Thursday, May 25, 2006

Day Off - But I would rather have not had!

Patsy from from the USA guessed right - they are sweet potato slips - which are popular over there.

So I have to make a mound of loose soil with lots of humus - sounds like you treat them like pumpkins - so I am going to give them a go - but not plant them out until the beginning of June when all danger of frost is over and the soil will be warmer.

In the meantime they will be planted in pots and nurtured.

Unfortunately I had to pay a visit to the doc today as a 'medical emergency'. Our village doctors and surgery are brilliant - not just my opinion - we are really very lucky.

Anyway - it has meant that I have not been able to do much today, but am feeling a lot better now, so normal service will resume tomorrow.

I have plans to make more rhubarb and ginger jam - with some rhubarb from the freezer and some from the allotment - as an experiment to see if using frozen rhubarb will work just as well.

Ginger, KoKKo and Adelaide's run will need to be moved, they have been on the same site for three days now, and I like to move it every other day. They are laying well - and so I have been giving eggs away, but I hope to have a big baking session. I haven't made any cakes for a while, and some biscuits would be nice too. Lets hope I get to do them over the weekend.

I have spotted a weed here and there in the front garden - how they managed to squeeze in amongst all the plants is a mystery and also because of all the mulch and manure I used. Perhaps that's the reason - the horses eat weeds and maybe some of the weed seeds would have survived to grow in my garden?

One thing that I forgot to mention the other day was about the banties.

You know that Dilly has been broody for so long now, and I have tried different methods to encourage her to stay off the nest. But I am a big softie. Now Freckles is broody too, so two grumpy old women that attack me is a bit much. I have to lift them out of the nest box, where they sit grumbling at each other, in order to ensure that they eat and drink and exercise etc or else they would not leave the nest.

I had read about dunking their bottoms into cold water to cool them down - I did it once to Dilly and it didn't make any difference. Patsy suggested to use ice cubes.

When Freckles decided to go broody, I thought that I would try the ice cube approach - but with a different method. I used one of those big plastic cold blocks that you freeze and add to you cool bag to keep food cold or frozen food frozen.

I wrapped it in a plastic carrier bag, and put it into their nest box. I thought that the broody bantams would get in the nest box and get off it when they found that it was either totally uncomfortable because it was a hard slab rather than the nice nesting material - or because it was cold.

Imagine my surprise when I looked inside and saw that Freckles had made herself comfortable on the ice block, and not only that - she spent the whole night on it!

So it just shows you, that with a feather duvet for a coat, you can spend the whole night on an ice block! I don't think that I will ever worry about them in the winter again!

So - yet another idea bites the dust! What is next on the list?


  1. what i read was 2 days on the ice and they wont be broody so give them another day on ice and see. the Lizzard is a advertisement in this country for Gieco, a car insurance co. The gecko talks with a british acent and juct makes me laugh. wish you could see it, very funny. he says anyone want pie and chips, course everyone want pie and chip. you have pie and you have chips. then he tries to sell you gieco car insurance.

  2. you have lettuce and you have rocket, what is rocket?

  3. Bermuda Buttercup
    Family Oxalidaceae
    Oxalis pes-caprae
    Small perennial herb with trifoliate (clover-like) leaves are derived from an enlarged basal stem tip. Flowers are bright yellow and arranged in an umbel-like inflorescences with fewer than 20 flowers each. Yellow petals are less than 2.5 cm in length. Stems have a sour taste
    i found it!

  4. I saw a programme once about the King Penguin. Apparently they incubate the eggs on the male penguins feet, tucked under his fronnt belly feathers. They stand on the ice for months waiting for their mates to return and take over. It defies the imagination that they can do that for so long, without food, and hatch a perfect baby penguin at the end of it.

    In the past the method of stopping broodiness was to hang the chicken up in a wire cage in the wind til she gave up the idea!!!!!

