This year’s young chicks came to us as hatching eggs from Keith’s Orpingtons and were artificially incubated by local schools as part of Mudchute Education’s Hatch and Brood project. This programme gives children a chance to watch the young chicks develop within the egg and observe the hatching process firsthand, all in their own classrooms. For a glimpse at how chicks develop within the egg, you can see candled eggs here and incredible photos of developing chicken embryos here.

Our new chicks are purebred Bantam Orpingtons, which will show similar characteristics to our Buff Orpingtons, but achieve a smaller adult size. The chicks are a wide range of colours, including lavender and other unusual varieties. We look forward to watching them grow up over the next few weeks and months. You can learn more about the breed from The Orpington Club.

Are you interested in keeping chickens in your backyard? In addition to providing delicious fresh eggs, chickens are excellent at eradicating weeds and pests, can help recycle waste and enrich and fertilise your soil. Here at the farm, we are looking to run an Introduction to Keeping Chickens in the coming months. If you are interested in joining our upcoming courses and finding out more about how you can keep chickens in your own backyard, please get in touch with us at farm_office@mudchute.org.


Over the past week we have received a very generous donation of logs, bark and wood chippings from CSG Ushers Ltd, a local tree surgeon who has been working nearby. The byproduct of their work (branches, logs and wood chip) have been put to good use across the farm, providing a nice dry layer underfoot for our goat, duck and chicken pens as well as enrichment in the form of log piles and perches for many of the farm’s animals. The pigs love having a good scratch against their logs and searching for food among them. The goats seem keen on stripping all the bark off their logs and the chickens and ducks are eagerly scratching through the wood chip, looking for insects, worms and other treats. More photos and videos on the next page.

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This week we’re shining the spotlight the unmistakable golden chickens of the farm, our Buff Orpingtons. The Buff Orpingtons currently live in the corner chicken pen, next to Clover, the Gloucestershire Old Spots sow and across from our goats. These birds have an impressive size and beautiful golden colour. As their name suggests, the breed originates from Orpington, in the London Borough of Bromley. Find out more about the Orpington breed (and why our hens are wearing jackets) on the next page!
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