Yes, it’s true: we are chicken mad here at Sampsons Farm!
Our lovely, happy rare breed hens and ducks provide those glorious orange yoked eggs you’ll eat for breakfast that taste like they did when you were a child.
Our chickens are very beautiful and are specially chosen to look good in Sarah’s paintings (!), as are their stylish designer blue painted chicken houses.
Here are a few photo’s of our lovely chickens. They have an orchard and a paddock to roam around in. Lots of the rooms at Sampsons have views on to the orchard and guests often remark on how relaxing, and funny, it is to watch the chickens and ducks from their window.
Here are some of the rare breeds chickens we have:
- Buff Orpingtons
- Light Sussex
- Pekin bantams
- Cochins (white giants with feathery feet and very friendly)
- Call ducks (tiny and very cute: they are so small they look like toys)
- Silver Crested Appleyard (our duck is called Amy, as she has a beehive hairstyle like Amy Winehouse. )
- Pekin Ducks ( these are walking ducks which stand up, and they have laughing eyes. They look like Jemima Puddleduck.)
- Runner Ducks ( the very long, tall white ducks which look like walking sticks on legs.)
Here are a few little anecdotes about our chickens:
Our first Charlie, the Buff Orpington Cockerel ( there have been a few over the years due to our local foxes …) starred as a pin up for a local farm supplies company, Axe Valley farmers. He was truly stunning…..
Eliza, our daughter, was given a five pound note by her grandfather to buy some chickens this spring. The local breeder doesn’t sell birds; only fertilised eggs to be incubated or sat on by a motherly hen until they hatch. So Tim the Old English Game Cockerel arrived here as a little eggs in a box of six “lucky dip “ fertilised eggs. On of our Pekin bantam hens obligingly kept it warm for 21 days and out popped Little Tim!
Tim thought he was a human for the first six months of his life, and used to have his breakfast of corn with the other chickens in the morning, and then do the rounds of the guest rooms in the hope of a few of the complimentary biscuits and a bit of intelligent conversation. Hotel manager Nigel asked Sarah if she could immortalise him in a watercolour portrait, as Tim was so friendly as a “teenager” that he would veer dangerously close to the ravening jaws of the dogs belonging to the dog walkers who come for lunch and coffee here. Hence Tiny Tim’s portrait on our pound note.
Since he has matured, he now prefers his chicken girlfriends, unfortunately for us, but perhaps safer for him….
Beautiful Fred is our Cochin cockerel: he is huge, has feathery feet, and loves company. He lives in his own house with wives, Ruby and Olive. We spotted the ménage a trois at a local Poultry Show and our daughter Eliza convinced us to buy them. Thank goodness she did. Fred is such good company. Here a couple of photos of him, one with Sarah as she reads a magazine in the orchard, and the other, stealing a plum from the colander when Sarah was preparing them to make her Damson Jam. Sarah spent a couple of afternoons in the orchard preparing fruit for jam making and keeping her Cochin chickens company. Ruby the chicken liked to sit on Sarah’s bare feet like a warm a feather duster. Lovely!