  5. Patsy - Rocket is used as a salad leaf. It has a peppery taste and I eat the flowers which are delicious.

    Thanks for all the info on your weeds. I recognise the names now.

    I will try the cold block for two days in a row to see if it works on the bantams - thanks for that.

    Lilym - thanks for your tip too, I read a comment that a lady left on a US site and she said that she hung cages up from her trees with the broody chickens in for as long as it takes to shake them out of it, - they do have food and water of course.

    I don't think that I could do that. I do have trees and could get a cage - but it would upset me more than being attacked and having broody hens LOL

    So if the cold block does not work then I will give up!

  6. actually i think you might as well give up because banties will set , that is their trade mark. don't worry about them eating and drinking because they will come off to eat and drink but how long they will set i don't know. when i set a hen i have learned it is best not to move them so maybe if you could move them it would help. don't know if the ice thing will work or not. banties are banties.

  7. i have two more trying to set, trying to figure out where to set them. ha.

  8. Hi Lottie
    For broody chooks I have just used a wire bottomed cage off the ground up on bricks if you know what I mean. I think the main thin is that there is nowhere or anything to make a nest. But Patsy is right about Banties. I also read that the sooner you put them in the cage the better, something about being in the cage as long as they have been broody so Freckles shouldn't take too long but I don't know about Dilly!!!!
    Hope things are warmer for you than they are here. Its starting to come in cold over here. Minus 6 degrees C Wednesday morning in my veg garden. I did your trick in the morning with some boiling water over the Chooks iced up water bucket brrrrr. They are already having warm mash each day. These 12 new girls we recently got are laying a dozen eggs a day so we don't mind the extra care they take. The extra eggs are going to trading tables in town and into the freezer as quiches and all the other foods we were dreaming of making when we didn't have any eggs.
    I thought my remaing summer veg might hang on a bit but I think this is the end of the capsicums and chilli and the last basil went black. It's still a week till winter starts!!! The fruit trees haven't even lost all their leaves yet!
    But I love these cold mornings when we wear many layers of clothing to keep warm we know the long hot summer days will be back before we know it with 40 degrees plus days on end.
    Still not much rain over here but thats normal.
    Hope your warm weather makes you feel better but take is easy all the same.
    Bye for now Scarecrow

  9. This is an extract from an old poultry keepers book I was given. Don't you just love the English (let's face it, "evince" and "durance" are not easy words to drop into daily conversation). The coop referred to is like an old fruit crate with bars on the front but with a base angled at 45%. I can't imagaine how it worked nor whether it was particularly humane.

    For what it's worth, my personal advice is just to be persistent and exclude your "lasses" from their nest boxes once they have done their daily duty. One of our maran crosses was recently broody for what seemed an age (about 4 weeks I think). She lost weight, her comb lost colour but when eventually she decided enough was enough she soon recovered and now we are now back to full production.

    The time will arrive when the laying hen will evince an inclination to sit, and if the owner of the hen is inclined to let the hen hatch out a brood of chicks, supposing that she is one of a race of sitters, he may-after two, three, or even more days have passed, to show that she is really " cluck," as the phrase runs in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, or " broody " as it is mostly termed elsewhere-proceed to provide her with the requisite number, of eggs and let her go to work. If, however, he does not care to allow her to sit, I can tell him at once how she may be broken of the inclination, and that is by putting her in a coop of the shape shown in Fig. 14, which is provided with a bottom, and tilting the coop either forwards or backwards by placing a couple of bricks under the coop at the back or in the front as the case may be. The tilting of the coop prevents the fowl from settling down and compels it to have recourse to standing. This compulsion when the hen has been subjected to it for a week or so, drives all thought of sitting out of its head, and it is glad to be released at length from durance vile and go on laying as before. If two or three hens go "cluck" at the same time they may be put in the coop together, when the presence of the others will only add to the discomfort of each and every fowl placed in the coop. It will be better to place the bricks at the back of the coop and tilt it forwards, so that the imprisoned fowls may have a better chance of picking up the grain, soft food, and water placed in front of the coop for their nutriment.

