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Old Speckled Hen

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Everything posted by Old Speckled Hen

  1. I don't know if Mike Palmer is talking at your association (he's come over from Vermont and is doing a few talks down your way) but if he is..... he is a revelation: wonderful to see what can be done even at hobby level SO TRY TO GET TO SEE HIM What did you think of the Zest hive? There are a lot of extravagant claims made for it. I always think putting stuff like this up is trying to re-invent the wheel.
  2. That's a good idea. I think NO bird should be kept in a cage especially the social kinds like budgies and canaries.
  3. I agree with Olly. Most local groups will be running their taster days or courses in the spring. Get onto one of those. Find an association with a training apiary so you can handle bees on a regular basis; weekly is ideal, any less frequently and you don't get into the rhythm of a colony. I full Summer colony of 35K + bees can be intimidating for a beginner and put them off forever so easing yourself in is the best way. After that you can order yourself bees for next year and mull over what hive format to go for. The standard Modified Wooden National is not always the best choice. It's an addictive/expensive hobby.....be warned PS....I see you are perilously close to Thornes in Stockbridge...... maybe you might get those bees earlier than you think. Roll on Spring. We are all waiting for our bees to "wake up"
  4. Yes, good stuff. All my pots/strawberries get a dose for vine weevils
  5. The hens started leaving the pelletted portion of Garvo and while at first they ate it in a wet mash, even that was finally ignored. So I did some research and now they are spoilt rotten with my version of "Garden Betty's Whole Grain Chicken Feed" I get my grains fromhttp://www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk/?gclid=CI73l7eAqsMCFczMtAodtDoAfA. via Amazon. They do stuff in 3/5kg bags as well as in bulk. The sunflower seed is what I feed the wild birds and I get that from Twootz. I used to have to pay postage on the Garvo so it works out about the same but the hens don't waste any.
  6. How about a Chilean Guava. Member of the Myrtle family. Evergreen small pink flowers and edible fruit with a wonderful flavour. It comes in variegated and gold variants too. Your situation would be ideal for them. I have just ordered two from Burncoose (I'm sure you could get them cheaper but their plants are really good quality)
  7. PS What varieties of spuds are you planting? This might warrant a new thread
  8. We get rats in the compost and they try to dig in under the walk in run. That now has a wired floor that sits on compacted scalpings but they still sometimes get to underneath the feeder. We sometimes borrow the neighbour's Border Terrier but the only thing that really works for us is a .22 with a night sight every now and then when numbers build up.
  9. Like the bloomin Garvo you lot recommended when I got my first chooks I have given up on it now and mix my own.
  10. Oooh looks interesting. No stockists around here though. At 25 pence per litre it comes out as more expensive than the John Innis seed at 13 pence. JI always seems to work for me.
  11. I "don't dig" either. At this time of year the raised beds are covered with a layer of mulch, then cardboard, then black plastic. Last year we tried not burying the potatoes in a trench and just covering them with a thick layer of grass. I must say that this was not really successful. A lot of the spuds were green and there was a lot of slug damage. I have read somewhere that to avoid this you should be fertilising your potatoes with inorganic fertiliser. We are on clay here so I should think there is plenty of fertility so will just forego the grass. At the moment husband is busy collecting up the molehills and adding those to the compost in a ton bag so that we can plant something there. Two corners of the field have large piles of composting grass from out autumn cut where I am putting squashes and courgettes. The cowslip plugs are overwintering very well in the greenhouse and some of the seeds I sowed are germinating too. I have two cold frames full of foxgloves planted last autumn and these are all destined for our wildflower meadow. The Asparagus bed has been deeply mulched in readiness for our first crop this spring....can't wait.
  12. I've got all the episodes on amazon video and I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. However, I've got really annoyed with stuff that wouldn't happen in subsequent episodes.....maybe it might improve.
  13. I have it on Amazon video. Just finished first episode......I will have to abandon housework
  14. I watched the first episode of series 2 last week. How come I missed the first????? Can somebody give me a resume....please please
  15. Lidl have nest boxes with cameras in on Monday. £39.99 Can't go wrong.
  16. It depends where you are. Look up at http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/index.cfm#.VIxVd1pWtSU Here we have it 5.23 and 6.59 London 5.24 and 7.00 not much in it Further North you only get the earlier pas as ISS will be below the horizon
  17. There's this too For the attention of all PARENTS of young children: On 24th December at just before 6pm, the International Space Station will make a pass over the UK, lasting for about 3 minutes. Clouds allowing, the pass will be bright and clear. For the attention of all young CHILDREN: On 24th December at just before 6pm you will be able to see Santa's sleigh flying through the sky. Good stuff eh?
  18. I have an EZCAP grabber, but that's for Mac. Amazon has loads, they are all quite basic being really just three leads and a USB plug so not much to go wrong I would have thought. How far from the house is the nest box sited? I have a 50 metre lead from our owl box at the bottom of the garden that snakes along the fence then across to the sun room. Don't worry about a loop of wire hanging between buildings, it soon becomes invisible.
  19. Is there a specific need to go wireless? I ask as you will still have to power the camera so you might as well power it from where you receive the signal...ie the monitor. I have seven or eight box cams (yes, sad.......) and by far the best value ever are the two Aldi boxes for £39.99. The pictures are sharp and full of colour and have never failed, something I can't say about the first, expensive one I tried. Aldi had them in the third week of December last year so they might be around again before Christmas. Video capture devices are cheap as chips.
  20. Oh no, not chickens.....they won't ever have room enough on a veggie plot. As you are on a corner ask if you can put a hive of bees there?
  21. Quiet in here....are everybody's bees asleep for the winter or feasting on Ivy like mine ?

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