Wednesday, May 31, 2006

total eggs = 85 - Dhylis but Marjorie is laying again - yippee - 2 more ot go now!

No posts for the past couple of days. We had the town carnival on bank holiday Monday - I've attached a couple of photo's of the best floats. We are really lucky in that they drive past our house - so we don't have to leave upstairs to see the whole precession. I do think we are the only carnival to have antique tractors in it - and people actually come out to watch them?

We had a nice roast dinner for tea, chicken, a fancy one from waitrose, free range - organic and really really tasty. It was £13 though - so not cheap - but at least the chicken had a nice life while it was alive.Whatt was really sad was looking at the little poussin, and working out that's probably about the size of the girls with their feathers removed (which Penny is doing a good job of herself anyway!)

Yesterday was very busy at work, so I didn't get anytime for blog writing - in fact I came home and worked - which wasn't much fun. We hadChinesee takeawaybecausee I was so tired and bored after all the working I couldn't be bothered to cook after that - so risotto it is tonight (yesterdays dinner).

So today has been quite uneventful. The holiday tickets arrived - 2 week in Thailand - I can't wait - we were only there in January - but have worked so hard since we are both exhausted all the time. Books have been bought, but no packing done yet. I;ve got to juggle a business trip to the US, and Thailand in 1 suitcase - logistics of the holiday were very well thought out, but does mean I land from the US in the morning, and fly out to Bangkok on the same evening - not ideal but the only 2 weeks not already booked by others at work.

So I've got home form work, walked Boris down the mill, and saw the free rangers in their field - from who I counted today - there were about 20 hens, I think their Rhode Island reds, but could also be Gingernut rangers - big orange chickens anyway.

I've then deweeded the veggie bed, to discover the runner beans are finally growing - all this wet weather has really not helped. And I've planted 5 rows of lettuces - it was only supposed to be 3 of mixed leaves, but when I opened the packet there were 5 individual packets to make it mixed which was a tad annoying.

So I'm out in the garden writing this - Boris is out too (on the lead), and the girls are free ranging. Penny has been out for about 20 minutes, but has now gone to bed again. Sylvie has her eyes closed and is resting, Marjorie is flapping about round the garden, and Dhylis is..........You'vee guessed it - digging!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

No eggs today - total = 82
This is the post with the photo's for today. The girls have been out free ranging for most of the day, and conviently dug the slate out of the only bit of the garden we haven't put the lawn edging round! They were all sunbathing, which was really good to see.
We took Boris out past the mill and through the field which has horses and cows in it. They were all up near the other gate, so we walked up, so see one of the cows running over to his friends - notice the "His" friends. We came round the corner, to come face to face with 20 male cows, and all of the horses but one. The cows were very interested in us, and Boris started woofing at them. The 20 cows then all went round behind us, and started herding us. They were getting quite fast - so we speeded up too, and then came to the horses with their foals - so they were a task to get past too. As you can imagine we got out of the field pretty sharpish. As soon as we were out of the field we were full of confidence and stood their talking to the cows, and stroked them. I forgot to take the camera - which was really annoying - and the cows were really sweet when we were the other side of the fence!
Here's a picture of Boris taken in the garden - with the lawn edging, and one of the girls sunbathing in the run this morning - the first time I have seen Dhylis lie down in the whole 8 weeks we've had her!