  10. by heck! Broody chooks!What happened to dilly sitting on some pheasant eggs? is it too late in the season now? wait for it is that 3 chooks nesting now?LOL!
    You've got your work cut out with the banties hey? Bless their feathery skirts!
    Have you been over doing it again Hmmm? It's no use ticking you off, the pain must be enough.Mind you, if you're still on lots of painkillers,you'll be needing some rhubarb to 'get you going'! When I had persistent back pain, I ate loads of ryvita and liquorice, apples and the like with lots of water!
    Didn't get to go to Chelsea Flower show, the woman organising the trip,waited too long for people to confirm they wanted to go, that all the tickets were sold out...still there's fairly good coverage on the 'old box' and the 'tinterenet'!
    Don't need any more ideas or plants, just the space and energy to carry on gardening!
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Hi Al,
    Could you send me or put on here your favourite pics of your chooks, either individually or grouped, so that I have a pic of all six? The plot thickens...have been e-mailing you at the address I had sometime back, but have had no replies, could it be an invalid address now I wonder?. Also need some sizing again re-the pinny(Apron). I'm making a new one for myself,(might make 2!) one definately on a gardening theme, one with cats' and chooks. I have so much fabric that I might start making bas and aprons for the Cats' Protection Summer sales again, they went well a few years ago and some folk are still seen with the bags, looking a little worn, so time they had new ones don't you think?LOL!

  12. Hello Sandie

    I have just logged on to type a bit of blog and got your message.

    I don't know what the problem is with the email. I do have a couple of addresses and get emails through OK.

    If you do make bags and aprons for the Cats' Protection sales - can I please order some in advance for presents?

    I will look up some photos of the chooks certainly - thanks for you lovely comments.

    Joy o Joy I got four hours sleep in one go last night and I felt so much better for it.

  13. 4hours kip? ...and I complain I've not had enough at 5- 5and a half hours LOL!

    I'm having a full-out sewing day tomorrow, what I do is clear the furniture to the edges of the living room, open the door to the stairs so that the cats get their rare treat of sleeping on the beds/windowsills(keeps them off of my sewing stuff), have a variety of things on the go, like cutting out,machine sewing,turning out things to the 'right' side,hand sewing, matching up fabrics and notions etc,etc. That way I hopefully don't spend all my time in one position and get up and move around. The sewing machine is on a sturdy campers' table.
    When I've made a few bags, I'll post some pics on my blog, they'll be a mixture of designs/techniques so plenty of ideas for folks' pressies!
    The bags should do well, as I'm trying to promote the use of re-usable/washable bags for shopping, instead of throwaway plastic ones.
    Some of the bags will have a little pocket with a button on with a press stud(snapper)fastener on, so that you can put keys/money-off coupons etc in there.Most, if not all of the bags will be lined, yes, I've got a lot of fabric! LOL! And I thought it was the cavity wall insulation that kept the house warm over winter,LOL!
    I'll try your email addy that I've got again overthe weekend.
    bye for now!

  14. just having a break from the sewing, which turned out to be an all-sorts day! Suddenly remembered the road tax which I needed to get today, as I will be busy next week when the post office opens, then realised I could do it online now I have the new style M.O.T certificate! Derr!
    The blogger pic is working again, at least at the moment it is...oh well, back to the grindstone! and what a pleasurable one it is!

  15. How brilliant Sandie to have a whole day making things uninterrupted - sounds like fun.

    I am so looking forward to seeing the bags and other things that you make.

    Glad it is not just me who had a problem at times with the blogger downloading photos. I think it depends on the time of day I do it.

    I have to remember that it is night time in the USA when they usually update and archive things which seems to affect some aspects of the blog.

    Have a good Bank Holiday.

    I haven't forgotten the photos you want, just haven't had time to do it yet. But hope to over the weekend.


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