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Beantree last won the day on January 25

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About Beantree

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  1. Well Alis Girls, I have to laugh because there is no point in getting wound up about it. Just a shame I'm in the wrong country at the moment. Being realistic we're never going to get vaccinated because before they get to us they will have to be starting the repeat doses; it's taken two months to do a quarter of the over 75's so they will finish after 8 months and be starting all over again. Even if they speed up they won't be able to get to the healthy under 65's.
  2. I don't think it will compost naturally very well being wood, meaning it will be very slow to rot. You might be able to use it as a pathway over weed membrane? Have you tried burning it, if you have a wood burner? You won't be wasting it if it goes into the green bin, it will be industrially composted and used by the Council or sold.
  3. Said on TV yesterday that France is developing some treatment that dramatically reduces the chance of having to go into intensive care. Whatever this is wasn't specified, but extended trials in hospitals have begun. In the meantime the vaccination programme continues at a snails pace with only 80% of care home residents and only 20% of over 75's vaccinated and they didn't say whether it was the first or second jab? Also mentioned were the sniffer dog trials; dogs that can smell the virus. So far the accuracy rate is 95% both here and in Germany. The idea is to screen airport arrivals much faster than is currently possible by testing. The Astrazeneca vaccine being rolled out now is only available to under 65's with an underlying health problem or those that are in jobs with general public contact. We don't fit in either category. Apparently once the 10 dose bottle is up to usable temperature it lasts just 5 hours, so the GP's are having to ensure that the daily 10 or 20 are definitely going to be there.
  4. Been out buying today, basically because they sell out very quickly here. Trying two new varieties of potatoes, despite Charlotte being a success for us, so a very early (Agata) and a quite late (Desiree), which hopefully won't be so late that I can't get them out? Cut down of the number of onions this year because we had a bumper crop before, haven't used them all and now our land has even more compost in it. Trying two new varieties of F1 hybrid tomato; Hildares and Harzfew, which mature at different times so should extend the season, rather than having too many in one go. Haven't been able to buy sweetcorn yet, which may be because the population of field voles make it impossible to be harvested? Strawberries are out because the lizards eat them before we can and no more parsnips because they are too much trouble with the late watering.
  5. We used to move our runs and coops to new grass every week; leave it any longer and it starts to go bare. The front of the run was lifted onto a pair of wheels and then the back picked up and pushed or pulled by two people. The ground was completely flat and it was still a lot of effort. We don't move the runs any more.
  6. Our runs are 1100 high, which was set by the width of the mesh roll. Access is difficult to say the least, so I'd advise making it taller if you can get wider mesh. There will soon come a time when I can't actually get into ours and they will have to be modified. Consider also snow loading on the top. You may need some supports in the middle, which then of course get in the way and hamper access; we remove them after Winter.
  7. Whilst your other hens are not showing symptoms they will now be carrying it, so you must operate a 'closed flock', so none in and none out. They can go for years with their immune system keeping it in check, but if their system becomes depressed for any reason it will flare up. Lack of sunlight, moulting, first egg laying, change of environment, old age and bad weather can all contribute. Antibiotics will tackle secondary infection but at the same time they kill the gut flora at a time when they need all the nutrients they can get. If she does improve she will need probiotics three days after the last antibiotic dose. We have been dealing with myco for a long time and just last year lost our final carrier. What we found is that at the first sign of symptoms a single dose of cod liver oil with multivitamins can give their immune system the boost it needs. Depending on the size of the chicken 0.5mL to 1.0mL, administered by dropper slowly down the throat giving them time to swallow each drop to avoid them choking. Unfortunately, inevitably it does flare up and overwhelm them.
  8. The chain and hooks idea is a good one Cattails. Here we have steel wire lines and tie the branches with plastic plant string; a thin walled brown tube which comes in 100 metre rolls. It's time consuming and the plastic does degrade in the sun. Daphne, I now understand the reason for the choice of potatoes. With well draining soil they can be watered deep and lifted at any time and main crops will give the biggest crop for a given area. Our soil is heavy clay and sets like concrete. It's not possible to water it deeply because a compacted crust forms on the surface and the water just runs off, so the potatoes have to be lifted whilst the soil still has some softness to it. Last year I left it too late and had to water the beds heavily in sections for days before digging out. Basically that's the method we employ to dig a post hole in Summer. Our soil is improving with our compost, but we've put a cubic metre onto the veg plot and still need more.
