Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Chit chat, garden and chooks - and a new personal best - This is my 300th Blog! Wow, what a lot of typing in just a few months

Eggs - Total to date: 244 - Day 109

KoKKo 81 (86grms) 29.11.2005 Personal best
Adelaide 81 (77grms) 13.02.2006 Personal best
Ginger 82 (78grms) 22.2.2006 Personal best *New Personal best today 81grms

Gosh if I thought yesterday was cold – it was mild compared to today and the wind chill factor.

Arum Metallica Pictum - Lords and Ladies - just coming through

I am going to intersperse the text with some photos which I took today of plants in my garden.

Thought it might add a bit of colour to an otherwise dull day.

I think that Adelaide and KoKKo were a bit miffed at me not putting their greens cage into the pen before I went off to see the physio today, as they have not laid an egg as at lunchtime. Ginger did though a new personal best of 81 grams, that is three grams bigger that her biggest egg so far which was in December.

So I wrapped it up in bubble wrap to take with me. (The torture was worse than usual, and as an afterthought involved needles stuck deep into ligaments, must be because I said that I would take two eggs. Subtle ways of getting their own back some people – joke – she is lovely really).

The first daffodils to starting to bud underneath the patio door.

Pat dropped me off near the charity shop where the lady works that has the bantams for sale. Sadly she didn’t have any photos but we did have a nice chat about her animals. ‘About’ twenty chickens including a blind hybrid that lives in a rabbit hutch, a Buff Orpington that was an accident, her daughter bought some eggs to blow, and her brother liked the look of it so persuaded her to put it under a broody hen and got the Buff Orpington! The rest are all sorts of bantams – cross breeds.

I asked her where they all lived, and the bantams just seem to live around the garden – ‘oh and they fly’ she mentioned as an after thought. ‘How high?’ I asked. Apparently high up into the trees to roost. She told me not to go to any expense buying another house or hutch for them as they are really hardy and roost anywhere – and outside in all weathers.

Cream and purple sage that did not die back during the winter

All this means that I shall have to firstly, get the bird netting over the pen sooner rather than later. I was going to do it later for when they formally introduce keeping domestic fowl under cover away from wild birds. Which means that the runs have to be netted to keep any wild birds from getting in and more importantly leaving their droppings.

I could do that now by just putting netting across the top, but I want it higher so that I do not have to stoop. It is about 5 feet 9 inches now, and I am an inch shorter in bare feet, so I want to raise it up to the height of the pergola. Just need a few mild and dry days – some bits of wood and some netting! This will also ensure that the bantams don’t take off over the neighbouring gardens and cause problems!

Snowdrops that just appeared in the raised bed

Talking of potential problems, there is always the pecking order to sort out – so introducing new chickens will mean more pecking. The lady I spoke too, said not to worry about it, just to let them get on with it. The bantams are tough, and if I put in a branch that they can fly up on to – they can keep away from the others when they need too. She said that they also run really fast and are used to looking after themselves – so that is good news. I now know that when they all settle down, they will all fit inside the Eglu to roost, but if they decide not to, I will provide alternative arrangements, but I am sure they will be fine. I think that I will look out for a small tree that has been sawn down, or cut down one out of my cherry tree hedge to put into the pen.

A Christmas Rose

When I came back from town, the chooks greeted me excitedly as usual, which really makes you feel good inside. I took them their greens cage filled with the leaves from another cabbage and some green grapes, and some more layers mash made with warm water – although they don’t seem to mind the cold at all, and stand there with the wind ruffling up their ‘petticoats’ which looks rather fetching.

KoKKo kindly laid me an egg, but Adelaide is being a bit snooty about the whole thing, so will hang onto hers until the last possible minute before she goes to bed no doubt.

I fixed the new door bell that had conked out again, and Pat chose a new ‘tune’by Glenn Miller, but I still rather like the sound of a barking dog!

I am off out to give the girls a leftover Yorkshire pud for their supper.

They always have to take it all out of their food container and throw it around first

Then of course they have to see if anyone has got a better selection than they managed to grab for themselves


  1. Bovey Belle9:40 pm

    Lottie - if you introduce new birds just as it's getting dark, they will be less inclined to make a song and dance about it, and by morning will have settled down quite a bit (found this with our poultry anyway). BB

  2. Thanks for that BB

    Will let you know how I get one when I finally get them

  3. Anonymous2:26 am

    High there!

    We used to call the 'physio's, physioterrorists!

    Just a funny story unrelated to chooks, or gardening, when I worked at the QMCin Nottm, I sometimes worked in the clinics. One particular day I was in the 'Hand' clinic, when a lady came in who had been seen some weeks previously and been prescribed some pain releiving cream called 'Transvasin'. She duly went in to see the consultant and was told to move her arm and hand in various ways. The consultant said he would discharge her from the clinic as she now had a full range of movements in the arm and hand. "Yes",she said, " it's all because of that Transvestite cream you gave me!"It was all I could do not to laugh, but just smile! But it did the trick hey?

    Feel heaps better today! Helping my sister move home next week and looking for somewhere near to her to move to. So, will have to give up the allotment here, will try and 'harvet my onions and garlic before I go, plus some of the fruit trees/bushes i put in last year. which means potting up in big pots, ready for an allotment near to my nephews' allotment.

    Sorry it's such a big reply!
    Maybe when I move, I'll start my own blog!Won't be half as interesting as yours...LOL!

  4. Sandie - I love to read your replies, they are great. Glad to hear that your cold or virus is getting better.

    I hope that you stay in touch when you move - that would be great - and you own blog too - I would enjoy reading that, we could compare notes huh?

    Best wishes

  5. question:
    why do you put your greens in a cage for the chooks to eat, as opposed to letting them eat the greens scattered on the ground?
    also: the girls look so healthy! if they only knew how good they really have it, living with you!

  6. Hello Denise

    Thank you for your lovely comments. The reason I give the chooks some leaves etc in a cage is to make it more interesting for them.

    The cage is hanging on a bungee and as they peck at it it bounces up and down and they swing it about. It also means that the food stays cleaner - chickens tend to rip the food apart and leave bits on the floor that can get trampled on. This way they only pull off small bits and eat them as they go. Not that I suppose that it does them any harm eating dirty greens, but it does mean that there is no food lying around to either rot of encourage wild birds.

    I also put a cabbage on a stick for them to eat like a cabbage lolly pop, or hang up stems of brussel sprouts with the leaft tops on them - and they strip them leaving them looking like palm trees after a storm.

    It seems to be doing the trick as their feathers really gleam in the sun - and look shiny when it is dull, and they lay the deepest verging on orange yolked eggs which taste thick and creamy.

  7. ahhhh thanks! i think its fabulous that you think of your hen's quality of life, and give them something to interest them when they cant be out and about in the yard... i think i may try that greens cage idea too....
    denise t


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