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Sunday, 29 April 2012

The wettest drought I have ever experienced...

What a miserable few weeks! The garden looks like marshland this morning and the hole the chickens have made to dust bath in is now a mini pond.....

Note the increased chicken defences on the right, the little blighters learnt to jump up the trellis boxes to gain entry!

As you can see it is so horrible out there Silver and Ginger have decided to stay in the house, even with the extra tarpaulin to try and protect the run a bit. Though they can't be feeling too bad this morning as we got an egg from each! The first egg we had on Friday wasn't Silvers, it was definitely Gingers. We watched her pre-laying behaviour yesterday morning then compared the eggs. Silver's first was today and there are slight differences!

They are still on the small side at the moment, the largest has been 47g so far but they have lots of time! We have been impressed at how good the shells are actually, usually the first few are practice eggs! We still haven't tried them, we currently have a nice bit of gammon in the slow cooker and plan on having one each with that for our tea!

I do hope the weather improves soon as I feel so bad keeping them cooped up when they are rewarding us with such lovely eggs!

Friday, 27 April 2012

An eventful few weeks

Well it has been an interesting few weeks, a bit of a roller coaster ride really.

First of all we lost Biscuit, poor lass. We miss her lots! I hope she had/is having fun on her adventures! We can't really decide whether we should replace her. As the other two are settled, introducing another now may cause some fighting, but at least they are young. I have been in touch with the breeder and they still have some from the same batch so at least they would have met before.... They will need some careful watching for the first few days though.

The weather has been pretty horrendous since we got the chickens so the poor things are probably wondering what has hit them! Last Friday we spent the day reorganising their run as the slabs turned it into a slurry pit. Luckily it wasn't smelling too bad but we didn't exactly think it would be very healthy for them!

The idea of the gravel was that it would drain well when it rains, taking all the poo with it to feed the damson tree. As you can see that didn't exactly happen... we had obviously put the slabs to close together as all the earth underneath was bone dry despite the weather!

This is the finished article (more or less). It is so much better and even now (a week later) it is looking so much better than before! Much happier chickens now!

Most of the week has been spent crazily revising and prepping for MY FIRST INTERVIEW this morning... yesterday I was about to have a breakdown and didn't feel prepared what-so-ever! I woke up this morning feeling alright, and I think that showed in the interview. I came out feeling quite positive but now more and more time is passing I'm beginning to wonder.... ssshhhhhh I'm sure it was fine!!

When i got back this morning we had a lovely surprise...

Our first egg!!! We were soo excited! It is only a little one but it was perfectly formed, not bad for the first attempt! I am pretty sure it was Silver that laid it, she was quite noisy yesterday, going in and out of the house which is unlike her. Gingers turn next then!

As a celebration i thought it was about time to sort out the strawberries. The containers came earlier in the week and I stole lots of plants from Mum last Saturday.

Much happier with this rather than the old planter! Looks much better I think! I also stole some raspberry plants which have been planted in the trellis boxes at the moment, I must sort those out this weekend!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Most the veg is in!

Over the last few weeks I have spent a fair amount of time planting my veg and generally sorting the grarden. One minute it looks better, the next it is a mess again because I decide to change something!

But this was definately Scott's idea!

All i wanted was a bit of compost to go at the bottom of my Carrot tub!

The black pot is my Carrots, in the two either side are Sunflowers, just to add some colour and the trays are filled with  Lupin, Cornflower, Ice Plant seeds and some Sprout seeds. I can't remember which tray is which as I didn't think of labeling them untill after I moved them...

The two smaller ones either side are Lettuce and the one in the middle is Broccoli. My Mint plant at the back has died too... I don't think it liked the yeast sediment from the wine last year.

My strawberries are a lost cause. I want to start completely again with them, new container, the lot! I want to get some like these I found on ebay but I need to wait for more funds really! Also i won't be getting my plants for a minute either as I am stealing from the allotment at home.

The Chickens certainly enjoyed the mess!
Ginger playing 'Who's queen of the castle!'. Today was their first day free ranging. They have been so busy, specially helping Scott as you can see! They put themselves to bed like good girls again tonight - Scott thought Biscuit (the black and gold one) had escaped as he couldn't see her in the house at all, then realised that ALL three were crammed into ONE nest box!! Nutters!

