Thursday, 31 January 2013

I cleaned the Duck Shed and Chicken Coop today

I have been cleaning the ducks shed and chickens Eglu today. My goodness they needed a good scrub, as I didn't do it last week in the freezing weather, it showed. How those ducks manage to get the roof so dirty I just don't know. They must have a glitter ball in there somewhere and maybe Funny Bunny is the D.J., it certainly looks like they had a great party and disco. The chickens would never do that sort of thing, they are far too well mannered.
Having now stopped the chickens from trying to drink from the bucket with the disinfectant in it, I'm now having to keep the ponies out, but they don't like the bubbles and it smells funny so they leave it alone pretty quick. However, the new straw is another matter. Trying to get a wheelbarrow of clean straw through the gate and down to the duck shed in the mud and past two hungry ponies is a challenge.
The old straw is spread up by the gate to try and make it a little less slippery and soak up some of the water. I can rake it up and move it when the ground dries up a bit.
It's been sunny and windy all day, which is nice, but really cold, I've had the fire on. I was frozen after cleaning the shed, and it must have rained a bit last night because the mud is dreadful again today. Rather hoping the next lot will miss us tomorrow.
The chickens are keeping their feet dry at least, scratching through the horse manure and getting it into the soil for my veg. The old swing frame is great for stringing beans up, and the two wooden things are made from the trunks of the Leylanii that Keith cut down some years ago. I dig them into the ground so they don't fall over and with a bamboo cane across the top, hang the netting for my pea's. Works a treat.
No eggs today, I thought Gladys would have loved snuggling up in the straw. The other two are getting old, they must be nearly four by now, and as chickens have a set number of eggs they can lay in their lifetimes, they probably have laid most, if not all, of them in their previous job as battery hens. No, we are not having roast chicken for dinner on Sunday Keith!!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Those Cardigans again

We had a visit today from Bouncer and Pixies previous owners, Linda and her Daughter who came armed with Carrots and Polo mints to see how they are getting on. Linda said possibly she may have some previous mugshots to send to us of the ponies when they were younger for us to add here.

Earlier in the blog I posted about the Shetland ponies (link in the links pot on the right) wearing Cardigans for a Natural Scotland advert, well the owners daughter Daisy got in on the act as well.

Lastly when putting the birds to bed this evening I found another egg.

Still only one of the three Chickens appears to be laying though.
Definitely time to have a word with the other two Karen!

Vroom Vroom

A better day today, some Sun and enough wind to almost start drying the land a bit.

The roads were dry so it was a chance to take my less often used car for a run, for the first time in weeks, so as I had to go do some shopping at lunch time off I went

This is a 2004 MG ZT 260 V8 one of only just over 800 ever made and mine is also fitted with a Kenne Bell Supercharger.

It is a real Q car, outwardly it may look like a Rover 75 but under the skin MG converted the car from front wheel drive to rear wheel drive. Shoehorned in a Ford 4.6L V8 as found in the Mustang GT substantially modified the suspension and brakes, fitted a limited slip diff and a myriad of other changes. One change to accommodate the Gearbox was a heavily revised Aircon system which is a bit of weak point for these cars but with the V8 soundtrack who needs Aircon, it's windows down most of the time!

In 2010, 5 up kids luggage and all we took this car to Belgium for an MG meeting in Mechelen during a rock concert event called Manrock.
The MG meet the 'Kempenrit' involved a run out to a forest in the countryside for the main meet.
on the way we found this amazing architectural salvage yard so some of us stopped on the way back for a better look.

 Mechelen is an absolutely Gorgeous City with an incredible Cathedral Alden was allowed to ring the Bells


We visited various known and lesser known attractions, including the Atomium twice

 We looked for a WWI Cemetry containing one of Karens relatives as part of her family tree research.

We Stopped at Ypres to go to the Menin Gate memorial on a particularly wet day which put what they went through in the trenches into a degree of context.

Peter liked the Hotel Bar

 You can't go to Belgium and not visit Brussels


We also went to the Ardenne, try reading that sign in a rush to get somewhere!

