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**Thread of little facts & things**....3

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There are so many magpies and crows now that they are becoming a right nuisance and are also raiding the nests of smaller birds, killing their young or eating eggs.The call for tougher licencing laws on killing these predators will cause an imbalance in the avian populations; they have very few natural predators ans smaller birds will gradually die out if they are left to breed in such large numbers. I hope that your hen recovers soon, can you fit a bumpa bit to the other bird to stop her pulling out the new feathers?

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I agree magpies are a nuisance.

Noisy bullies.

Earlier, a starling was collecting my soft, fluffy chickens feathers only to be bombed by a magpie. 

A black bird also got jumped on by a magpie, not to mention a poor baby blue tit on it's maiden flight, snapped out of the sky by a huge beak.

Then they were making so much noise at 4.15 am the other day and again this morning.

And don't even get started on the wood pigeons..... 

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Um, my lot used to hang around under birds nests in the old house. Fledgling blue tit and robin tug of war is not a very nice sight.  But that is the nature of the birds.  Small birds will hatch babies to match predation in the area.  Even woodpeckers will reach into nest boxes.  It's just the way of things and nature is both beautiful and downright horrible at the same time!  But the balance is maintained.  They didn't survive with our help before so they are quite able to deal with life.  But the worst thing in the whole world for all species is Man.

On a brighter note, birds visiting garden feeders are adapting to them - the great tit now has developed a longer beak to get to the food!  

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We did Clare having watched a video. No problems going it in past but Penny is very good at getting them off. Either that or we didn't fit properly. Size 25mm seems big. Can you get another size? 

I am concerned that one day the garden will be full of magpies like Hitchcock Birds. Lol

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Yes, there are all sorts of sizes available, the smaller ones tend to snap when you stretch them though, so you need to be careful with the pliers.

Cotswold chickens has smaller ones and will send therm out if you ring up.

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Yes that's where we looked . Will give them a call

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We’ve also got Magpie and Wood Pigeon over population.  Ive been told this is because the Red Kites which we now have have chased away the Sparrowhawk which used to control them.   The Red Kites are magnificent, but in some places near us are becoming a real nuisance, mainly because people feed them.   

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Do you ever regret not having your phone to hand when your animals do something funny. OH found some other devices on BHWT which are like blinkers and so much easier to fit.than bumpa bits.  Penny wasnt impressed with our efforts at the bumpa bits and got them off in minutes. We fitted them in past to a hen with a wonky beak (like Rod Hulls emu) no problem

Anyway one morning this week having fitted this gadget and feeling happy with ourselves we sat having coffee in garden (actually wasnt raining) watching Penny and Floss free range. Floss has been unwell and is hopefully on mend - laying again after moult and her new bum feathers are growing back so we didnt want Penny pecking her and drawing blood again.

So there we are watching Penny with her blinkers. Floss comes up stops short and stares intently at Penny. She looks away and then stares again and you can imagine the conversation  would not be unlike a mum staring at her teenage daughters skirt the size of a belt. " what the hell are you wearing? that really isnt your colour you know" we were laughing so much . 

Floss then walks off looking bemused. Penny has got used to her new device. I found a video on You Tube of a line of hens with these things. Obviously all peckers. 

 

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Do you ever regret not having your phone to hand when your animals do something funny. OH found some other devices on BHWT which are like blinkers and so much easier to fit.than bumpa bits.  Penny wasnt impressed with our efforts at the bumpa bits and got them off in minutes. We fitted them in past to a hen with a wonky beak (like Rod Hulls emu) no problem

Anyway one morning this week having fitted this gadget and feeling happy with ourselves we sat having coffee in garden (actually wasnt raining) watching Penny and Floss free range. Floss has been unwell and is hopefully on mend - laying again after moult and her new bum feathers are growing back so we didnt want Penny pecking her and drawing blood again.

So there we are watching Penny with her blinkers. Floss comes up stops short and stares intently at Penny. She looks away and then stares again and you can imagine the conversation  would not be unlike a mum staring at her teenage daughters skirt the size of a belt. " what the hell are you wearing? that really isnt your colour you know" we were laughing so much . 

Floss then walks off looking bemused. Penny has got used to her new device. I found a video on You Tube of a line of hens with these things. Obviously all peckers. 

 

Sorry not sure could do that as not very good at technology. If you look at Youtube "anti pecking visors" by Farm pride you will see the lovely girls sporting their new shades. 

Sorry mods please delete my post which I seem to have managed to post again. Told you I was a technophobe. 

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Join the club - we number a fair few!  LOL!  These emojis are doing my head in - they keep shooting off the page and I have to scroll up to get them - now they freeze and I have to close the page and open it up again.  I liked the way they used to be.

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Just thought I’d share that I’ve had such a lovely day today. I had a great day at work with lovely colleagues a lovely job and amazing weather, then this evening I did 108 sun salutations for the summer solstice and international yoga day at south fistral which was just brilliant. Then when I got home OH had made dinner for me and there was a beer in the fridge. Feeling thankful and lucky.

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That looks wonderful - Bright Blessings m'Dear. What a lovely day... happiness is within you today.

(and so is the beer!)

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MH you must be very near Newquay? ES has just returned from a week's residential there and had a wonderful time. I think I have most of a beach in his luggage, though! 

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8 hours ago, soapdragon said:

MH you must be very near Newquay? ES has just returned from a week's residential there and had a wonderful time. I think I have most of a beach in his luggage, though! 

I’m half an hours drive from Newquay. I used to live there when I was in my twenties but I wouldn’t want to now. It’s coastline is stunning and you can usually find yourself a quiet hidden away spot if you know where to look, but it’s really too much of a party town for me now. Blimey I must be old 😂

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The chickens stood here like this for ages today. The air was very heavy and they've started laying eggs again after a long, long break and as they're pretty old I think they're feeling a bit tired. 

IMG_20190624_113947.jpg

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Strange little birdies - maybe they could sense some sort of predator.  They obviously feel very safe in that spot.   It has been very humid, so I'd have done the same.

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I have hardly any sparrows in my neighbourhood, and missing the starlings too this year... But I have a real big fat woodpigeon that is not really taking any notice of me anymore as long as there is some hen food to be found and he/she can take a dip in the waterbowl.

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We have lots of sparrows and other small birds, warblers, finches that sort of thing, and I am loving watching them hop about on the ground and periodically leap onto a long grass stalk for the seeds.  There are a lot of goldfinches about at the moment, easy to spot!  Although they are nesting under our tiles, I'm sure we haven't had 5 hatches, that must be some sort of record?!

Yesterday we had an apricot, a loquat and a fig off our trees.  The fig was an unexpected early bonus, the apricot was the best I've had this year (not saying a lot), but the loquat was superb.  Its quite late for them, and this one was 100% ripe, very sweet.

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At the risk of displaying my ignorance (which I usually try to keep hidden!) what is a loquat? Is it like a kumquat but nearer the ground?

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Nearly!  It does look a lot like a kumquat, but a bit bigger.  I can't describe the flavour as its unique, at its best its sweet and juicy and fruity, it doesn't taste of anything in particular, just really pleasant.  The stone in the middle often splits into 3, and its large, and the flesh clings around it, but the fruit are easy to eat.  The texture is a bit like a non-stringy mango.  They are often a bit tart and sweet at the same time, so they make very good jam (like a plum does).  The trees grow tall and have large, quite leathery leaves, dark green in colour, which provide good shade.  The flowers are small and white, and hang in clusters, and when you stick your nose in, they smell like baby powder.  They grow well around here, we bought one which is young but fruiting, and I am growing one from seed as well. I am a big fan😀

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