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Beantree

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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. Perhaps the UK was right as the number of new cases in France yesterday rose again to 2846. Our two 'hot' areas are around 46 / 100,000 Daphne, which is pretty high when Leicester was locked down again at 36 I think? But where we are we had 4 new cases last week in a population of 280,000. Apparently cases in the age group 25-35 are up 40% and they are the ones being blamed for causing the problem. News headlines this morning were 'The exodus of the English' where they interviewed Ferry, Tunnel and Eurostar passengers who had cut their holidays short to get back before 4.00 am. Too far to drive to get back from here in time though.
  2. Rather surprised at the announcement of a 14 day quarantine period for people arriving from France. As a result our friends are returning to England two weeks earlier than planned so that they can start work on the planned day. There are two areas where the virus is deemed to be 'circulating freely' and we are nowhere near them. One is Paris and the other the region around St Tropez. Masks in all public places, both interior and exterior, is now the norm almost everywhere and will be everywhere by the end of the week, testing programmes in problem areas are underway and there is no reason I can see to think the situation is out of control, although increasing numbers are worrying. The number of new cases per day has risen from 1000 to 2700 over the past three weeks and this has prompted mask wearing everywhere, which hopefully will work. I can't help thinking that this quarantine is a sneaky way of keeping people from going abroad for their holidays and therefore assisting the current financial performance of the UK, which is the worst in Europe according to figures published a few days ago here. Can't see anyone risking going anywhere and being potentially faced with 14 days isolation afterwards. A news report says there are steps being taken to bring the price of disposable masks down. At the moment they cost 15 cents to make, but after profits, transport and tax we have to pay over 50 cents each. Something else annoying is the straps breaking, so you need to carry several just in case, as warnings stopped today and the €135 fine is now being issued.
  3. 28C inside is very hot AndyRoo. Our peak this year was 25.5C thanks to €500 spent on insulation to the roof of an adjoining room. Even at that temperature our fridge overheats. The motor runs until it cuts out, icing up the elements inside, which then defrost resulting in a pool of water on the floor and the contents of the fridge getting too warm. Solved the problem by running a small desk fan to blow air across the radiator at the back. We have the same problem with a chest freezer in the garage, but that needs a much bigger fan. One day we'll buy a better freezer. We had our thunderstorm, water butts are full and we'll spend today tidying up the mess from the high winds that preceded it. Fortunately no structural damage.
  4. The last 6 days have been unbearable with high humidity and temperatures up to 39C. Still no rain to speak of, so about 6 dry weeks in total and farmers complaining bitterly of another year of crop failure. Today a bit cooler we're told, so perhaps 33C and with the prospect of thunderstorms for the next two days, perhaps the end of the drought? Debris netting has been put over the tomatoes; we lost half our crop last year to hail damage.
  5. We trim spurs using a junior hacksaw blade and a file; definitely a job for two people. The objective usually is just to remove the point, but we have had cases where cockerels developed such long spurs they couldn't walk properly.
  6. Either carefully trim the spurs, or make the introduction more gradual. They are fighting for position and protecting their ground so the run size should increase when new hens are introduced.
  7. Not sure the red mite will be in the run. Most likely they have stayed on the chickens and dropped off them in the night. All you can do is keep cleaning the coop until all the mites have gone. We found red mite in a coop which had two hens in it. The coop was steam cleaned thoroughly then the perch ends were creosoted (only the ends the hens couldn't touch as it would burn their feet) which stops the red mite crawling off to hide in the bedding. First morning there were roughly 1300 under the perch which was then sprayed. Next morning about 50, then 20 and so on. After a week there were none. We didn't have another infestation, so when they have gone that's it, unless wild birds bring them in again.
  8. They are all homemade Fraser66, using 2" x 1'' roofing lath. The size was derived from the height of standard mesh and the length of standard treated laths, which when we first bought laths gave us 1.1 metres high x 2.1 long panels, so 4 makes a square. Small coops have one 'unit' and large coops have two, although we did end up making a half sized unit to give one coop a 1 ½ unit run. I wish we had WIR's as my back isn't what it was, but to be honest our budget wouldn't stretch that far. The centre supports do get in the way a bit for cleaning and for very large chickens. For that reason some of ours have been removed and are only fitted if snow is forecast.
  9. I've seen runs collapse from a snow load, because they didn't have central support poles. Our runs are 2.1m x 2.1m and all have a single central support because, although very unlikely, we do on rare occasions get snow here.
  10. Big movement in France to wearing masks outside on the streets, with numerous towns having mask wearing zones in their centres and a €135 fine if you don't.
  11. Get one with two pumps which puts the freezer on the bottom and gives easier access to the fridge at the top. Cheap units cool the fridge by putting the freezer above it and letting the cold air drop down. Shouldn't be too difficult to plumb in a water supply as the cold will come from the sink tap. Our fridge door is reversible and has been changed to suit where we lived at the time, because walking around the door becomes a real pain in time.
  12. Heard a strange noise outside this morning and went to investigate. It was raining! Maybe had half a millimetre, so just enough to wet the surface of the drive. First rain for 4 weeks and none forecast for next; looking very brown around here. Fortunately we only had two days of heat, because dragging 80 metres of hosepipe out when it's 38C to water both runs is a real pain.