Total eggs - 82 - Dhylis a s usual yesterday (checked after it stopped raining).
The Monaco grand prix is on the TV, Alsonso is winning, after the farce of the Shumacher qualifying. OH has cleaned out Fat frank today. I think we have decided to let him go in the pond today. He's really grown in the 2 years that we have had him, and needs a bit more space - unfortunately that means we will never see him again - as the pond fish aren't very sociable - unlike Frank who is a very sociable fish!
The chickens are out free ranging, have been for the past hour and half. Penny even came out to join them, then she picked on Sylvie, pecking her and chasing her around the garden - which really wasn't fair on poor Slyvie - although she didn't look like she was limping when running at full speed to avoid Penny. Marjorie has just located the watering can which has some water in it - so she's been drinking from that.
We had delicious poaked egg on toast today - it's turning into the usual weekend breakfast - and is delicious. I never realised how different a home grown egg tastes compared to the rubbish supermarket ones - even the free range ones. The yolks are such a different colour, and the taste is amazing.
with only 1 of the girls laying a thte moment - we may be in trouble for running out of eggs - which surely can't be right when you have 4 hens?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Total eggs - still the same - not going outside to check at it is raining.
I've been awake since about 5am this morning, and am starting to flag now. It's pouring with rain outside, so we are relegated to the lounge watching the Monaco grand prix qualifying. Massa has just crashed, so it may be interesting. I've just put the heating on now, as it's so cold.
We've taken Boris out today - to the mill, as you can see from the photo's. It closed down about a year ago, and has just been granted planning permission to be knocked down and lots of new houses built on it. It's quite sad really, I know it is a bit of an isore, but you do get used to it.
The walk takes about 30 minutes, and luckily we dodged the rain. From the mill, you walk up the road, across the railway line,
, then across a wheat field
- which has definitely grown in the last 2 weeks, then up to the school, and home. It's really nice, but was very very muddy today - so we had to walk very carefully as it was so easy to slip over.
I've nipped out to the pet shop, and bought some lice treatment. I've ordered the deosect from the web, but it won't be delivered until Wednesday at the earliest - so I decided to get them something the meantime, as they are crawling with the little monsters. On the way back I got them a couple of cabbages, which again Dhylis was scared of, but soon decided it was eatable. Sylvie also came out of the house. She's limping, so we cut off some of her long foot feathers to see if it made her balance a bit better. It really can't be easy walking with so many feathers on your feet. The other chooks don't have anywhere near as many feathers on their feet.A

Friday, May 26, 2006

Total eggs = 81 Dhylis again

Finally the weather appears to be nice. It was raining this morning when I went to work - as you can see from grumpy Dhylis and Marjorie below, but now it's lovely bright sunshine.

I've just let the girls out in the garden, and come down to find Sylvie and Majorie sunbathing - they looked so sweet.

They were then rudely awakened by Bert - so seemed to be as scared as them as they were off him. When he crept up on Dhylis, she ran squaking down the garden which made all of the others run too. Bert thought he was being attacked, so leapt over the fence again.

Boris heard all of this from in the house, and was going mad trying to find out what was happening (he's not allowed out with the chickens as he'd probably eat them).

They are all still out in the garden, sunbathing and dhylis is digging for a change. I think we may nip to homebase today - it's 10% day, as we seriously need some lawn edging. Dhylis - number 1 digger is doing a fine job of emptying the contents of the flower beds onto the lawn. It only takes a matter of minutes of minutes each day!

We've just fed them some grapes too, OH got involved too, which was really sweet. He really likes the girls and will let them out if he wakes up first.

So - I was going to post this yesterday - but I got distracted as we went to Homebase and bought the lawn edging - small willow edging. It did come with big loops on the top - but they looked really silly - so we've pulled them apart. I'll post a photo later, as it's a bit miserable and dark outside now. I couldn't sleep, so let the girls out at 5.15am, and am just watching who was evicted from the BB house.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

total eggs = 80
Dhylis again - 1 egg today

At last the weather is better, I actually managed to sit out in the garden and let the girls free range.

I've been to the vets today with the chickens new friends - definitely lice - so now another £48 on the girls for for deosect to cure them!

They've been out in the garden for about 40 minutes then took themselves off to bed. They did get a good mooch and dig though, and they looked so upset when I went out and didn't have any grapes for them - at least they come to see me now.

I've mown the lawn today too, so OH will be happy. The first day in 2 weeks it's been dry enough to do it, and the grass was so huge.

