Housesitting in Yorkshire

We are currently doing a house sit in North Yorkshire in England. It’s been a nice adjustment from very busy London to the English countryside. One of the things we were most excited about for this sit was to have pets again. Our last housesit was in Malaysia in September on Pulau Langkawi. So we were in pet deprivation mode!

Yorkshire home

We are living in a home built in 1860. Our furry companions include three dogs and two cats. However, we also have a pet chicken in the home. She was a battery hen rescue (egg factory). She had broken one of her legs, and of course it was never noticed there. Unfortunately the leg healed badly, so she can only hop around on one leg. She would get attacked by the other chickens, so Grace lives in the home where she keeps the dogs in line.

People are amazingly friendly here, and across the street we have the village shop which has various grocery items as well as serving as the village post office.

About three doors down we have an excellent fish & chips shop, and we have two pubs in extremely close proximity. As I look out my living room windows, it isn’t uncommon to see people riding their horses past our house. It is a sleepy town indeed.

Thankfully, a neighbor takes care of the six horses. I’m not into mucking out stalls thank you very much. However, I am in charge of caring for 34 hens. They reside in a field down the street which gives us and the dogs some exercise daily.

Yorkshire housesitting

A typical day for me begins with starting a fire in the stove in the living room to take the chill out of the air while my water comes to a boil for my morning coffee. We have an Aga stove which is quite an interesting contraption. I had never heard of these before coming to this sit.

After enjoying my morning dose of caffeine, checking emails, doing my social media stuff, etc., it’s time to move Grace from her bed near the Aga to the dogs’ sitting room. Then I don my Wellies and grab the dogs for our morning rounds with the hens. We are greeted enthusiastically with lots of clucking.

Yorkshire housesitting

This outfit just screams springtime, no?

After taking care of the water and checking their feeders, it’s time to put on my bright pink rubber gloves and grab a bucket. After cleaning out the . . . chicken leavings and putting down fresh shavings and straw, we collect their eggs. I love the beautiful varying hues of their eggs. So different from what you get in the supermarket.

Yorkshire housesitting

Naturally, there is also doggy doo-doo pickup in the yard, too.

The rest of the day is pretty relaxed. I usually have a fire going in the wood-burning stove, and the dogs gather in front of it to soak up some heat while one of the cats, Mike, does a gargoyle impression next to me.

In the afternoon, we’ll do another walk to the field for another check on the ladies.

Yorkshire housesitting

Tigger is at the age where he hibernates in his room for a large portion of the day. We’re both really enjoying having our own space again. And we’re both pretty thrilled to have dogs and cats to cuddle, pet, and love.

I’m enjoying being able to give Tigger the experience of taking care of this large a group of chickens. In Morocco, we had five of them, so 34 is quite the different workload. I think he has as much fun as me collecting the eggs. It’s almost like finding a bunch of presents every day.

I also like that he is able to discover the difference between the taste of healthy, truly free-range chicken eggs as compared to the factory eggs in the stores. And for me it’s kind of fun just living in a home this old. I know for many Europeans an 1860 home is not that old, but for us North Americans they’re a rare find.

We’re in North Yorkshire until early April, and we’ll be returning in late May to house sit here again. For now we’re really enjoying the slower village life and being surrounded by pets.

Have you been to Yorkshire? What’s your favorite area?

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28 Comments

  1. We are moving to Yorkshire from South Africa. My Ancestors are from Yorkshire. We especially loved Huby!

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  2. Whereabouts in North Yorkshire?! It’s my home county! I can tell from the picture that you’re not in my home village though (Leathley). Whenever I’m back in the UK, Harrogate is my base – a lovely town between Leeds and York, if you get the chance to go at some point in the future 🙂

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    • I thought of you! We were in Huby, and Harrogate isn’t that far at all. We’re going back for 3 weeks, so we’ll have time to explore. Harrogate is on my list, and from what I saw of Leeds from the train I really want to get check it out, too. We also need to see more of York.

