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Tara.F

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Everything posted by Tara.F

  1. it's a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. The reason you aren't getting a definitive answer is that there are so many variables. How big are the hens? Are they laying? Is it cold weather? Do they free range? Do you give corn in the evening? I'm afraid the best answer you'll get is 'quite a long time, try it and see'
  2. I think, if the weather is fairly warm and the chicks have been outside during the day to acclimatise for a week or two, that they can go out at about eight weeks. That will make it late may....long days and hopefully warmer nights Did the school not plan what they would do with the chicks before they hatched them?
  3. well, our little chick hatched....but our bossy broody won't let us see her yet (she is the most protective mum ) we parted her feathers and sneaked a peak....the chick is less than two inches big Because a broody cannot really raise just one chick, we went to see our friend Bob and he gave us three more to try and sneak underneath her when she wasn't looking! so now we have two seramas(4 days old), one lavender pekin ( 3 hours old) and of course, the tiny lemon sebright all snuggled up under Lacey's skirts edited to say! That was last night and Lacey still won't let them out Trouble is, she doesn't know that two of them are four days old and therefore should be eating and drinking. There's no little poops or footprints to suggest they've been to the feeder (or water) overnight Do you think I should intervene?
  4. Some time ago on here (and I'm talking a couple of years) someone lost their chooks to fox after leaving the eglu door open. It turned out that the run was on soft, recently dug earth covered in bark chips and this allowed foxy to get under the run skirt in one go I leave the eglu door open....but ours sits on compacted London clay. When it's on softer earth (I move it around a bit) then I lock the door
  5. but the gravel working it's way up would be a good thing! If you don't add some gravel or vermiculite (or I add aubiose) if you don't then the compost 'caps', water just runs off and seedlings can't break the surface. So, yes. Line the beds. If only to stop the compost running underneath the planks when you water! I don't suppose you'll need a thick layer of bottom gravel for drainage (unless your beds are deeper than the 12" I'm imagining) but you will need something to break up and aerate the compost like vermiculite, gravel or aubiose. google 'Mel Bartholemew (sp?) square foot gardening' His soil mix recipe is excellent and yielded massive crops for me
  6. thanks sjp great idea, I'll do that on day 10. Tara
  7. Hi, just candled our hatching eggs (day 7) and it appears that four of the five are blank I'm not at all expert though and would never forgive myself if I binned a viable, half formed chick! so what I need to know is this, If they are blank, how long before they're in danger of exploding? If I give them another three or four days before candling again, will they harm the viable one? I know that the broody is rumoured to evict dead eggs but our Lacey broods stones and golf balls bless her I don't think she can be relied upon to quit on any of them. Thanks, Tara.
  8. Start a comfrey patch. One of your lotty neighbours is sure to have some to share...the best fertiliser you can get and perrenial (meaning no work at all once it's planted) Have lots of perrenial crops, fruit, welsh onions etc. To start, make yourself a nursery bed. If I were you I'd cheat Make a raised bed and fill it with shop bought compost. Now is the time for sowing and if you can sow in a nursery you'll be able to transplant as you go, filling each freshly dug area with sturdy little plants. Grow for the hungry gap. Sow parsnips, winter cabbages, leeks, kale, celeriac and swede for the winter now. Also, purple sprouting broccoli for next spring. Summer crops are easy and plentiful but winter crops are what you will really come to value Flowers. They help to get your crops pollinated and they make your plot a beautiful place to be. Bung them in wherever you can. congratulations on your new plot
  9. wow thanks for the link, my eight year old will be checking that site every day now (we're on day 6)
  10. I shouldn't worry, they'll settle back down My girls have to contend with all manner of noise both from us and our neighbours! They quickly grow accustomed I have a bok bok noise that I make whenever I have treats for them. My neighbours must think I'm potty but whenever I make the noise, marauding chooks appear from every direction. So when I pick up rocks, compost bags etc, I make the noise and they all come to get at the worms and beasties lurking beneath
  11. yup, I have a mixed flock too, pekins, wyandotte bantam and just added a welsummer and a light sussex. I have also had a tiny serama, an aracauna and hybrids at various stages. The littluns, I feel, should always outnumber the biguns though. Then any nastiness is diluted if you see what I mean
  12. Racey Lacey (excellent mummy) pecks the feathers off her chest to brood, I think it must help her to gauge(sp?) the temperature of her eggs. Sounds like your girl knows exactly what she's doing
