Goings On At Little Pond Farm

By Terry Golson

Not quite a year ago I wrote my last blogpost for the HenCam, where I shared what I know about backyard chicken keeping. After ten years, I’d said everything that I wanted to say on that topic. But that blog wasn’t just a bunch of how-to articles. My readers got to know the various animals that I share my life with, and they miss them. Let’s catch-up…

Phoebe has the small barn all to herself. Unlike Candy, Phoebe never particularly liked interacting with the hens and doesn’t miss them.

Phoebe stays busy maintaining her burrow under the compost pile, nibbling hay, having long conversations with the goats, and contemplating life. It’s necessary to lock her into the barn at night to keep her safe from predators, but Phoebe would rather play outside. Dusk is her favorite time of day. So, we’ve come up with a compromise (or you might call it a bribe.) For coming inside she gets her ration of pellets, a piece of carrot and two banana chips. Any less won’t do.

My flock now numbers twelve hens. (To read about the individuals go to the Who’s Who page.)

I expected more losses over the winter – they are old birds – but they sailed through the cold months. They’re even laying more than expected. Some days we collect 3 eggs, some days 8. It’s a peaceful group with little drama. I won’t add more birds to my flock until I’m down to only 3, and it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

The Goat Boys had a boring winter.

Snow hemmed them in. But they didn’t mind, as they were fed extra hay to keep them busy. Caper, who got a bone chip in his right knee as a youngster, now likely has arthritis making him stiff, but his personality is as charming (and subversively clever) as always. Pip is aging as gracefully as a tubby goat can. They are a constant source of delight.

The Beast came through the winter just fine. If anything, she looks even bigger. The pond has warmed up enough for us to feed the fish their koi pellets. Everyone is voracious.


Lily is an old dog. She’s 14. Mostly deaf. Slightly cloudy eyes. Bad hips.

But she’s still as smart as can be, still continent, and still willing to tell all comers that this is her farm and they’d better ask permission before landing or walking through. However, the resident squirrels do have her number. I’ve seen them wait until she’s looking the other way and then stroll across the yard, something they’d never have dared to do in the past.

Scooter is Lily’s loyal sidekick. I think he’s ageless. It might be all of that napping that he does.


Gardening is hard on my back and so I’ve eased off somewhat. I’ll have a smaller vegetable garden this year and I finally gave myself permission to hire someone to weed the perennials. It’s still pretty, but it’s not the same as when I did all of the work.

There you have it! I loved writing the HenBlog, but I have to say that it’s nice to simply live my life and not have to stop to photograph a moment, or to think through which story to share and then shape it for the website. I appreciate all of you who stuck with me through my transition to this site. Those of you who found me here, through horses, you might want to read through the HenBlog archives. There are some wonderful characters to meet.

20 thoughts on “Goings On At Little Pond Farm

  • Judy

    Thanks for the updates Terry – I’m very glad to hear that all the critters at LPF are still kicking (and hopping, swimming, scratching, etc.)!

  • misspicasso

    thank you for sharing this little catch up, Terry! I miss the HenBlog and it’s great to see that everyone’s still doing ok 🙂 I’m glad you’re still blogging, though, and change is good for all of us 🙂

  • Jane in Hawaii

    Thanks for the update – I loved that blog ! I still have two of the four hens I got the year you got your gems. I was just about to pick up a few more chicks when three wild hens arrived, fleeing a tree trimming where they had been nesting. I think they will move in – yesterday one of them braved the electric fence to lay an egg in my nesting box. The fence keeps out predators quite effectively, but not these wiley street hens – they go under it at will. My ladies seem to know them better than I realized because they were sharing the nest box with no fuss! My two don’t follow them out. I’m enjoying your new blog too!

  • Lizzie in Cornwall

    Hi Terry!
    You must be a mind-reader! – I’ve been meaning to ask how all our furry, feathered and finned friends are doing!
    And I’m glad to see I’m not the only one to miss the Henblog.
    However (and that’s a good ‘however’ ) it’s been lovely to get to know your clever Tonka and to read about your challenges and ongoing work.
    Happy Easter! Happy Springtime! to every one!

  • Chicken Carol

    It is so so lovely to have a catch up. Thank you for this. I really enjoyed seeing all the characters again and seeing how they have all come through the winter. I have missed them. It’s good to know that it is calm and happy and even the beast is still going strong. Happy Easter to you all.

  • Laura Allemand

    Thanks for the update on the farm! I miss hearing about everybody – dogs, goats, hens and fish!. Like you, my flock is aging. We have an 8 year old hen, two 7 year old hens, and two 5 year olds. I didn’t think we’d be getting too many eggs this year, but they continue to surprise me – and sometimes with a very odd shaped egg. But I couldn’t hold out anymore, so we went and bought three new chicks last month (Barnevelder, Welsummer, Americauna). Hopefully, they’ll be able smoothly to integrate into our peaceful flock.

    Also…having horses as well, I very much enjoy your new blog, and have gotten some great training tips and methods. I also love to see how the other half (of the country) lives with their horses. Snow and ice creates their own challenges, as much as the unending rain has with us this year!


  • Durbin Goodwin

    How wonderful to catch up on all the animals. Love dogs all the time but was glad to hear about Phoebe. My granddaughter asks about her all the time. Have a wonderful spring!

  • jan

    Thank you so much for spending the time to do a catch-up on everyone. Really miss the Hen blog and especially the web cam that allowed us to see Caper and Pip, but am enjoying following all your training success’s (especially Nate ) and your dressage and rides on Tonka. All the best for the coming season…:)

  • gin

    Thanks for the update. I’m glad Lily is OK. I still go back and read some of the hen blog articles when I have a question about my hens. I just yesterday got 5 Black Rock chicks. Hopefully there won’t be too much drama introducing them to my resident hens when they are old enough.
    I’ve had to cut back on gardening because of back issues also. My husband does the vegetable garden and I have several old wooden wheelbarrows that I use to grow vegetables and/or flowers. And anyway, I’d rather hit the trail than garden.

  • Louise King

    Thanks for the update. I often think of the hencam animals. I gave my flock to a shop that has a petting zoo since my friend who helped care for them has commercial chicken houses now. So he can not be around a backyard flock. My oldest hen is still doing well – she is 14 years old now. I miss my flock but life is full of seasons and this one has ended.
    Enjoy all your animal and have a great spring.

  • Cynthia Brown

    Hi Terry and family,
    Surprise! I haven’t visited this “Cooperative Horse” site since last year when you began it. Today I came to check it out & found this wonderful update for “the farm”. And you wrote it only yesterday! I check in to the Hen Blog most every day to get the “official” weather report (I’m south of Boston). Snow, rain and esp. the now temperature that NOAA is always behind on. If the hens are in the coop, I stay in, too! Ha!
    Best wishes for a great garden growing season. Glad you’re cutting back – to save your back. Looking forward to moderate summer temps; so much better for us & the hens.
    Peace from Cynthia

  • Vicki Rankin

    Hi Terry,
    Just stopped by to see how things are going. Looks like you’re busy and happy with your horses. I do miss the hencam, and your wonderful stories and advice. I currently have 12 hens and an accidental rooster – a nice boy that I think I’ll keep. He started limping yesterday, so… spa for him today! How can I purchase a signed copy of your Farmstead Egg Cookbook? I’d love to have it.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Hi, Vicki! I don’t sell the books, but if you send me a SASE, I can send you a signed book plate. We’ve all had that accidental rooster. Luckily, the one’s I’ve had have been gorgeous and mellow and I found them homes.

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