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  3. That looks like a beautiful home! It must be nice to “have” pets again. And I’ve always wanted to try using an Aga stove, I’ve seen them in many a home design blog. 😀

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    • I had never even heard of an Aga before this sit. It is quite nice, though. I especially like not having to preheat the oven since it’s always on! It’s also nice to go warm up next to for a bit. LOL

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  4. LOVE that outfit Talon 😉 It screams North Yorkshire farmer to me!! My family are all from that neck of the woods so it’s so great to see you enjoying your time there. Our recent house sit in New Zealand involved a little lifestyle farming. It was great fun!!

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  5. I love this too! I’m from Yorkshire and it’s so great to see people visiting other places in England other than London. Yorkshire, and the North in general, need more exposure!

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  6. This sounds cool. Being from the UK, much of what you describe here is very familiar to me, while at the same time being nothing like my childhood, as I grew up in London…but I still find it very easy to picture! I actually grew up in a house that was built in 1910 and that wasn’t considered old in any way at all, so 1860…that’s maybe a little bit old! By the way, you are totally rocking those pink marigolds, Talon!

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  7. Love it Talon! Great account of your adventures. Chickens are just the best 🙂 We had our first chicken baby sitting duties on our house sit in Peru over xmas. We just feel in love with those 8 little ladies. They would follow you around and chat away. If you chatted to them, they would chat even more. They were hilarious!

    Jodie is going to message you about the Greece house sit too… you will love the location! Just stunning 😀

    Love ya work!
    Nat (and Jodie)

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    • Chickens are so funny that way. When I was a young teen, I had a pet chicken named Baby who would ride on my shoulder like she was a parrot. When she was hungry, she’d come up to the door and knock on it with her beak. Had a friend visiting one day, and when she opened the door after hearing a knock, she had the scare of her life when Baby flew in. LOL Too much fun!

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  8. You have no idea how this made me smile…on two counts. One, grandmother was from Yorkshire, so I spent many happy hours there as a kid especially. I am intrigued to know where you are, but appreciate you can’t say! Second because the very happiest time of my life (around the time both my kid were born) I lived somewhere like that. We had both ducks and chickens,plus dogs & cats of course, and we used to rent of a field to people with horses, so we had the pleasure of seeing & petting them without the mucking out! Thank you for my smile.

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    • We’re in the lovely village of Huby. So glad it gave you a smile and a nice trip down memory lane!

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    • I would have to be beyond starving before I could do it, so they’re safe from becoming dinner by me. lol

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  9. I would die a happy lady with all those pets even the ‘demented’ little hen! It sounds like the basis of a sitcom never mind daily life haha 😀

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    • She isn’t demented. She just has one nonfunctional leg. She’s a real sweetie to us. The dogs have learned to not cross her, though. LOL

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  10. Sounds (and looks) idyllic! Such a great gig for you both.

    But what I’m wondering izzz…

    “34 hens”? What on earth do you do with all those eggs???

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    • Someone skimmed the article and didn’t pay attention. LOL About half of the eggs are sold to neighbors with the money going to the battery hen rescue organization. We get the rest, and um, yeah, we’re eating a lot of eggs. LOL May need to start baking to use them up. 😉

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  11. From our pet sit in Spain I salute you.

    Kinda jealous that you get so much animal interaction though, we’re with two rescued cats here, but there’s a distinct lack of chickens.

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    • Are the cats at least interactive with you? We’re definitely getting our fill of animal love! So nice after such a long time with none.

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  12. Ah, I’m from Yorkshire. It’s a beautiful place, it’s so good to see people enjoying it! I’m bemused by how traditional your housesit seems to be – old house, fields, animals, pubs and chippies! Amazing. Hope you’re having a great time.

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    • We are loving it for sure! It is absolutely gorgeous here. I can see why so many people get besotted with the area.

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