Another of my projects for the day was to relocate the box we brought to store the chicken stuff in. It was down on the patio but it is so ugly I didn't want it near the house!It's very flimsy too so not our best buy really!

Much better!
Note the mess of the grass Scott made with moving the compost bin! May have to get the seed out again.. Not sure how much I can be bothered though really as the chickens only tear it up anyway

This is much better though I must say! By putting the bin on slabs hopefully Roger the resident rat will find somewhere else to sleep every night! He has been taking some of the poison so hopefully he'll disappear soon, although he is very big so I think it'll take a bit more to kill him off!!

Oh the other veg I've planted is the onion sets which are in the border you can see in the picture above. I will also be putting runner beans and fine beans in there too but it's a bit early for them yet! I will also do cucumbers but they don't have a home yet either. I assume they will need lots of sun so thats another thing to sort!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The blind is up!

The old ugly blind! YUCK!

It wasn't as easy to go up as it should have been, the bit of wood it screwed into at the top decided to drop one side because its rotten, so it was wonky... but i think i fixed it by attaching the blind wonky aswell to counteract it! 
Lovely new blind! LUSH!

So it doesn't go up very well at the moment but after training the fabric to fold in the right places I'm sure it will be fine! It looks so so so much better than the old rubbish one!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The chickens are here!

It has been a very busy few days, and to be honest i can't be bothered to write alot so heres the story in pictures!

We did all the painting last week

The sunken plant pot with sand in will act as a dust bath for them, i hope they use it!

Finished all bar the roof!

Three anxious chickens waiting for their new home!
 They were so funny bringing them home, they were in their boxes on the back seat and i kept turning round to make sure they were ok, and the one in the middle (i think it was the siver sussex) kept eyeing mey though one of the air holes!!!! hahaha

Bovan Nera - Scott's favourite

Silver Sussex

Standard brown hen, I don't know what actual breed she is!

Bedding down for the night

They will have more bedding than that but because we rushed out late this afternoon to get them we haven't sorted it yet! They will be OK for one night though!! Because it was late they have only been in the coop tonight but i will let them out into the run tomorrow morning and then maybe get them free ranging the garden by the end of the week!

They are still small at the moment (roughly 17-18 weeks) so wont be laying for another 3-4 weeks, they are so lush though!

I don't know what to call them at the mo, Scott is going to make the Bovan Nera and i'm thinking Ginger and Daisy for the others, but i did want old fashioned names, and they aren't very old fashioned..... watch this space!

I have also done alot of gardening recently too but ill save that for another post!

Night! xxx

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Home to a blooming garden!

We came home today after being in Devon for just over a week and the garden has gone MAD!! The freak sunshine and heat has done it a world of good, though it needs a damn good watering - but the rain is sorting that for me as a write this blog... otherwise I would be out there planting the first of my veg!

This is the rose/honeysuckle bush which I massacred a few weeks back, on the whole I am very happy with how its come on, the only thing is I wish I had chopped back further the stems in the right hand corner, then the re-growth would be more in line with the rest of the bush rather than it flying up the side of the house, but never mind, not too bad for a beginner!

The apple tree literally a week ago...

Ans now look at it!! In full flower! I can't believe how much it has changed!

And the pear tree!!! I got particularly excited about this one as I was very worried it had not survived being dug up from the parents garden and then being transported an hour down the motorway, but it was surprisingly resilient, very impressed!

And this is the damson tree!! As it is the big beasty tree we saw this from the road, it is so pretty and gives the whole street a lift. I've just got to decide what i do with the fruit this year, I'm sure the chickens will probably eat the majority of them!

The grass has also gone mad but I didn't bother taking a photo of that! I have an awful lot of work to do tomorrow. As we came home a day late I'm not sure I will achieve everything I need to prior to getting the chickens next Tuesday, they may have to be postponed until later in the week - if it comes to that then maybe ill get Scott to take Friday off instead to go get them!