Friday, March 10, 2006

Guess what secret I have been keeping? Read on!

Eggs - Total to date: 287 - Day 128

KoKKo 95 (86grms) 29.11.2005 Personal best weight
Adelaide 96 (80grms) 26.02.2006 Personal best weight
Ginger 96 (78grms) 22.2.2005 Personal best weight

I am taking a bit of a breather and giving my back a rest before I start cooking this afternoon.

From where I am sitting in the lounge, I can see through my patio doors to the pond beyond, and the surface is bouncing and rippling where the raindrop are hammering down on it. The fish don’t see to mind though and I can see some of the goldfish, and Hoover the huge black carp near the surface. It is still too cold to start feeding them, and all winter I marvel at they fact they survive without food. Nature is such a wonderful thing.

Another wonderful thing I can see which makes me really laugh out loud, are two tiny wrens. I have a raised flower bed running at right angles to the bungalow. It is made up of four railway sleepers and it is wonderful to see what is going on at eye level when you are sitting down. What is, and has been entertaining me these past few days are the wrens. They are running around and around a willow obelisk I made a couple of years ago, and put in the bed to give it height. It is planted with clematis, and in the centre is a plant – I know not the name – with grassy leaves, that I bought from a stall somewhere by the side of the road, and now fills the entire centre.

For days now, the wrens have been running around and around one way, and then the next – looking like they are playing a game of hide and seek – or catch me if you can. They seem full of the joys of Spring and probably are, as my guess is, that it is a mating dance. Such tiny birds, but they race around at top speed for about an hour at a time!

Despite the rain, I spent this morning doing more in the chicken pen. I moved their Eglu and run, and raked all the wood chippings out of it, ready to put fresh down, but the girls were and still are, having such a fine time of scratching around and finding little worms, that I have decided to leave it until tomorrow or Sunday morning.

All day the rain has not stopped, but the chooks seem to be positively relishing it. There must be rich pickings now that the layer of wood chippings have been removed.

The other thing I have been doing is clearing out and tidying up my lean-to. This was a structure that the previous owner had had built onto the rear of the garages. Just a wooden framework with plastic corrugated roofing sheets. We had half of it enclosed and turned into a potting shed for me, and the other half enclosed up to window height but left open and I now have clothes lines under it so can leave washing out whatever the weather and throughout winter. Sorry – boring stuff you don’t need to know.

My main reason for the spring clean of the potting shed is because I want to use it to house my three chooks over night for a few days as I am adopting three more!

Someone advertised a home wanted for three bantams, which are located in London. I thought that they would be snapped up straight away, but they were not. So I said that I would adopt them as a last resort, but that I lived in Norfolk – miles away. A week or so ago I got a reply and when I asked if they could meet me, as it was too far for me to drive there and back, I waited for a reply. Then I received some photos, and then this week I got an email to ask if Sunday would be O.K.

So I have been bursting with excitement to talk about it – but have had to stay cool as Pat doesn’t know!

I want to go and collect them whilst he is watching the rugby final on television on Sunday and I will be gone a couple of hours at least – so I don’t now how to broach the subject at the moment! LOL

Anyway, today I have cleared out almost the entire lean to, except for a fitted bench along one wall. Everything is now neatly stacked and on shelves and protected so that the girls can’t hurt themselves on anything or knock any piles of pots over. Luckily they do not fly much – only Adelaide and that is only on top of the Eglu and dust bath to see what I am up too.

I have made them a temporary ‘bedroom’ complete with nesting box and privacy screen (a woven wicker lid off a picnic basket, which just happened to be the perfect size, so is now nailed on to the solid wooden box that resided in my garden shed and had my flower arranging containers in it! Their new night time hotel is ready for occupation and stood on bricks. The floor of the potting shed is paving slabs but with a narrow strip of soil down one side – so the girls will have great fun spreading that all around. I have put long wide tray of gravel in for them too, and it is nice and bright and dry and draught proof and the area is about 12ft by 4ft that they can actually use.

It would make a good chicken house actually, as to one side there is a raised flower bed, and sliding windows.