  9. We had some fresh leeks for dinner yesterday; lovely. Didn't grow well though because the soil in that bed is still very poor. We have lots of compost ready to go on. Had a re-think about the potatoes. They don't sell main crop seed varieties here, which we think is due to the long growth times, the soil temperature and the amount of watering needed. I did meet someone on the plane who said he tried main crops he bought from England; had to dig them out with a pickaxe and they came out cooked! The supermarket potatoes are probably main crops from the North, so it would be at the risk of losing a years worth if we tried them.
  10. They said on the news today that the AstraZeneca vaccine is to be rolled out to GPs. As it's only approved for under 65's we should be getting it soon, but no idea how we book an appointment when it's in stock? There seems to be a 'forgotten generation' here as they are only vaccinating over 75s with the Pfizer at the moment so if you are 65-75 what's happening? They are also rushing out stocks of Moderna to the North East where the English variant is exploding, but we're talking of just 8000 doses, which is hopelessly inadequate. Do you need a negative PCR test as well Daphne, before people visit? France is sticking to the Pfizer guidelines and the second dose must be 21-28 days after the first. We have taken matters into our own hands as far as we can and started dosing up on vitamin D3; 100 ug per day is supposed to boost the immune system sufficiently to give 95% resistance, which is as good or better than the vaccines. We're actually taking 125 ug and have heard that the UK is giving out 10 ug daily to the care homes, a dose which is next to useless. It's also said that the reason ethnic minorities are so affected is because skin pigmentation restricts sunlight and they have very low levels of natural vitamin D, as has anyone who doesn't get outside. Whether that's true or not I haven't a clue?
  11. We've decided on a very simple list for veg this season, with no double cropping (probably), just lift the produce, dig in some compost and put weed membrane over the bed to cut down on next years work. Haven't decided on the main crop potatoes yet. First year was Riviera earlies which chipped well but didn't store well. Second year was Spunta main crop which didn't chip well. Last year Bintje main crop, which chipped well but looked very pale and unappetising. Both of those stored quite well though. So this year we'll try something new but not sure what? One thing we did think of was buying a bag of supermarket potatoes, chitting them and planting them out. Has anyone tried that and does it work? Or are the potatoes treated in some way to stop people growing their own from them?
  12. Made another risky trip to the supermarket today, which was full of older people with no idea of social distancing. People just stopping in the middle of the isles or squeezing past to grab something. If the more contagious UK or South African variants get here we will be in trouble. They are struggling with them in the far North and we are told that the reason they are spreading so fast is they affect the throat in far more cases than normal so the virus is then more often breathed out. The vaccination programme here remains pathetic. 2.6 million first doses and 0.7 million seconds. GP surgeries are doing about 20 a day, but only when they have them. Figures generally are stable in most of France, so have just levelled off and no third lockdown planned at the moment. But still no skiing, no bars, no restaurants and no idea when they may re-open. It doesn't seem to feature so much on the news now, or perhaps I'm just 'switching off' when it does.
  13. And I've given it more thought. Have they got a soil bath? Pretty much essential for a chicken is a container with moist soil and play sand mix (not wet) to flap around in. Their way of removing any pests from their feathers, even though they probably haven't actually got any.
  14. It's always a possibility that she's plucking her own feathers out of boredom. The other possibility is mice getting into the coop and taking the feathers for nests. Ours are terrified of CD's, so I'd get rid of that. It won't be a moult I think, because a moult starts (and finishes) with a pair of wing feathers and the neck feathers? These are difficult times because chickens will readily take to more space, like free ranging, but they will suffer psychologically from having their space reduced and that's a well known problem. Given that this confinement will be a regular occurrence you need to plan for an enclosure to suit and never let them out of it. But I think they have enough space with 9 m2 for two. The perches at different heights are a good idea. What they also need are feeds at different heights, so ground, mid-way and something to jump at. Hope you resolve this. Sorry I'm just throwing random thoughts in because there is no immediate answer comes to mind.
  15. Beak bits come in different sizes and are normally used during pheasant rearing. We have 25mm and 30mm, the aim being to avoid too much sticking out at the front which puts too much strain on the nasal passages, so a maximum of 5mm. The 25mm is generally the one to fit and I think that's the one Omlet stock. In my opinion the one fitted in the video is too big.

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