  13. Thank you! A quick and definitive answer You wouldn't get that anywhere but here!
  14. It is time in our flock for mite treatment. We've introduced two new girls and it is our practice to smother everyone in johnsons mite powder as a precaution. But....our yummy mummy 'Racey Lacey' is broody (again) and the man we bought our new hens from gifted us some hatching eggs to put her on. So my question is, should I powder Lacey? will it affect the eggs? She is the MOST determined little mummy....has to be evicted to poo and stops preening...she really neglects herself when brooding so mites could quickly overwhelm her but there's no sign of any (mind you my eyesight's not all that) I'm rambling. I'll stop so powder or no powder? what do you think?
  15. ahh. We've just had Boudicca despatched this evening for exactly the same symptoms. She didn't get fat but started waddling like a duck and getting mucky feathers. We gave a warm bath and a blow dry, fed her rinsed tuna and some oil (which she scoffed down) and as she was still pottering about, eating and drinking as normal we waited....probably a mistake. Today she started hunching and her underside felt swollen and squishy. We took her to our chicken supplier/friend who said there was no hope and did the the deed. So we came home with a welsummer, a light sussex and five hatching eggs to cheer ourselves up (3 lemon sebrights and 2 orpington bantams)
  16. Now is the time to sow your chillis and aubergines and cape gooseberries indoors also some climbing flowers remembering only to sow as many as your windowsill space allows! Broadies, some peas, also sweetpeas can be sown outside.
  17. and you should tell them if you plan to move the hive..... and yes, now is a very optimistic time of year for beekeepers At my beek club, despite a few winter losses, everyone at the AGM last week was predicting a fantastic season with bumper crops
  18. mine have a nibble of the leaves but don't do any real damage, preferring instead to dust bathe and rest under the rhubarbs shady leaves I think if you read through this forum you'll find that all the hens have wildly differing tastes so go ahead and try the rhubarb, if they attack it you can always move it!
  19. my two next door neighbours have six cats between them.....and I have yet to find any permanent solution different things work for a week or two, then the pooh comes back. Last summer one of them took to messing on my patio table. Charming. I have had to give up growing veg in my garden completely and now keep all food growing to the allotment. And now the two groups of cats have taken to fighting, very loudly, in my garden keeping my children awake at night I must admit to thinking some very dark thoughts
  20. Our next door neighbour when I was a child used to make soft cheese by leaving bottles of milk to sour and adding salt. She must have done something else that I missed though. I tried making soft cheese once by adding lemon to warmed milk....it was bland and nasty with a most disconcerting texture I'd love to be able to do it properly....although if I could make boursin I'd be the size of a house in no time!
  21. I don't really eat meat because I disagree with intensive farming practices and cannot afford to buy organic and decently reared/slaughtered versions. But I honestly believe that if we kill an animal for food, we should use every edible part of it. When I do buy (organic) meat for my carnivorous family, the cheaper, old fashioned cuts are always the tastiest. (although no-one in this house will ever eat anything wobbly )
  22. I do hope you enjoy it! I did one this time last year and I will probably go back for a refresher this year....it's an awful lot to take in but once you tell yourself that you don't have to remember it all, that different beekeepers have different ways of doing things and "Ooops, word censored!"ODY knows everything, you can sit back and really enjoy it
  23. Tara.F

    woodpecker?

    Ahh, okay, you're right! of course what I should have said was that it didn't look like the same wood as mine from the photo. I suspect you are correct, perhaps it is just older cedar. I was just musing that perhaps the difference in the marks could be down to the fact that the newer wood on my hive is harder? I am really hoping that the damage is 'stoppable' woodpecker rather than the more frightening prospect of rat, and so am grasping at straws in the absence of definitive proof! I do have a mouseguard on the entrance but the damage is at the back. I couldn't get over there today to get a photo, the heavens opened and the drainage ditch flooded preventing access.
  24. WOW! chickencam! That's early for purple sprouting! You lucky devil! what variety is it? I lurve psb.....it's my absolute favourite veg in the whole world
  25. Tara.F

    woodpecker?

    hmmmm... I've been going back to check each day or two and so far my defences seem to be holding. Maybe though it's just because the weather has got mild and there are lots of insects about.... The damage doesn't look much like the photo, no little round holes on mine! but then, the hive in the photo isn't cedar which might make a difference. I'll try and get a picture (although it's morning and looks as dark as night out there!)

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