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Daphne last won the day on September 23

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  1. Looking excellent Andy - treasure the pristineness of everything!
  2. Not sure what to suggest, I don't suppose there is any chance she has something like depluming mite? I've not heard of hens pulling out their own feathers, and online wisdom seems to suggest possibly protein deficiency or boredom. Well its true hens do sometimes eat feathers to get more protein (from memory I think its keratin in the feather shaft?), and the moult puts extra strain on the body so perhaps give her a protein boost for a week or two? I can see she has a really nice clutch of tail feathers just waiting to break out, so perhaps she is just uncomfortable at the moment and this will pass. I'd keep an eye on her to make sure nothing untoward is going on from her flockmates, check her over for mites and give her a bit of a protein treat, which won't do any harm and see how things are in a week or 10 days.
  3. Fascinating, who knew hornets nests were a bit like buses...! Thanks for posting both of you, I feel I know a bit more about nature than I did this morning.
  4. OMG - I have never seen anything like that. Does that mean one year you had a colony of hornets hatching on your land? Every year we get small nests from paper or thread wasps, which only have a dozen chambers or so, the whole thing is about an inch long. The nest has a thin 'stalk' which attachs itself to the host, which is often an agapanthus leaf, or window frame.
  5. It looks enormous and very solidly built. Its not just the footprint, I have lived in draughtier buildings than that, even without the front wall! Good luck with work, it sounds exciting and a whole fresh start, a bright time ahead.😀
  6. My mother has been talking about clearing her house, but luckily I have dissuaded her. I can't bear to think about it whilst she is still around and I don't want her exhausting herself. Luckily she is uber-tidy so everything is already in drawers or cupboards, you are quite safe unless you open a door! Saying goodbye to a dining table and chairs is more than the objects isn't it, you have all the lovely memories, which hopefully will sustain you as you look back on happy meals shared with other people, they are the important thing, not the furniture itself. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness....this morning I couldn't see the end of the garden, and last week we harvested 2 types of fig, grapes for wine and eating, pears, apples and plums. I still have kilos of tomatoes and peaches to process which is slightly less exciting as the novelty has worn off, we appear to have a freezer solely for tomatoes! The incessant scorching days of summer are over, although no doubt we will have the odd hot day so its still a treat to be outside. It feels lovely, being able to pull up spent plants, dig things over, and plan a buying trip to Spain for new bulbs and shrubs (cheaper and better choice than here). I think farmers say the early Autumn is the beginning/end of the year, and I certainly feel like that right now.
  7. Those are both really nice thoughts. In the future a box of cards will bring back even more memories I should think. Twice I have found it very hard indeed to throw out cards when clearing relative's houses, they are so personal. I use my own to make card templates for the squares of my never ending quilt. It makes the quilt feel as though its made up of people I know.
  8. Yes, a bit. Its basically slighly softer than a fishcake with no crispy coat, except the bits which might have stuck to the pan. Its served as a fishy/potatoey/oniony/eggy messy mound on the plate. Easy to eat (no chewing) and very tasty, savoury but not salty as you soak the fish first and slow cook everything. If you have sweet onions it helps and finely slice them. Its a bit like having bubble and squeak in terms of comfort food, although the taste is nothing like that obvs! Its also a favourite with several pescatarian friends.
  9. They are pretty aren't they? Do you think you will keep them both?
  10. Yes, the French eat it as brandade de morue, which I have to say I do like. My favourite over here is bacalhau a bras, which is shredded salt cod cooked with onion and grated/matchstick potato, bound with egg and served with olives (just in case you haven't had enough salt) and parsley. I love it. The hornet sting sounds horrible, I hope he is OK. Hornets of any variety are enormous, but I know Asian ones are supposed to be a bit bigger again.
  11. They do look lovely, strawberries and cavalo nero for tea then!
  12. They all sound lovely! I especially like the fact that reading between the lines, a lot of local recipes have been exchanged from different parts of Europe. If I had been part of it, one lucky recipient would have been making something out of cabbage and/or salt cod! Enjoy!
  13. Well there are some pekin keepers on here so they may be able to give you some breed specific advice, but in general it is not unusual to keep a trio for breeding purposes, although typically the male would be penned separately after the season to give the hens a rest. However, CT is quite right in that probably it will be down to the individual bird as to whether a trio is a good idea in practice. As well as hen welfare,I would have thought the biggest potential problem is going to be neighbours and noise, cockerels are very divisive and they tend to crow very early in the morning as soon as there is some light, and some keep going on and off all day long. Overall, there is a very good chance you will find it hard to rehome him I'm afraid, as there are always more pekin males around than homes looking for a boy. If you can rehome him with the breeder, accepting that may not be forever, then you are luckier than most people who won't have that option. On the other hand, if you and your neighbours are OK with the noise, then having a male does add a lot of enjoyment to chicken keeping, you observe a lot more behaviours amongst the birds. I guess if you kept him and had a Plan B to get a larger house if you felt he needed more hens, then that might be a way forward, although if that wasn't practical, then I might take him back and settle for 3 hens at the moment which is still very rewarding, as they are still very young.
  14. Near RAF Odiham, in Hampshire. They were mostly Chinnooks and I am guessing (maybe wildly incorrectly!) they have been flying men/equipment to somewhere else like maybe Brize Norton or RAF Lyneham as I know both bases have both been used for airlifts before using the huge transporter planes. Later yesterday morning 9 Red Arrows flew over, and then about 6pm I saw 4 return flying low, one was directly over our house and my Mum said she thought it was in the house it was so noisy! I also saw 3 different military helicopters go over in the afternoon, in a different direction. We are on the flight path, so air activity is normal, but this was exceptional. My Mum actually counted 17 flights, and she wasn't in all morning, so there may have been 30 or more in total.

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