Having all this land and to prove we were farmers, we had to get some animals.
The first of these to arrive were the chickens. These I purchased from an advertisement in the local paper “the Gloucester Advocate”. The produce store attached to the dairy factory, which we discovered made the best cheddar cheese, took orders and when they had sufficient numbers, for point of lay chickens, they ordered them from a travelling chicken seller. On the prescribed day we travelled into town and picked up our six eiser brown chickens in their temporary feed bag home and transported them back to their new huge house with new automatic water and feed containers.
The purchase of the fowl gave me my first routine as I now needed to let them out of the small totally enclosed house, where they were safe from night marauders, into the large yard where they had dirt and trees and initially grass, until their pecking and scratching removed it, to spend the day in, although due to the height of the wire fence surrounding the yard it was safe from marauding foxes. Mungo and I would make the trip down to the chicken house twice a day: once in the morning and again in the evening to return them to their safe pen.
Occasionally I would let them free range totally and entice them back home with wheat. They would of course go back themselves of a night to roost but I liked to control the time I went down to close the door. I did attempt, unsuccessfully, to teach Mungo to herd them in: he was after all a sheep dog.