Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Meet Sam, Molly and Suzie

We decided on a Beagle... and some Corgis, Or put another way a proper dog for Alden and I and a couple of ankle bitters for Karen, she had wanted another Corgi for years and when we went to choose one of these two well... she could not decide so we had them both!

If you consider I could be nearing 70 by the time these three go we decided if we were going to have more than one dog again this was the right time.

We bought Sam via an ad on preloved, his previous owners were very diligent and brought him here themselves in order to check us out, Alden had the opportunity to play with him and decide if a Beagle fits the bill he decided yes quite quickly.

Sam is a lovely chap 16 months old relatively well behaved and his only vice is he does not understand the word 'Down' yet! He has very good 'doggy' manners and meets and greets other dogs without any drama a refreshing change to Teaser as she was always nervous and barked constantly.

He loves his walks and displays typical hound traits of exploring and clearing off into the distance given any opportunity. He has taken very well to the Corgis which, as we had expected is in part due to his relative young age he is really good with them only getting a bit over excited when their little needle like puppy teeth find a soft spot!

Where's that wabbit:

 Someone mention wabbit?

Here we have Suzie on the left and Molly on the right, they  both had rather dicky tummies on arrival but since sorting that out they have been clean over night which is very good for relatively young puppies. We are waiting to give them their second vaccination shots then a couple of weeks later Karen can start to walk them, meanwhile they jealously watch Sam go for his walks!

Sam spend his days on the landing keeping an eye on me as my office is on the left!
We have dug out one of the baby gates to keep the Corgis down stairs as so far they can get up the stairs ok but not down!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Teaser 2000 - 2014

On Friday we sadly had to have Teaser pts. She had been suffering from arthritis for the last 18 months and had been on an anti-inflammatory drug called Metacam for most of this year. In the last few weeks she was clearly beginning to suffer pain and was finding it harder to stand on her own often needing us to carry her outside. So we had to make the difficult but inevitable decision and she is now buried in the Garden.

We will keep the fond memories of her and she sits within our families (dog) history as a real character.

So now what next maybe another Corgi or Dalmatian, perhaps a Beagle as I have memories of the one I had many years ago, I personally would love another Springer Spaniel but with the large Pond in the field I know we would have a permanently wet dog!

As both Peter and David will (should) have left home by the time the next dog we get reaches into old age we are going to let Alden have a say in the next one as it will most likely become his long term companion over the next few years, and Alden will take on Peters role of chief dog walker at the weekends

Teaser 2000(ish) - 19/09/2014

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


The Geese decided to sit on their first clutch of eggs.
It was chaos :)
Both sat on a kind of stereo nest in the Dog Kennel.
Both pinched each others eggs.

Several were infertile.
Several breakages from big Goose feet, Geese seem a bit clumsy.

Then one little Gosling appeared. A day later I fould another crushed and dead as it was hatching.
the following day I heard another pipping I kept a close eye and found its egg also crushed but it was still alive. I decided it needed some help and put it in the incubator, where it hatched and after 24 hours to dry off I placed the gosling under mother Gooses wing with her brother or sister.

We had several more eggs, one went bang as I examined it and the smell of rotten goose egg is not nice.
One that was fertile but was about a week late, it hatched but the gosling did not seem properly developed and I culled it.

So we have two and we now have a productive breeding trio of Geese.
Meet Lucky (or Lucy) and Squash

Monday, 24 February 2014

Wheely bin to the rescue and titchies!

Last week Alden noticed one of the Appenzellars going into some bushes beside the Bungalow and emerging a bit later going La La La La La La La La La.

On investigation he found a pile of Eggs 23 of them!
We have three or four regular escapees that spend their days in the Garden rather than the field

Clearly one of more birds had been laying there for days.

It was not a good place to be laying eggs and once they had been disturbed it was abandoned in preference to the Dog Kennel I have in the garage which we use to house poorly birds.

The garage is normaly locked so this morning today I found two hens A Scot Grey and one of the four Appenzellars under the car port clearly looking desperate

I steered them back into the run where all the proper nest boxes are but nope so were soon over the fence again.

So then I thought about our broken Wheely Bin
We were using it for hay bales as they are a perfect fit so I took out most of the hay and laid it on its side.
In not time at all two eggs appeared so it looks like we have yet another communal nest box.

A long time ago (in Alden terms) well about 18months ago to be precise Alden saw some Yellow Partridge Bantams and has been going on about them ever since. well this weekend he bought some from a local breeder with his pocket money. They are tiny as in Blackbird size so the eggs will be extremely tiny as well yet will he dare try a tiny omelette or boiled egg.......... no!