I also had a look at the new climatis in the garden - called Marjorie - and it's just come into flower - so the photo below.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Total eggs = 79
Only Dhylis laying - Sunday, Tuesday and today.
So, been a bit busy, so no time to update my blog. I've had a busy few days at work, and the weather has been appalling, so the chooks haven't been out much.
Got home today - slightly delayed, but I went straight down to see the girls to collect the eggs (or shoud that be egg). Penny was of course sat on the nest, so she was promptly removed, and a lovely egg from Dhylis was waiting for me. Just as I was putting Penny in the nest, I noticed something moving on her head. On closer inspection - it was a louse, and not just one, but loads!
I phoned the vets, after checking hhe omlet board for what to give them to get rid of them (frontline had been metioned), they said the chicken vet wasn't in now as it was late, and I should have phoned earlier, as they've had lots of clinics on all day - and I could have spoken to her if I had phoned earlier - to which my reply was " but I've only just got back from work, and this was the earliest I could have phoned - it would be great to stay at home all day and look at my chickens, but unfortunatley I have to work" - oh, but I still should have phoned earlier was the reply. The vet / receptionist whoever she was was really awful, thought I knew absolutley nothing about anything - which isn't true at all. Frontline was recommended by some people on omlet, so I suggested this - which was completely rebutted by this awful woman - as it isn't licensed. So - my response to this - why would a drug company with a very expensive flea/ lice treatment want to licence it on chickens? We why would they? It's only mad urban chicken owners like me who would want to pay for the best treatment - not chicken farmers with hundreds of thousands of chickens, so it isn't worth the investment - hence not licenced, but probably completely safe. I may just spend the next couple of weeks researching the effects of Frontline on chickens - that'll show them.
Just thought - I haven't heard Marjorie sneeze today - maybe she's cured - fingers crossed.
So, chicken eglu has been cleaned out, the girls looked most upset as their house was all over the garden. It's now back together - much to Penny's delight, she was straight back in the nest box, brooding again!
So, I'm now watching Holby City from Sky + a couple of weeks ago, debating that the heating should be put on in a minute - I never thought I'd be saying this in May - espicially with global warming.
Boris has desrted me, for upstairs, asleep on our bed no doubt, he's just been for a long walk down the station.
Here are a photo taken from the kitchen window - when we had 5 minutes of sunshine over the weekend.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Total eggs - 76
Marjorie - 1 egg yesterday
Dhylis - 1 egg today

So Penny and Sylvie are still brrody hence no eggs, so Marjorie and Dhylis are definitely in the lead now for the hen laying league!

Slyvie has been better today. She has been out free ranging with Dhylis and Marjorie, and has spent most of the day out in the run when it hasn't been raining.

Boris has had 2 nice walks down the mill today, and we even mananged to get to the recylcing for all the plastic bottles - 2 bin bags full of them. OH spoke to our dog walker yesterday - who apparently had 15 chooks at one point. He suggested giving them a cabbage - which we did today - and has gone down an absolute treat. After ducking when I put it in the run, dhylis was straight in there to see if it was eddible. I now looks like we have a green pekin bantam too - hopefully photo's tomorow!

Dinner is just cooking, a roast chicken for me, and a rolled rib of beef for OH. Eurovision tonight, but also BB, what to choose?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Total = 74 eggs
Marjorie = 2 (yesterday and today)
Dhylis = 1

I didn't manage to post yesterday - as I was good and left my laptop at work - so I wouldn't have to work when I got home.

The chickens are fine. Penny and Slyvie are still very broody, so I kept the elgu door closed today. Got home from work and opened the door, and Penny made a run for the next box, so we dunked her in cold water up to the neck (as recommened to cure broodiness - so she may start eating again). We put her back into the run, and left the door open, and again she went straight for the next box, so she was dunked again. She is now looking really really miserable in the garden, and I feel really bad now. Slyvie took one look at what we had done, and hasn't even looked at the next box - so it may have worked on her too - without even dunking.

We have just taken Boris for a long walk down to the mill, with our new pedometers attached - work this out - I take smaller steps than Tom, but he has more steps counted on his - 4291 against my 3971???? Just had another look at it,and I've done 5001 steps in less than 2 hours - that's half of what you should aim for a day - so I'm really chuffed now.

No photo's today as the camera is charging - we have 2 batteries and typically both have run out.

Time for dinner now - not sure what we are having yet, my even end up being fish and chips!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

total eggs - 70
Penny - egg today

well after a hard day at work, I'm now comftably sat down on the sofa, Bert is asleep next to me, and I'm watching Bones on Sky+.

The girls are out freeranging, and making a racket, as they have been shut out of the eglu, as Sylvie is still broody. I came home from work to find Penny in the next box, sat on a warm egg, and Sylvie in the eglu trying to get into the next box. After installing the gardening gloves, Penny was hastily removed and Sylvie too, as she made a mad dashf or teh next box as soon as it was opened - so the door is now closed.

I've just gone out to say hello, and check on them. They need constant supervision at the moment due to fox treats. I took some grapes with me, and dhylis was running over t get them and jumping to make sure she got the grapes rather than any of the other girls. Marjorie is still sneezing, but hopefully that will clear up soon after the vet trip yesterday.