  13. That's a terrible thing to happen. As said, they will be back tomorrow so make it secure somehow today, even if you just tie it up with wire.
  14. Oh dear it's HOT and getting hotter, so it will reach 38C which, because of the high humidity, 'feels like' 45C says the weather lady. We're not the hottest though as Biarritz in the far Southwest corner is 41C, 'feels like' 49C! Apparently this heat will leave our area tomorrow and settle in the mid-East, where they are on orange alert for high temperatures and thunderstorms with hail. Next job will be watering the chicken runs (and me). Pretty sheep M&M. We used to keep two horned Jacobs for cutting the lawns and then filling the freezer. Would like sheep here, but we missed out on some very cheap shelters (owners moving to Spain because France is too expensive they said) and our land is still in very poor condition anyway.
  15. I'd certainly leave the run as it is and her in it. She will have awareness of that space and will know where things are, even if she can't see them. Presume she can get into the coop at night or are you taking her inside?
  16. Very dry. We've had no rain for three weeks and none predicted this week either. To lift the potatoes the bed has to be watered for a couple of days to soften the earth/ clay. Tomatoes are ripening and the first few tasted OK. Good job we grew these because the price of fruit and veg has soared in France so tomatoes now cost 12% more than last year (says the news). Second sowing of dwarf beans produced very little so they are all coming out. The end of the bed is too close to a Laurel hedge and is seriously depleted, so loads of compost next year plus some fertiliser with trace elements is needed. Onions are brilliant in one bed and useless in the other: same reason as the beans. We couldn't grow onions in England because the land was contaminated with onion white root rot and despite leaving it for 12 years it was still there. The self-seeded squashes on the compost heap have done well, despite no watering, but it remains to be seen if they are just a thin layer of flesh and a mass of seeds so therefore useless.
  17. We're looking to leave ours for a few days inside a secure enclosure with sufficient water and feed. Freezing water and egg removal are big issues though. Your water system will freeze Dutchie, both the small dishes and particularly the pipework, so being away in Winter won't be an option. Removal of eggs is essential, as one being broken and eaten will start an egg eating habit that you may be unable to cure. We have friends here that will be able to collect eggs and have experience of poultry so will be able to spot problems. But asking them to defrost water systems or hose down runs in Summer is too much, so if we do go away we will have to chose our moment carefully. The last time we went away (11 years ago) we had a friend offer to look after them. He lost the keys to the coop padlocks the first day (theft was a huge problem for us in England) and so to collect the eggs £50 worth were cut through and discarded. Ironically I found the keys in a few minutes when he said they were in his top pocket; you had to lean over into the dustbin to reach the feed! The lesson here is things can go wrong that you can't predict.
  18. Our expenditure must amount to over €1000 for that enclosure over quite a period of time, spent just on materials and lots of them. The sheds were free. BUT the time spent planning, making, modifying and assembling everything is far too long to bare thinking about! So whilst the eggs are quite cheap, perhaps the time could have been better spent working on the house?
  19. Here there is a on-the-spot fine for not wearing a mask and it has been clarified, so visors are definitely not adequate. The type of mask hasn't been defined though; ours are 93% filtration (I think) and it's difficult to breath.
  20. No rain for two weeks now and things are somewhat brown, with trees shedding leaves already. Bad news today is it will be HOT; 38C and full sunshine means we will have to water all the runs this morning. Due a repeat on Friday with thunderstorms in-between, so debris netting going back over the tomatoes. Sometimes I miss English weather.
  21. Never seen an egg that bloody inside, but we have had phases of large blood spots in eggs. For that reason all eggs are now cracked individually into a separate bowl before they go into anything.
  22. This enclosure was finished yesterday, as far as possible. There are more overhead lines to add from the centre to the corners, plus electric lines around the outside, but the ground is too hard for the posts at the moment. Yes, the sky really is that blue; no pollution here. The hens arrived last week, saved from the abattoir but somewhat traumatised after being grabbed by their legs from the perch at night and then stuffed into a plastic box. Today the run was left open but they haven't explored outside yet. The little shed outside is for feed and the energiser. The corner posts are straight, so the camera has distorted them slightly. Each is 2.2 metres high and 20cm diameter supported with 2m posts and tensile wire to ground stakes. Problem here is the ground moves with rain and drought. 220 m2 area with a perimeter of 60 metres so the 6 hens can't complain of being cramped. Might be divided in the future for a second flock. The shelter is a substitute for a bush, is covered with bamboo which allows the heat to escape and is anchored down because of the high winds. The run is also covered with bamboo over a tarp. This is a difficult place to put chickens but the Cou-Nu, having less feathering, should be able to cope in Summer and in Wiinter we'll have to add some windbreak material around the outside of the enclosure. The coop is an old shed and is a generous size for the 6 hens who can chose from three nest boxes; probably the same one!
  23. Attack on the back points to a buzzard. Have you any flying around?
  24. The problem may soon get worse if the two are feeding young in the nest? We've had major problems with wood pigeons in UK and the only solution found was someone with an air rifle, something you can't use in France. We had terrible problems with sparrows at our last place which cost a lot of money. Perhaps 50 starved when we left?
  25. Perhaps she's the only one with a taste for growers/ rearer pellets?

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