Packing to go home it all fitted in some how
Despite the full blown rock festival parking within the City near the hotel was superb and the car was very safe overnight

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Beer Kegs

It is Blowing a gale this eveing just like last night. After working all night through the Hurricane of October 1987 at Rochester Airport I don't like strong winds any more, that was a very scary night most people were lucky and slept through it!

The Ponies are in the stable and out of the Mud, the daft things were using the sides of their field shelter as a windbreak this evening rather than go inside of it!

At the far end of the Garden we have a solid block built three sided shelter with a metal corrugated roof.

When we moved here it was a Bar complete with optics barrels and beer coolers they had to go because some of the kegs as the boys discovered still had beer or something... in them!

I found a good use for the kegs

I think with a bit of fence juggling so they can get to it, the building can be an instant shelter for them, as they tend to stand in that corner of the field at night I think it will suit them very well.

The Sheep are hiding under their Tarp and Pallets I want to put the ponies in the same part of the field the sheep are in as it has better grass. but I am holding off till the ground firms up i.e. if it ever stops raining long enough!  That way I can give the larger paddock some recovery time without the smaller one being churned up too much as well

Coop and WIR (walk in run) construction is at that mental working out where all the bits will go stage, so I should have it all in my head ready to restart next weekend weather permitting.

More rain!!

When is it going to stop raining? Not this week apparently. Yesterday the field looked like an Arctic tundra, all the puddles were deep frozen, and there was a lot of them. Didn't expect the frost with all this wind. the snow has all gone now, apart from a few small piles from the snow plough and snowmen.
It has been very windy for the last couple of days, I'm quite glad the Ducks shed is still standing. The ponies have been in the stable to keep them out of the wind and rain, they don't really like it in there but its safer. The sheep just treat it like a sunny day, although they have been under their shelter a lot, especially as their favourite bamboo is surrounded by water.
The chickens are a lot happier today, scratching around in the veg plot where I've been putting some of the horse manure in preparation for a bumper crop of vegetables this year - maybe. At least the new fences should keep the rabbits out. Gladys has been laying an egg every day. I hope the other two start again soon and it would be nice to see a duck egg, they are supposed to be better for baking with than chicken eggs.
Still blowing a gale out there, nice to be in here with the fire going.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

We started the chicken/duck run

 This is Peter, he's not asleep, you can't tell under all that hair but he really was awake. Just waiting for his next job.
 This is where Keith is building the run for the ducks and chickens. The shed on the left will be moved round for the chickens to sleep in and have a nest box on the side.
A few modifications are needed to the old field shelter to make it fit the fencing and the tin roof that's going on the back to give them some shelter.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Yum, Yum.

Now this is what makes keeping chickens worth it. Someone else making breakfast in bed at the weekend. (The toast and bacon from our local supermarket.)
Alden bravely hoovered up the spider last night, it was bigger than I thought it was. It is now residing under the pine tree, hopefully not to return.
Mmmm..... looking forward to tomorrows breakfast.

Mars now has a clean rear end!

Here he is prior to the round-up earlier this morning having his Sugar Beet.

Then later on he was bribed to come back into the pen with some carrots.

Got him!

Next time we need to catch them it should be to worm them all four of them!
We also had a better sunrise today and some reasonable sunshine throughout the day on and off as well.

A passing jet.

'Funny Bunny' made an appearance.

There was some fairly heavy overnight snow but the thaw has already begun. If the forecast is anything to go by, it will be all back to mud again tomorrow!

Hopefully the solar panels might be a bit more productive though as they have been partially or fully covered for the last few days.

Last nights snow knocked out the Sky Satellite TV signal from about 21:00 and in the morning the Chickens had a tunnel instead of a wire run so it was the sticky type of Snow.

The local roads had all been visited by a snow plough.
I have never seen that done here before .

Friday, 25 January 2013

Morhens and Bunnies

Morhens and Bunnies

Tomorrow we plan to Catch Mars and give him a rear end trim and for a laugh try and weigh him.

Today we created a small Corral and fed the Sheep in it so we know they will go in but can we keep them there long enough to grab him!

Photos of us making fools of ourselves chasing tiny sheep will not be posted..........

Meanwhile Morhens and Bunnies
Morhens are very territorial they have been observed creeping up on and chasing off the bunnies in the morning, sorry some of these are a bit out of focus.