Saturday, 29 June 2013

Recycling milk bottles

 First, you take an empty, clean plastic milk jug, cut the side off, cut through the handle and hey presto....
... a water bowl that hangs on the fence for the birds to drink out of, as modelled here by Gladys.
Easy to clean or just rinse out.
 And when they get too dirty, as here, where the geese and ducks like to constantly wash their beaks in them, you can change it for a new one and then put the old one in the recycling box.

Also, cut the bottom off and use as a scoop for food etc.

 Scoop up the food and use the top as a natural funnel.

Poor old Dusty is still hogging the nest box, I've had a few more eggs in the Eglu and down in the duck house by the pond this week. Even the ducks have made a new nest under one of the giant plants by the fence.
The chickens and ducks are not happy this week, they are on 'Marriages' pellets with Flubenvet for worming. This means no treats as they have to eat nothing else but that for a week. Luckily, I can still eat the eggs and I have still given them their meal worms because I felt sorry for them.

Baby chicks are all out surviving in the 'tractor'. Much as I miss watching them while out in the kitchen, it is a lot less smelly now, and cleaner. You would not believe how much dust and fluff they produce, and how dirty they made the window from splashing water and kicking up food, dust and poo! Anyway, they now have lots of room to fly around and chase each other and fight over who is in charge.

We went to the auction at Oswestry showground today, not to buy anything, just to look. There were some weird looking birds there....
 Transylvanian Naked Necks

 and a Polish Frizzle.
.... and some pretty ones...
Hamburgh Gold Spangled
 Cream Legbars
 Millefleur Pekins
 Light Sussex
Hope I have labelled those all correctly. I could have bought loads of them, they were so lovely and then there were the goslings and the Mummy duck with her ducklings and so many Bantam chickens that were so cute.
Maybe next year, for now we still have twenty eight chicks to look after, many of which are cockerels and will need to be separated eventually. As it is, Legless and Godzilla, our Orpington chicks, were facing each other down this afternoon while Boris watched. Lots of staring and ruffling of feathers, even a peck. Well, they are twelve weeks old now so we may even hear them crowing soon. At least it seems we have one girl in Boris.

Quick egg count before I go -
Chickens - 30
Ducks - 15

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Working Geese

The Geese thought it was time to do some weeding

They pulled them up and put them in the bucket and they also ate some and tried to eat the bucket for good measure.

Catherine thought why would anyone leave a dirty glove laying about


So decided to wash it

 Whilst Karen and Alden kept a beady eye on them

Meanwhile it rained for a while and the droplets were shimmering on a Foxglove outside of the Conservatory.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Aldens Blog spot

Click on the above to see Alden's blog. He only started it yesterday so bear with him. He has some photos on there and hopefully will keep writing about his chicks.

Another Broody hen

This is Dusty, our Copper Maran, she has gone broody and is taking all the eggs, even the ducks. I have to keep removing her from the nest box with much squawking and complaining, take her down to the pond where she has a drink and maybe a dust bath before running back. It gives me enough time to gather the eggs providing no one else has sneaked in there. Funnily enough, its only the three hybrids that are laying at the moment, the other Maran and the Barnvelders have stopped. Whether that is anything to do with her going broody or the topsy-turvey weather we've had lately I don't know but the ducks are doing their thing without any trouble. We tried putting her in the Eglu with a couple of duck eggs but she wasn't interested, she just wanted to get back to the nest box. Now Snowy is laying in the Eglu and sometimes Copper. Once the chickens have finished laying I have been closing up the hen house so she cant get in, so she's been sulking in the barn instead.
At least Catherine the Goose seems to have broken the broody bit, she's coming out in the morning on her own without having to be pushed out.
So, the egg count, which covers the last couple of weeks since I last did it,
Chickens - 83 - Total so far - 459
Ducks - 63 - Total so far - 330
Geese - 33, they have finished laying for this year.

The chickens are having a lovely time scratching around in the shrubbery. It's cool and dark in there and there is an enormous number of flies that keeps them busy. It has been warm and a bit humid the last few days so they have spent a great deal of time sitting under there.

The sheep have been laying in the shade of the Silver Birches. There would be more trees for them if they would only STOP EATING THEM!!

That naughty sheep is Marigold, who was the last to lamb and so the last to shed her coat. I have two large carrier bags of wool that I must get on and sort out.

I have had the last of my strawberries from the greenhouse today and the outside ones should be ready soon if the rabbit problem goes away. They have chewed through the fruit cage netting, so not only are they getting in but also the birds. Everything is growing nicely in the veg plot, I have a good crop of peas coming and the Broad beans are flowering. The courgette plants are just budding and the carrots, parsnip, spring onions, beetroot, leeks and lettuce are all growing well. Potatoes are up and looking healthy, I have just finished topping up the ones I'm growing in bags. In the greenhouse the tomatoes are not as big as I would have liked them at this time of the year but they have flowers, and the celery and cucumbers are doing very nicely. The watercress outside is a bit slow to get going and the herbs have been nibbled by... the Rabbits!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Coop Training

Time to get the birdies used to ' upstairs'
Bent Beak and His/Her Brother or Sister both managed to work it out

Some decided to become the Fortress gate keepers
What's the password?

Alden tried to offer Blondie a shortcut.

 But He/She had other ideas

Some Chicks thought that looked rather strange.

Others had to stop for a rest (or Oxygen) on the way up.

Monday, 17 June 2013


We thought the Ponies seemed to have got the hang of getting through the Electric fencing, well bouncer had. Then I discovered the cable from the energiser had broken internally.

Yesterday we went out Sofa shopping (looking) as Karen would like to replace our two, two-seaters as the washable covers are fading and the cushions are losing their shape especially the back rests

So the Ponies did not get their Sunday afternoon strool so instead I brought them up here for the evening to play with the Geese prior to going for a walk on the way back to their field, they really like their walks.

A couple of weeks ago we had the local farrier come in a do their hooves not much needed just a trim.

The Geese are finally over being broody! and the ducks are getting brave!
Here's Jar-jar and Duck Norris investigating the Goose shed!

Jar-jar seems to be recovering well, I pulled a huge thorn out of his left foot a couple of weeks ago.

Meanwhile the Geese were being Geese
Jones spends quite a bit of time observing the Chicks

And eating, he does a lot of that as well!

Raptor Handler....... Boris then and now

Alden is a budding Raptor Handler!
 You start them off young with one of these.

And then you befriend it and let it grow into:

Then you plonk it on a post

And give the command....... Stay!


Where's some Peas then?

Next Alden is going to teach Boris to jump from post onto his arm to retrieve the peas.....Oh yes you are Alden.