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Elaine C

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About Elaine C

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. I emailed animal medics and the minimum batch size is 80 x 5L = 400L! I asked if they knew where I could get hold of smaller quantities and the guy who emailed me back suggested I email their sales and technical director but he was out of the UK at the time. I didn't follow up as was going to try another product. Sheila - have you had any results with the calciboost? I have to say I haven't after the 3 weeks I've been using it - still getting thin shells from Nancy. Maybe needs longer? E
  2. Hi It is a tough call to know which is worse landfill or drain? Both as potentially as bad as each other! Though the amount of organic waste going to your drain via the disposal unit (based on your useage) is probably not very much at all. But if this is multiplied in your area could amount to a more significant amount to be treated. I've had a really quick look at the link (a bit late now so only skimmed) but suspect that the reason many councils may be supporting this unit is because of the limits for biodegradable waste (and in future) that are allowed in landfill sites and that they have made no plans to deal with this sort of waste. Sort of shifts the burden. My council have recently introduced kitchen waste bins that get emptied every week. To be honest most weeks I have nothing put in (yeah, must be my good cooking that not a lot of left overs ) The only stuff that goes in is left over meat and bones. The rest either goes to the compost or for the the girls. But I can see that the cost of this service is high for councils. There's no facility in Surrey that can deal with kitchen waste as it requires higher composting standards than green waste composting so is shipped to Dorset to be composted (so how environmentally friendly is that?) Hence other councils looking for possible alternative solutions I guess. Sorry, didn't mean to worry you Olly, just wanted to point out that we need to be careful about what goes down the drains. And as I say the small amount you put into your disposal unit is probably negliable. If you are worried then maybe the bokashi bin could be a solution. The products of the 'pickled' cat food and meat could safely be added to your conventional compost heap after the two weeks or so recommented, along with the liquid it produces. I've not got one of these myself but had we not had the kitchen waste collections is something I would have definately considered.
  3. Right, I'll admit to not being an expert about water pollution - my field is waste in general, currenlty a waste licensing officer (write the licence conditons for applications for licences for anything from waste transfer sites to composting sites and others) in the Environment Agency but I've been studying with the OU to get a degree in Environmental studies and along the way have qualified for a Diploma in Pollution Control. These studies have included a detailed look at water treatment plants, the science of pollution, water amongst other sources etc and also the problems encountered by treatment works. So feel maybe a little qualified to add some value to these discussions. You are right to be concious of flushing stuff down the drains - it all takes extra treatment at treatment plants to clean water up to the standards required by legislation for discharge to recieving waters an especially for potable supply. In the case of your sink disposal unit I would say that it doesnt really matter whether the waste organic matter is ground into very fine particles or not. The bottom line is that that organic matter is entering the public treatment system (it's the organic content that that causes the high BOD values in the system and will need to be dealt with at the treatment plant) Would be interested in what the manufacturers website says about this though. Perhaps you could give me a link for me to look at. I'm also not convinced ty the claim that the effluent has drain cleaning properties due to the high levels of barn based microbes present (Your assement is correct Couperman and describes the effects of nutrient enrichment (eutrophication) that can't always be corrected effectivly by water treatment plants) So - just be careful what you do put down drains! Unused pesticides etc from domestic use are another source of problems to treatment works. The best solution for these are to take to your local Civic amenitiy site (now called household wastes recycling Centres appraently!) who will have lock up facilities to store for disposal. I think you are right Eglutine. The bokashi effecitvly 'pickles' the food waste so that this can be dug directly into the soil (according to the bumph from wiggley but you know differently!) without the longer time required for full degredation. The juice will almost certainly aid the compost bin. The current 'in thing' for landfill sites and composting sites is 'leachate recirculation' - basically using the liquid collected due to the natural degredation process to enhance further microbial activity aiding decomposition. Well, help this helps and hopeuflly I've not been too much of an anarack Applogieies if I have been. E
  4. Just wondering if you could do anything with the 'liquer' rather than put down the drains. i.e. dilute and use as a fertiliser. I think with the 'can'o'worms' wormary Wiggly suggest diluting the resulting liquid with water to use as a fertilizer so more useful than putting down the drains. Sorry, my anarak creeping in here - the liquid will have a high BOD value (biochemical oxygen demand) that will need to be treated at the local water treatment plant before it can be discharged safely to recieving waters. If you are lucky enough to have a conventional compost heap this liquid can also be sprinkled over and will help to speed up the composting process. Just a thought? E
