We moved house last month and now that we’ve finally got plenty space, I finally got my chickens! Meet Penny and her brood of 11 chicks.

OK she’s not the prettiest hen you’ve ever seen (truth be told, I can’t remember ever seeing a scraggier one), but then she has just had 11 chicks! Anyway, what she lacks in beauty, she more than makes up for with maternal skills. She’s hugely protective of her chicks and guards them obsessively (as my pecked hands will verify!) As the father has yet to own up, what this lot will look like when they grow is anybodies guess, but to me they are all stars and I’m looking forwards to having my own ‘live-in’ subjects to paint!