Thursday, 26 September 2013

Ponies are back for a holiday.

Keith brought the ponies back for a holiday as he needed them to munch some grass for him.

Sadly, the geese were not as pleased to see them...

Cleo didn't make it and left us on Monday.

These are the cockerels having their meal worms, its a race.

Snowy has finally broken out of her 'broody' phase. Copper caught one of her toes in the slots of the nest box she was in. We released her with the help of some washing up liquid and stood her in some cold water afterwards. Earlier I had to help Mrs Bustles head out of the egg box part of the nest box, she must have been curious what was down there. I had taken the straw out that we had put in to encourage the hens to lay in the boxes, perhaps I'd better put it back!
Last week I had 19 chicken eggs and 6 duck eggs. I had a lovely time on Saturday making cookies, biscuits, a salmon & courgette flan and a big Duck egg cake (that was gone by Sunday!). Only Bubble is still laying and she has now made herself a nest round the other side of the pond, which involves climbing fences.
This weekend I am going to make the Christmas cake. It needs to be made early so that there is plenty of time to soak it in Whisky!!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Bug Hunting

First a Cleo update
She is hanging on, eating and drinking fine just unwilling to try and stand she still seems to have plenty of strength in her wings and legs though when we handle her so who knows she may make it through.

I hope so as she was such a cute little chick and I am so cross I stood on her.
I rather wish it had been one of the boys as then it would have been a different story followed by a visit to the freezer...........

Cleo a few weeks ago.

At lunch time today I was surveying the boundary hedges as they are due for a serious haircut this year.

I came across a pair of mating Dragonflies on a blackberry I went indoors to fetch my camera but on my return they had gone however one was nearby settled on the post

On the original blackberry bush was this butterfly

Meanwhile some of the boys were bug hunting.
These are some of our Lavender Araucanas


And the Vorwerks

 A SLW (Silver Laced Wyandotte)

The Chickens love Apple as well and we have loads on the trees this year which is incedible considering the damage the weather and sheep have done, the trees hardly have any bark left!

Cleos Brother

Mars keeping an eye on me.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Cleo's not so good

We had the 'plaster' off Cleo's foot yesterday and it looks OK as far as it is the right colour and the skin/scales on her leg and ankle are healed. There is a bit of a lump where the break is and I suppose that's where the new bone has grown. However, she can't seem to stand up and is quite wobbly on her legs, except when I put her down on the grass outside yesterday and she bolted off towards the field! Keith put her back in with the others this morning but they were pecking her a lot and she didn't have the strength to run away so she is in the Eglu up on the grass outside the conservatory, which is softer than the slabs and straw she was on before. That does mean she is isolated from the rest of the flock for the moment whereas before she was on the platform and had them all walking around and on top of her run.

Egg count this week -
Chickens - 12
Ducks - 8
Still have a broody Snowdrop but it looks like Dotty may be laying again. I had three chicken eggs this morning but only one duck egg and that was Bubble, who is also looking a little under the weather and quite thin although she seems to be eating well. Thing is she's been through the moult, is growing new feathers and laying eggs. I don't think that's a good thing for any bird, they should be putting all their energy into new feathers or eggs not both at the same time.

All the roosters that we are sure of, (except Legless and Godzilla) are now in the tractor in the orchard. The last six went in yesterday evening after spending the day together out in the field, and there was a fight or two from the other birds but it all seemed to settle down as it got darker. Today when I took the meal worms down, there were two distinct groups standing by the fence waiting. Even though they are 'brothers', there is a distinct divide between them. 'Yellow Curry' is the top roo followed by his right hand man 'Red Curry'. Named after the leg rings and the meal they may or may not end up in.

These are the 'old' roosters.

These are the 'new' guys being watched by Yellow Curry.

Here's a nice looking sheep and there is Mr. T. (below left) due to the hairstyle,  who is probably a girl and my have to be renamed Misty. And Gerbil, because of her cheek muffs, having a snack with one of the lambs. They really like rose hips!

This ball of fluff is Legless.

This green chicken is a Diesel along with one of the Zebra's

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Been busy digging up the potato's, picking more beans, drying and tying onions, courgettes are going berserk(but the chickens love them), dug the spring onions before the baby bunnies eat any more of the tops off them and the beetroot which have grown rather large all of a sudden.

The broad beans are sprouting from the bottoms, so I cut the old stems off and let the new ones flower.
The sweetcorn is rather late so I'm not convinced I will have much from them.
The parsnips are getting a lot of leaf, which is good, unlike the carrots and lettuce that don't have any leaf at all - baby bunnies again.
Runner beans are growing before my eyes and the freezer is filling.
Pea's have finished, even though there are a few flowers still, the pods that are still hanging on are not filling out.
Cucumbers have still got a few flowers on in the greenhouse and the tomatoes were not very good this year but I have had some.
I tried celery which is nowhere near the size of the ones in the shops but I did try a peice, it was a bit tough and the flavour was strong.
I still have the potatos in bags to tip out and a few rogue ones that are growing among the beans, sweetcorn and courgettes. That will last us well into next year and the christmas dinner will be all 'home grown' maybe even down to the meat?!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Cleo's broken toe.

Cleopatra, our Welsummer, broke her toe getting under Keith's feet yesterday. After some research on the Internet we decided to splint it and see what happens.
We assembled everything we might or might not need, sponge, a piece of plastic cut from an ice cream lid, masking tape, duck tape, cotton wool, antiseptic wash, scissors, towels.
 Poor Cleo, she didn't like being wrapped up in a towel.
 Washed her foot with some antiseptic,

 dried it off, it looked bruised.
 Used masking tape to hold it in place on a specially put together splint to try and hold the toes straight.

 And then covered it all in duck tape, no pun intended but it does look like a flipper.
If she doesn't pull it off herself then it can come off next weekend.

Put three of the Araucana cockerels in the Dalek and some of the chickens we know are girls up in the barn. (Cleo was one of them but now she's in the recovery run.) They are settling OK at the moment, the girls had to be put on the perches the first night, they were not sure what to do but are getting the hang of things.

Egg Count -
Chickens - 11
Ducks - 10
They are really slowing down now, only Mrs Bustle and Copper are laying and Copper is the first to be laying in the nest boxes in the barn.