Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Farewell toTrinny and Susannah

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud! Although in the picture above Trinny is actually ice skating. The weather has been abysmal, the chicken run is either a quagmire or an ice rink and I have decided that as I can no longer free range the girls due to the dog problem am going to downsize the flock and hope that fewer hens in the run will make for the odd shoot of grass and maybe a bit less poo. It was not hard to decide who should go, last in first out just like in all the factories that are closing around us. Trinny and Susannah are off to live a life of luxury in a posh Omelet Cube ( state of the art hen hoose) in Renfrewshire, thanks to a very kind fellow Omleteer offering them a home. They will leave on Sunday. I am also hoping to rehome The Veras but if they do not go then of course will keep them until a home is offered. It may be with two less that the mud, squelch, poo problem is a bit better.

The Dove from Above has been returned to the flock and is doing fine. She had two weeks inside, during the worst of the weather and on Saturday I put her out into the homing run as a trial to see if she was flying again, she did and is now eating and drinking with the others so it is good to know that for doos anyway a pinch of bicarb is all that is needed for 'Going Light'

I actually waded through the mud and did some gardening yesterday, I dug over the failed spud patch, the spuds I had put in for Christmas got frosted, however I was delighted to see that some little tatties had grown and we ate them last night, delicious. I also harvested some more Jerusalem Artichokes, if you can grow nothing else you can grow these. I am going to make some soup with a recipe from my 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton. I am busy perusing the seed catalogues to choose what we will grow this year and have settled on Bolthardy Beetroots which last year were great, plus more Broccoli of the purple sprouting type and lots of tomatoes in the greenhouse. Also a few varieties of courgette and maybe some Spring onions and lots of lettuce and herbs.

Now off to make my soup, I understand that Artichokes have a reputation for being wind inducing, I will let you know, although in this house who would notice?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Holly still with us

The little doo in the High Doopendancy Unit is still with us, she seems quite happy living indoors and after the dreadful weather of late who can blame her? She seems to be very perky and bright so after this latest spate of crummy weather has abated we will see if she is flying again, if not she will have to stay indoors a bit longer to get her strength back.

The egg thief is still at it and has even taken to digging tunnels to hide the contraband in, we are now armed with bigger better and snappier traps and hope to post better news soon!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Dove from Above gets grounded

I went out to feed the doves yesterday and this little girl dove , Holly, was on the ground and looked to have been there all night. She was unable to flutter up to the cote and looked miserable. I brought her in to the High Doopendancy Unit ( Paulas cat basket) and have given her fresh water with honey and cider vinegar, extra minerals, grit and feed, warmth and light and a good dose of bicarb too. The bicarb was on the advice of my friendly doo man, Harry. In case she has canker, the other treatment is to give her Flagyl tablets but as I don't have access to them cannot do that.This morning she is perky enough and eating, drinking and pooing well but I will keep her indoors for the next 24 hours anyway while we see how she fares. It may have been that she was tired after trying to fly in the very high winds we have been having and was simply unable to get to the perch. Harry says it sounds like she is 'going light'. As yet I am unsure as to what that actually means but apparently I am doing all that I should be.

Lets hope she is soon dooing what doos do best, I will keep the blog updated.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Foxy Loxy has been eyeing up Chicken Licken

Warning Fox loose aboot the hoose, hen hoose that is. This was spotted yesterday morning having had a good look around the outside of the hen run and after eating a few fallen apples in the orchard he made off in the direction of the dell. Either he is a vegetarian fox or he is biding his time. I took the precaution of shutting the hens in last night as he was about but it was very very cold and they may have liked the luxury of an extra cosy night. It did mean I had to be up early to let them out but as it seems to get light at about 9am these days it was not too much of a hardship. Who or whatever has been egg eating has been at it again, another eaten yesterday in the run. Herb heard a lot of bokking this morning and went out after he caught a glimpse of something black in the run, he thought it had a white flash on the tail too but by the time he had got outside it had gone.

Still getting 4 or 5 eggs a day and Trinny and Susannah are still not laying, I have heard they are very good meat birds and we have had words on the subject! Because it has been so cold they have been getting extra treats this week, tuna and sweetcorn being a particular favourite but today's rice and cooked cabbage also went down well.

Yesterday Herb and I attended the funeral of an old nursing chum of mine and I was aware that the last time we were at a funeral we came back to discover that the doves had all been massacred, this time all was well and they have settled down nicely with no further dog incursions. They are making huge piles of guano under the dove cote but it will recover, the grass will probably be twice as lush.
It is still very cold here but nothing like in the South thank goodness.Time to go and make up a nice big fire, settle down with a mug of home made soup and last nights Eastenders! Bliss.