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Our Story

W e wanted a fresh and local source of meat and eggs, so we decided to raise our first flock of chickens in the summer of 2013. We started out with 23 Cochin and Leghorn chicks. We lost one the first night due to the stress of relocation, but the other 22 grew to maturity. A little later than optimal, we culled all but one of the males - leaving 11 hens and 1 rooster. Our home grown, free range, organic eggs and meat were so much better than the supermarket. There was no going back.

We had two wonderful years with this flock before a fox broke in and we lost almost all our chickens. We invested in a new fox proof coop for our remaining birds, along with 8 new heritage chickens. The coop arrived in two large parts and to get it into the back garden we had to take it apart and put it back together again. It took us about two days to complete this.

During this process Ted gained the confidence to consider building his own coops. This would make it possible for us to breed pure heritage chicks. This kick started the Hermit House Wood Workshop. Ted soon found out how satisfying it was for him to build with wood. Our tool set grew to the point where we had to rearrange the house to turn the largest room into the workshop.

C urrently we are building our own set of coops so we can separate each heritage strain to get pure breed chicks. In the meantime we have allowed them to cross breed so we can experiment with hybrid strains. Some of these hybrids have resulted in wonderful new combinations of colours.


In 2016 Ted began developing the Poultry Planner as part of his university project. Although in the end he put the project aside in favour of another dissertation idea, the seed behind the Poultry Planner had begun. Early the following year Niamh decided to pick up the project again in her spare time, coming at it with some new ideas. We both wanted to create a collection of online tools to help people get started and care for their flocks over time. We wanted to focus on what would help small scale holdings, like ourselves, become master chicken keepers! Coming Soon - Summer 2017.

Ted Ewen


Image by: Hermit Studio.

Ted Ewen was born in the USA and lived in The Netherlands and the UK before settling in Denmark. He started raising chickens in 2013 along with his wife.

As the flock expanded it made sense to build our own coops, so Ted began the Hermit House Wood Workshop in 2015. He now does all the wood working needed on site, such as coops, nestboxes, grow boxes, workbenches, sawhorses, and other such things.

Ted is also founder of Hermit Studio, based at Hermit House, which is most widely known for publishing the speculative fiction anthology NovoPulp.

Specialists can be blinkered by their expertise.
"To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail." Ted is a generalist and a synthesist. He takes his wide ranging interests and experiences and brings them to bear on the problem at hand, acting as a force-multiplier.

Niamh Brown


Image by: Hermit Studio.

Niamh Brown is a British web developer and writer who has emigrated to Denmark. She has always had a strong affinity with animals, and in particular birds. Before she began raising chickens in 2013, Niamh had also raised Budgerigars and Cockatiels. Chickens have become her favourite birds to raise because of their endearing personalities.

Niamh is also web developer, publisher, and writer for Hermit Studio. Her websites include Hermit Studio, NovoPulp, and Hermit House.

Buddy



Image by: Hermit Studio.

Buddy is a HUGE young male cat who turned up on our back doorstep in 2014. Even though he is over 5 kilos in weight, Buddy is actually in good proportion for his body size. He is a monster kitty with a big heart!

Over a period of about 6-12 months Buddy has been learning that the door is open for him and he has a home. Having been feral he is highly suspicious of people, but he is finally at the point where he will come up for attention and sleep on the bed at night.

Pusama


Image by: Hermit Studio.

Pusama turned up about two weeks after we first arrived at Hermit House at the end of 2008. She is a complete love sponge: from day one Pusama was sleeping under the covers at night and curling up next to us. She was our first pet in Denmark and she reminded us of the value of animal companionship. Without her we may never have considered raising chickens at Hermit House. Pusama is now an elderly kitty, preferring to stay close to the house - looking out for sun spots.

Chicken of Merit:
The House Chook Named Twenty
(July 2013 - May 2017)


Image by: Hermit Studio.

Twenty was the last remaining hen from our first flock of chickens. She was born in July 2013 and was still laying XL eggs up until she passed away. For a while after the fox attack that took most of our first flock, Twenty felt safer staying inside the house at night. She then figured out that if she came inside to lay her eggs they would stay clean and safe as well. We had a nest box made up for her in our laundry room and she would come in each day and lay. We were able to reintroduced her into a new flock after some time, but she still liked to come in the house to lay her eggs and get some treats, as well as to have some "human flock" time with us. She always had an independent streak and kind of lived outside the natural pecking order. She was a one of a kind chook and she left a big hole in our hearts when she died. The two weeks leading up to her death she spent some extra time with us and we managed to get a number of pictures and videos which, in hindsight, we were glad we had the chance to capture. We love you Twenty, thank you for all the lessons you taught us and for your company. You are sorely missed.

Chicken of Merit: Brownie
(July 2013 - Oct 2015)


Video by: Hermit Studio.

Our resident Grandma Chicken Brownie unfortunately passed away towards the end of 2015. I can think of no better way to honor her memory than to show you this video. Brownie was the mostly cuddly chicken I've even seen, as this video demonstrates. She loved being petted, having her neck and ear scratched, and generally being held. Brownie would deliberately do things that would guarantee she would be picked up.

As she was one of the survivors of the original flock from the fox attack, Brownie had been spreading her knowledge of Hermit House and the surrounding farm land to the younger generations. They learned quickly to watch and follow what Brownie did.

You are missed cuddly chirpie!