Rebecca Hudson

We interviewed Doncaster lass and professional golfer, Rebecca Hudson, who plays on the Ladies’ European Tour and has an impressive string of golfing wins and awards under her belt. Her passions are, well, golf – and you guessed it – chickens! This feature was published in Issue 6 of Chicken & Egg magazine in Autumn/Winter 2013.

1. Favourite breed – posh bird or ex-bat?

When I was little, my mother kept about 20 bantams, and they were fantastic until we were left with only one. She was called Penelope and became very tame & loved being tickled while being fed corn! She died when I was 15 and I was hen-less until 5 years ago when my parents heard about the BHWT and decided once again to keep hens. We got six who looked like something I would buy from Sainsbury’s, they had few feathers and were very sorry for themselves – I couldn’t help but love them. I’m a rescue hen girl all the way!

2. Hen names – sensible or silly?

To me the names make total sense, but I’m not sure others would agree!! For some reason we have only had female pets but they always end up (apart from Penelope) having boys’ names! Two were easy to name – we had a bigger chicken, and a smaller chicken that stood out, so Big Guy & Little Guy! One of the chickens LOVED tomatoes, so I called her Plum after my favourite tomato; Wee Willy went to bed first and Damien was named after The Omen character, as she looked a little scary sometimes. Scruffy never really got a great coat and when she did she had a receding feather line, dear Scruffy!

3. Hen housing – good wood or plastic fantastic?

We have a great hen house: a wooden shed with six laying boxes, high perches and a locking door to keep them safe. A little spoilt!

4. The weekend coop clean – yours truly or hen helpers?

As I am away a lot on tour, the chickens live at my parents’ home so they are looked after by them. My Dad cleans them and I do what I can when home which mainly is digging holes looking for worms for their tea!! (I’m like the cheeky aunt!)

5. Your garden – hens on ‘the green’ or pristine?

Depends who you ask, if you ask me and my Dad then the garden belongs to the chicks and we let them out whenever we can but we have to barricade my mother’s vegetable patch!! I don’t know why we let them out really as they have a big orchard, but the grass is always greener on the other side and I love watching them run from one patch of garden to another!! If you ask my Mum, she never would let them out of the orchard! 😉

6. Favourite eggy brekkie – full English or dainty egg soldiers?

I don’t care what eggs I eat, they have to be beautifully freshly laid and are always nice, but if I had to pick, then soft-boiled eggs – with soldiers!

7. The British Hen Welfare Trust- mother hen or cock of the roost?

I need no more explanation of how good a job the BHWT does when I saw our chickens starting to dig in our garden for the first time. If a beak could smile I’m sure theirs did! I am not daft enough to believe that all chickens could be kept like this but I think there are better ways than cages.

8. Weekend bake – gooey gateau or cheesy quiche?

The best thing we cook with the eggs is Mum’s lemon curd, it’s gorgeous and the colour is so vibrant – it just shouts EAT ME!! My mother is a great cake maker and bakes for Dad, friends and family; we can all tell the difference between shop bought and those made with our eggs!

9. British farmers – good eggs or bad eggs?

I try to support British farmers, I try to support British in general; not only the farming produce that we export but also things like Scottish shellfish, the majority going to Spain. I want to tell people to get to markets, farmers markets and fish markets. Doncaster, my home town, has one of the biggest markets offering a huge selection of produce, the majority of which is British.

10. Favourite type of ‘birdie’ – golf or hen?!

Both!!! I love coming home to the chicks as they make me smile and actually look happy to be around us but golfing birdies are always useful for my job!! 🙂

11. Finally, what’s your favourite way to relax – the club house or the hen house?!

The hen house! 🙂 Sitting looking at the garden with Little Guy on my knee, having her fall asleep looking totally content and happy makes my day. I love watching them have a dust bath, a peck of grass and then sunbathe.

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