They look just like these

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Good News, sort of

Well I survived the Cull (not the Chicken kind) and still have a job for now.

Hard to say for how long though as the company I work for seems hell bent on demoralising and offloading most of the UK staff.

Karen and I am off for her second dose of Chemo on Friday morning. So far she has not had too many side effects and I really hope it stays that way

The Chickens are coping amazingly well with this dreadful wet 12 eggs yesterday that's pretty good for this time of year!

Lets rewind to warmer weather when flowers could hide lurking monsters

And baby Chicks could Sunbathe

Saturday, 11 January 2014

An Update on Karen and no Sheep now.

Karen had her fist Chemotherapy treatment yesterday it went well (for want of a better word)
However she is now already feeling the effects and is a little bit queasy.

She has a myriad of anti sickness tablets to take for most of the coming week plus requires injection every day for 7 days after each three weekly Chemo session of steroids to maintain her immune system.

She gets to go and collect a wig on Tuesday but will she wear it I wonder :)
In fact Tuesday will be a busy day as she is getting an MOT - well a Bone scan and a spinal scan as well

To top off an already difficult  start to the year I work for a huge well  known, company. 'They' decided to tell me last week there is a 40% chance I will be made redundant by the end of the month!

I will know (if they keep their word) by next Wednesday if I am on the scrap heap or not!

A sad day today
I had a surprisingly good response to the advert I placed on Preloved  and I took Mars and Leo to a new home on a farm in Market Drayton today.
Lots of space for them there but I will miss them.

However in reality we simply don't have enough winter grazing here which mean buying in hay which defeats the object of having them. Plus alternating the ponies between here and our neighbours field in the spring may be the best option as it will allow me the manage the grass here more easily as I still want to keep something to eat it instead of mow it

However the Chickens and Geese do seem to get through a surprising amount themselves......... more Geese perhaps..........

For now as it so wet and muddy underfoot the Ponies are back here boxed each night and wrecking the remaining grass by day. In fact I think they welcomed it as I think even for Shetlands it has been a tad too wet of late!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Roundup - almost one year on since starting this Blog

What a difference a year makes!
We started out on an exercise to avoid mowing our paddock and to provide some eggs (and as it transpired some poultry) for the table.

So in late Autumn 2012 we were busy putting up new stock fencing etc.
Primarily to allow the Chickens to free range in relatively safety but also so we could consider a suitable type of four legged lawn mowers. A single Horse or Pony that we could ride and or Alpacas were high up on the short-list but at hundreds to thousands of pounds each they proved a little too expensive.

On Jan 1st last year we bought four Soay Sheep that became seven with the fantastic arrival of three lambs in the spring, as well as a couple of Shetland Ponies, and we had great fun acquiring the three Geese and hatching loads of chickens later in the year. We did not add to the Ducks we already had as eight of them (now seven) have proven more than enough for a good supply of eggs and muddy puddles........Ducks like mud!

All was going well until November when Karen was diagnosed with Cancer, and following successful surgery earlier this month she will soon be undertaking a course of Chemo then Radio therapy.

That however has forced us to make some sad but necessary decisions as Karen will need looking after and a lot of rest for the next few months.

So on Sunday I took all our Ewes to Linda (who we originally bought the Ponies from) in Wem and I have advertised Mars and Leo on Preloved. If I can't home the then I think they will be off to the slaughter house...........lets hope not.

I will possibly be looking to re home the Ponies as well although they are much easier to manage than the sheep as they are completely portable on leads! David dutifully tends to them daily, they have almost munched their way through our neighbours field so we will be bringing them home shortly which will make them easier to look after. This wretched heavy rain is a repeat of last year and does not bode well for our paddock however last spring looking at the muddy expanse I had no idea if the grass would ever recover, this year I know differently!

The Ducks and Geese can pretty much fend for themselves so we will keep them and the Chickens I look after during my lunch breaks.

With hindsight buying several more birds from Oswestry auction in October was a bad idea as right now we could do with fewer chickens but it does not take that much longer to look after them all plus if they become too much trouble then there is always the freezer for some of the older ones that seem to think not laying eggs is an option :)

We are also slowly eating the roosters we hatched out in May! That has proven to be an experience as this time last year we had never killed and eaten anything home grown ever! Now as our summer chicks grow we are seeing the results lovely blue and white eggs to go with the varying shades of Browns from the hens and something nice for dinner from the Roosters and even the odd Rabbit.