, Maisie and Madam Hetty, the Scots Dumpy heritage hens, who’ve gone on their winter holidays to the coast.

To cheer me up, Amanda brought me copies of some wonderful pictures the local infant school reception classes drew of them. They’re so lovely I’m going to share them with you…  May 24.05.11 007May 24.05.11 021May 24.05.11 025May 24.05.11 022May 24.05.11 027May 24.05.11 028

The blackbird who thinks she’s a chicken

9 Oct
A handful of corn: Garden volunteer Ian feeds the chickens

A handful of corn: Garden volunteer Ian feeds the Scots Dumpy chickens

We’re into the final month of our open season – Wordsworth House and Garden shuts for the winter in early November. That’s when I go off to my cosy winter abode, otherwise known as Amanda’s shed.

My friends the Scots Dumpy heritage hens will be heading off on their winter holidays at the same time – they go to stay with our coastal ranger Chris and his flock of feathered friends.

Normally, that would mean the team’s bird-keeping duties were over for the year, but not this time. We have a young blackbird who thinks she’s a chicken. She’s spent most of her life so far in their enclosure, enjoying their food, water and companionship. On sunny days, you can find her basking in the sunshine with them, wings spread out just like theirs.

Sadly, we don’t have a photo of her as every time we try to take one, she flies away – she might like the hens but she doesn’t like Amanda with her camera.

We’ll be putting out food and water for her throughout the winter – and we’re hoping she won’t be too lonely without her pals.

Home frome home: Poppy, the Scots Dumpy hen, on her holidays last winter

Home frome home: Poppy, the Scots Dumpy, on her holidays last winter

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