  5. Totally agree. Building regs should include these features as standard NOW! and especially as so much new housing development is proposed on the Thames Gateway in the near future. Water resources in this area will be stretched to the limit so grey-water recycling and rainwater harvesting particularly relevant. (might not seem so at the moment with all the rain though!) The govenment should be thinking for the future and in terms of adapting to climate change and this would surely go a long way to helping. Any household that can self-generate power also makes a contribution to potentially reducing CO2 emissions. Much cheaper to include options for power generation and water conservation in the building phase rather than trying to retro-fit in existing dwellings. I've had a look at installing solar panels for hot water for my place and even with any grants that I could receive currently there still seems to be a long payback period. I think if the government is serious about climate change then more incentive is needed to encourage people to a able to afford to take these options and these should be included in new builds as standard. Rant over. E
  6. May have the same state of mind as you Mrs Bertie - talk about the chooks at work and my collegues go Take even more pictures of the chooks and OH goes Not yet got as far as showing the pics to stangers in the checkout though but that may well come shortly Lovely photos though, I especially was taken with photo no. 3 the black and white girl with the huge comb and fierce look. What sort is she? E
  7. Oh yes, I went through all of those 5 stages! It did take me a while to pluck (sorry ) up the courage to fit it. But now I have I also recommend the bumper bits. Now fitted to mental Kipper, she seems to have calmed down a lot and Syd and Nancy both nowm have feathers on their backs. She's quite happy wearing it and seems to cope with eating, drinking, pecking the ground and preening. In fact now I think of it I've not seen her trying to peck at the others over the last week or so. That said, I'm not removing it yet, just in case. E
  8. Sheila - I had a very prompt response to my email to Horse and Hen re my shellstim order, after 5.30 as well! Apparently thay had emailed me about the order but I don't seem to have recieved it. Anyway, they just say that 'no-one will supply it any more - and no-one knows the reason (or they won't say)!' so the plot thickens! I think I am definately going to order the Calciboost today, the small size to give it a trial. I've got one girl laying thin shelled, rough textured eggs and another soft or sometimes shell-less eggs so they definately seem to need a calcium supplement. I'll report back to the forum once I've tried it. E
  9. Hi No - there's no shellstim to be found anywhere. I checked out the site I ordered it from a couple of weeks ago (Horse and Hen) and it's no longer listed. Have just emailed them (didn't get round to phoning today). Anyway, you may be interested in this site. It's mainly for caged birds (Parrots, finches and the like) but they do a product called poultry calciboost. Apparently the caclicum is a bio-available form and also includes vit D3, magnesium, sodium and potassium. http://www.birdcare.co.uk/Fancy_Poultry/fancy_poultry.html May be worth trying? I did a google on it and it seems a lot of poultry forums in the US mention its use. Regards Elaine
  10. Hi Sheila, I've also been trying to get hold of some shellstim. I had ordered from a site called hen and horse a few weeks ago but so far nothing has arrived and no explaination given. May try and ring them tomorrow and see what they say. Thanks Emma for mentioning the alternative from the Domestic Fowl Trust. Will give that a go I think as Shellstim seems to be unavailable. More sunshine would be good. Never mind the girls and shell quality, I'm certainly in need of it. That said did have some sun over this weekend! Shame most of my weekend was spent indoors doing my ou assignment. Girls enjoyed it though! E
  11. Sorry haven't got a serious solution to your dilema but if all else fails give them some marigolds and tell them to get on with the washing up/housework etc Seriously though your girls and your garden both look fab. My garden's more on the wildlife theme - plenty of weeds but there are some proper plants in amongst the weeds - somewhere! E
  12. No worries Lovemychook. Glad you have got the flubenvet. Hope it does the trick and Bernard's breathing improves soon. Barnard is an interesting name for a chook but then again I've got one called Syd Apparently, the previous owners are ex-punk rockers! The other pepperpot is called Nancy! I also have a Kipper - apparently so named because she is smoked kipper coloured! So how did Bernard get her name? Where about in Guildford are you? I'm in Burpham. E
  13. Did you manage to get some Flubenvet? If not I also live in Guildford and more than happy to supply. In fact I have one unopened that you could have. Just let me know. E
  14. Good luck LJ. Sheila's right, did seem difficult at first especially as the first time of introducing new girls so really nervous about the whole thing but looking back it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was at the time, if that makes sense! Hope the intros go well Let us know how things go. E
  15. Hi Please don't let the recent bird flu in Wales put you off. Sounds like you havn't though so good news. Just to put things in perspective, as mentioned the bird flu in Wales was H7N2, the low pathegenic variety and not the same as H5N1 and probaly the outbreak wouldn't have been reported prior to the current media interest and hype in bird flu. I do understand your worries though. I had decided last Feb/March to get my chooks despite the reports of H5N1 in Europe at the time. That same night OH came home and said that a cat in Germany had died from it. However, I looked at it logically, IF bird flu came to the uk, I would abide by DEFRA guidance to keep the girls undercover and apply good biosecurity. As it is spread by contact with infected faeces, I figured the risks of my girls coming into contact with it while undercover was minimal. So I went ahead and am so glad I did. I've had 15 months of sheer enjoyment and lovely fresh eggs. I wouldn't have missed that for the world. I agree with hillfamily, make sure you get form a reputable supplier so you get healthy girls. Good luck and just enjoy E

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