My plan is to clear out the Eglu house on Sunday morning, and put all fresh wood chips in the run and pen, and bedding in the nest box (after the girls have laid their eggs of course.) I will leave KoKKo, Adelaide and Ginger in the big pen, but excluded from the run – unless it is raining, then I will put them in the potting shed when I go to collect the newbies. They can, and do, shelter in their covered dust bath, so I might let them do that if they are happy, until roosting time, when I will move them.

The three newbies will have the Eglu and run overnight, then just the run during the day, leaving access to the Eglu via the egg port so the triplets can lay their eggs as usual (if they haven’t laid them already in their other temporary accommodation).
I hope to set up feeding stations on the inside and outside of the run, so that they get to feed in close proximity to each other, then after a couple of days will introduce them all together. Fingers crossed that it all goes to plan and well.

I had hoped that I would have had the netting in place and some outdoor perches up before the new girls arrived but with short notice I have had to improvise – hence keeping them apart for a bit. With the outdoor perches the bantams would have somewhere they could perch if they needed to escape attention!

I am now off to bake some goodies to make up a hamper for the lady who is giving me the bantams. Homemade lemon and lime curd, some home made cakes and biscuits and marmalade and some eggs too of course – and anything else I can think of as I am doing it.

And here are the cause of all my hard work and subterfuge - do you think they are worth it? I do!


  1. you wont be sorry. they are cochrin and that is a special breed. if you had rooster you could raise and sell baby batamns. they will set a least once a year maybe twice and they are good mothers. another thing good about them tho their eggs are small they live on next to nothing.the off spring are small and not much to eat if you butcher but would be young and tender until about 6 month. make a nice meal for you and pat.i am so excited about them , they are really pretty. patsy

  2. I have a british web site for birds that I have in my faviorites. I looked for a picture of your wrens and they look just like ours. they have the most beatuiful song the ear could ever here. they are called house wrens here because they usually nest around houses.we also have the English sparrow that was interduced in our country in early days. they have increased in hugh no. and I wish you had them back. they are a pain.

  3. Yes please, can we have some sparrows back as our numbers after falling over here. I think that they are cute. Maybe not too exciting in the colour department, but they do a good job of eating aphids in the summer off my roses

    Aren't the batams lovely - and no way would I eat them.

    I get my chickens for the oven from a friend on mine. My chooks all have names as they are not pets. None of them are called 'Dinner' LOL

    Thanks for your comments. I am enjoying reading yours and your sisters blogs and those on your list.

  4. Anonymous7:27 pm

    Ooooh you naughty girl! Better give Pat a good Sunday lunch, men can't argue too much on a full stomach....LOL! They newbies are lovely, very pretty too! Wish I could keep hens...maybe when I move....?

    I had a lovely sleep thanks, slobbered all over my pillow and hair is 'Mohican' style, Too much information I know!

    I'm all excited with you over the new girls, have they got names already?

    Have a nice weekend, hope Pat doesn't sulk too much :-)


  5. Anonymous7:49 pm

    Great news Kooringa - they look sooo cute.

    I can't wait to hear how you get on on Sunday.
    Clare T

  6. Thanks Clare and Sandie

    No names yet! I have been too wrapped up in looking cool and laid back - when I have been bursting with excitement inside!

  7. see what happened with the sparrows in this country the climate and all was so great for them they grew in no. at alarming rate so now they are a nuniance.I wish we could send part of them back.but they are alive and their song is pretty so I don't grip about them.I really don't complain about any bird or animals. I could do with a few less dogs here where we live but they belong to some one and I am sure that they are loved.have a good night.

  8. denise t3:27 am

    oh they are GORGEOUS! lucky, lucky YOU!

  9. joared10:37 am

    What beautiful bantams! Just when I thot I might visit less frequently due to my limited amount of time, now I must keep coming. I must see and read about how the big and little chooks adjust to one another.

    Also, did not know you had fish, too. When the time is right, do take a picture of them, especially the big black carp.

    I still remember the wrens in a special little house my brother hung just for them outside our kitchen window when I was a very little pre-school age girl. Such beautiful music they made!

  10. Anonymous3:50 pm

    Done it!

    Got a blog!



Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is very much appreciated. Your comment will appear after moderation.