The inspiration for our French chickens!!

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Our granddaughter feeding the chickens!

About eighteen years ago;  my husband Adam and I went on a trip to France.

I had read a lovely review of a new hotel opened in Burgundy that sounded wonderful.

The name was” Chateau Vault de Lugny”.  The owner was a young woman

who had grown up in the Chateau as her family’s country home.

She wanted to turn it into a country hotel; and described to us all the work and all the requirements

to qualify for a ”Relais and Chateau” member.

Our room was beautiful;  and best of all;  the labrador retriever “Licorice” slept on our bed!

(We missed our dogs; so we were encouraging him.  Not everyone’s cup of tea!)

This is the moat that surrounds the Chateau.

This is a view of the chateau from the air.  I remember at the  time there were only 6 or 7 rooms.

My favorite thing was in the morning seeing all kinds of birds!  Not wild birds;  although there were those,

but turkeys, ducks, geese ,chickens and peacocks!

Here are some peacocks, chickens,and maybe a turkey on the left. They wandered about on the lawns and driveway!

So much fun to watch!

The geese were especially friendly and vocal.

This is what gave the inspiration to do something like this at home in Pasadena!

Why not??  I just needed a predator-proof coop for them to go into at night!

So I remembered my friend Eddie!!!

Eddie and his family had these beautiful bantam speckled chickens with feathers on their feet!

He was in San Diego training race horses at Del Mar when I found out there were some “bantam Mille Fleurs” chicks

at a feed store in San Diego!

I called and asked him to pick some out for me.  He said, “I’d be happy to;  but how are they going to get to Pasadena?”

(about 3 and a half hours away)

I said, “You’re going to send them in a taxi”!

Dead silence.

Then, “You are serious!!!!”  Indeed!

When the taxi arrived in the driveway, we were taking photographs,(unfortunately not digital!) and there were

4 small hens and 1 rooster about  4 weeks old in a cardboard box on the back seat!

I asked the driver, “What do I owe you?”

He said, “Mr Gregson told me to tell you that it’s on him;

because  he’s going to be telling this story for the rest of his life!”

I never even knew what  it  cost!

I can’t even tell you how much pleasure these chickens have given me for all these years!

We had them in Pasadena when were there;

and people would be walking up the street and hear a rooster

and stop dead in their tracks thinking they were “hearing things”!

And for the fourteen years we have been in Santa Barbara!  Our grandchildren love them too!

We have hatched 14 this summer!   They eat all the slugs and snails, fertilize the garden,

provide delicious eggs and wonderful entertainment!

2 thoughts on “The inspiration for our French chickens!!

  1. Penelope Bianchi

    Ah! I finally found your blog!
    What a complete and utter treat. I shall visit here often and will put you on my blog roll posthaste.
    Now…. I wonder if Edward would allow me to have a white peacock? Is there anything more lovely??
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    patricia gaye tapp
    I would not have expected less from you! pgt
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    Kathy Avakian
    Beautiful pictures..I love the picture of Poppy and the chickens! The white Peacock is so surreal
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    Cathy Tyner
    All wonderfully true! I remember my niece Frannie would love nothing more than visiting you & feeding the chickens & the “cranky” rooster! She still loves the thought of visiting now as she travels to Berkeley!
    I also remember Sophie your wonder poodle… Black
    Like “Licorice” that would shake her hand! Everything was magical even the “castle” for the chickens!
    Was there a duck that thought she was a chicken?!?!
    What memories to warm a lifetime!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    velvet and linen
    This is amazing, Penny.
    What a magical place, perfect inspiration for your equally magical home.
    As fabulous as these pictures are, my favorite image is the one of Poppy. She is in heaven!
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    Dovecote Decor
    I’m with Pamela, whom I miss visiting. My website is doing really well, so alas, I don’t get to visit and write as much as I did before. Although I love the kindred souls who find me in the virtual world. My heavens, that white Peacock is the most stunning accessory any house could have. They are so wild in California, you can hear their rusty, throaty calls. Here, we have Canadian Geese who have decided to stop migrating. I love them, but if they decide to live with you, they are quite messy. I always love your posts and our family connection.
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    I love your blog too!!!

    Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:04 am

    Thank you Kathy!

    Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:04 am

    Thank you, you wonderful friend!

    Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    Thank you Brooke! And congratulations on your sold out first edition!!! Patina Style!!!

    Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    I always love hearing from you!! I hope you will come visit!!!
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    Lyndia Rono
    The picture of your granddaughter is priceless!!! Her white dress and red bow captures the colors of your family of chickens that surround her. You wrote an amazing story that brought smiles and laughter to my day. Thanks for sharing.
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 6:58 am

    that makes me so happy ! I am new at this; and have no idea what I am doing! I am finding things that make me happy! You make me feel so great!
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    I am delighted! Where are you from?
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    Hello Penelope,
    What a beautiful picture of your granddaughter to start this post!
    And what a heavenly place you showed us today!!
    Your blog is so beautiful and I am a subscriber of it now!!
    And thank you so much for your sweet comment on my post the other day!! I so appreciate it Penelope!!
    I wish you a wonderful day!!
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 6:29 am

    That white peacock is magnificent!
    I would love to try and raise a couple of chickens, but I am not sure what the city ordinances are!
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 2:59 am

    You will be so happy if you do! In most places……(I don’t know where you are from) Hens are allowed. Almost everywhere. Girls by themselves are quiet and just lay their eggs. Our neighbors in Pasadena had them…..just hens. If you let them out… run around the garden……you will never see a slug, snails, aphid……they are the “true green insectivores!”

    Some cities ban roosters….but things are changing all over! It is the most fun when you can have roosters….because you can have chicks! Tell me where you are from…and call the “county” or “city” and ask the regulations!” In Pasadena I was told “no roosters”; I became friends with the president of the Humane Society; he explained that was to prevent cock-fighting!

    No threat of that at our house……so we had roosters for the six years….and then the lovely new tenants…….Regina Drucker and Bruce Drucker kept our little flock perfectly!!

    I have never been intimidated by laws that make no sense.

    Always have at least two. Chickens are social animals…..all you need is two. If you have a rooster; get at least 4 hens……otherwise………he needs more than 3…need I say more??

    Roosters also save the lives of their chicks and their hens. I have wept often over roosters being killed protecting their flock,. Don’t name them! Then you get so attached……I was weeping when a rooster (Eduardo..Adam changed the name from Eddie….(the original person who sent them)) was killed by a red-tail hawk…

    My daughter suggested…….”Mommy; if you are making pets of the bottom of the food chain….don’t name them!”

    I am sure that is good advice…and I don’t name them. However….they are clearly individuals to me……What can I say! Way more joy than heartbreak!
    ps I LOVE your blog!

    You do need predator-proof coops……I will happily help you!

    Sep 04, 2011 @ 5:20 am

    Oh yes I do know where you are from! I think it is fine if you keep it to hens!


    Sep 04, 2011 @ 5:22 am

  2. Kris

    Beautiful peacock!

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