15.05.06 - total eggs = 69
Marjorie, and Dhylis

I didn't manage to get a post completed yesterday as I spent the evening driving a 40 mile round trip to take Marjorie to the vets. She's had really bad sneezes for a week, and antibiotics haven't helped.
To catch her I tempted the girls over with grapes, only Dhylis, Penny and Marjorie were out, Sylvie is still broody and is becoming a nightmare. So, I sat down on the floor, they came running over - very greedy chickens, and started eating the grapes. I caught Marjorie, and turned my back to put her in the box, when I turned around Dhylis and Penny had eaten the other grapes on the floor - they really are greedy!
Marjorie sneezed all the way there, and it was really sad listening to her. I got lost a few times, the aa directions are good, but it would really help having the number of the house on them when you type in a post code!
So - the vet was very nice and checked her over. She listened to her heart, and checked her eyes and nose were clear - which they were. On further examination Marjorie started crackling when she was breathing, which pinpointed this is be left over Gapeworm - which she had 3 weeks ago. So we've got antibiotics, and instructions to worm her again - which I did last night - 1 handed as I was holding her too.
As a treat she was then let out to free range, I never seen her run so fast - I think she was very relieved to be stopped messing with! Dhylis and Penny came out too, but still no sign of Sylvie. She may get another dunking soon!
Then I cooked dinner, and had a phonecall from a friend I was at college with - I haven't spoken to her in about 2 years, so it was nice to catch up.
That's it for now,

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Total = 67 eggs
Marjorie - 1 egg
Penny - 1 egg

Well here goes, 1st attempt at writing a blog.

We live in the country, with a lurcher called Boris who is French,

a black moggie called Bert (he's not dead really),

a goldfish called Fat Frank (after Frank Lampard - my OH is a Chelsea fan) and 4 pekin bantams who live in an eglu called Dhylis, Penny, Marjorie and Sylvie.

Today has been pretty boring. I was up at 5.30am to let the chickens out. Dhylis, Penny and Marjorie, came out running, but there was no sign of Slyvie, so I opened the egg hatch and there she was nesting on top of the stone rabbit (put there to stop her getting broody - so obvisously not working). I gave up, and went back to bed!

We got up late - which was to be expected given that it is Sunday, and then took Boris our Lurcher for a walk down the mill. We saw a family of ducks, with some ducklings, and a couple of bunnies too. Only one other dog, a Red Setter today. We got back from the walk and let the chickens out in the garden, for a spot of free ranging. By this time, Marjorie wanted to lay an egg, but couldn't get into the nest box as Sylvie was still in there - so they squeezed in together. Sylvie was over the moon, an egg to sit on without the effort. She was speedily removed as was the egg, and the door closed - we need to get her over this broody pahse or it'll be no eggs for us.

The girls were out in the garden for the next 3 hours, Dhylis and Penny digging as usual, Marjorie and Sylvie eating grass.

I went outside to find Bert acting very oddly, to look down and see that he'd caught a baby mouse, which looked like it had a broken leg. I couldn't leave Bert to finish the job, so I locked him inside and then let the mouse crawl off. No sign of it 10 minutes later, so I think it's run off to die.

We watched the Spanish Grand Prix, Alonso won but it was a really boring race. I've just cleaned the girls out, first time for the run, which was interesting as I wasn't tall enough to get all of the bark out, especially down by the door. The eglu does look good with new bark - if a bit high off the ground now.

Then we took Boris out again, this time down the river, and we walked a nice long way. Boris swam a good proportion of it - on the lead of course as he can't be trusted! We saw 2 water rats swimming across the river, of which Boris saw one, he was straight in the water after it - if only his eye sight wasn't quite so good. We also saw a swan, which Boris was quite interested in, at least he had the sense not to chase it, as it was facing up to him making it's wings huge. I never realised quite how big a swans neck is, and as my OH would say "did you know a swan can break a mans arm with it's wing" - everytime we see a swan!

So that's it really a whole run down of what we've been up to - oh, of course I've forgotten to add the bit about the my OH fixing some bits of the website he's been building - this should of taken about an hour - 4 hours later and he's still doing it!

Maybe I should mention now - I was having trouble with the photos being added so asked the computer wizz to give me a hand. Needless to say - he's got bored as they were taking so long, so has left me too it.