Friday, 16 April 2010

Picking Myself Up Again

When I look back on the past year, it has been a real doozy. We were nearly bankrupt, I got a new job, came into some money, sorted out some bills, bought a new little earth car, and it goes on and on. No matter where one lives, life happens, its ups and downs, its victories and tragedies.

Friday, 10 April 2009

The Girls First Free Ranging







it
It was a perfect day today and so we let the girls out of their run for the first time.
Curiousity ruled the day with Harriot immediately getting stuck between the run and the side of the house. She needed rescued and was not impressed with the great outdoors. She and Henrietta stonked back into the run and remained there after a quick doubtful peruse of just the immediate area. Harriot is the chicken top right photo. Repecka stayed out most of the morning and explored the whole garden, even digging up some small worms for herself. She's the black hen by the small water feature. We thought we would have a terrible time getting them back into their run, but we didn't. I guess there's no place like home! :-)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Is There Anything Better Than a Bath?


EVEN IF IT'S A DUST BATH? I put mite powder in a sand tray full of dirt and sand and plopped it in the run this afternoon. Repecka was in there like a rocket throwing dirt all over herself, and so it went with every hen according to the pecking order. Oh they were so pleased! There's not much dirt left in there, but I will fill it up again and let them have another go on the next sunny day. It is such an ordeal to get mite powder on the hens and this is an easy peasy way of doing it.
Repecka has laid her second egg this afternoon. It was just a tiny little thing of perfection like her last one. This time she went off to lay it while everyone cued up to have a bath (dust that is). She already had hers and so it was an ideal time. No screaming any announcements this time. Repecka just got on with it and came right back out and on with the day. I guess she WILL be giving us a tiny egg every day and still trying to grow to her full potential. Bless.
I am totally in love with these hens. They are charming in their own sweet way. They are unpretencious and silly and yet as centered and intelligent as any animal. I just can't wait to see what they do tomorrow!


Monday, 6 April 2009

Repecka Lays Her First Egg




Repecka has been really busy all day Sunday and this morning going from one hen house to the other into the nest boxes and back out again. This morning, she spent almost all morning intently doing this. She finally settled in one and I heard alot of shuffling about. An hour later I heard loud shrill clucking and crowing and I thought, "Oh no! It must be a fox or cat attacking the hens!". I bolted out to find her in the middle of the run with all the other hens around her, telling the world, and believe me, it was the WHOLE world that she had layed her first egg! She was excited as I was! We celebrated with a handful of cracked corn all the way around, and she finally quit screaming about what she did. It's a tiny egg, but perfectly formed, warm and clean as a whistle. Bless. She seems to be relieved that it all is over for now. She's gone back to dominating the other hens and stuffing herself stupid with the big head of broccoli that I have hanging in the run for them. I don't imagine we will get an egg a day, which is a good thing considering how she screams to tell the world! LOL!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Our New Hens Are Here








We went to get our chickens on Saturday at The Hen House in Eye. So many kinds of chickens and so many choices! We came away with a Light Sussex, a Black Rock, a Cou Cou Maran, and a Calder Ranger. We named them Atilla the Hen (Tilly), HENrietta, Harriet, and RePECKa. The lady we bought them from was very impressed with our knowledge and was in awe of the box we brought with us to bring them home. We were so confident and excited. The hens didn’t make a peep all the way home. We put them straight into their house and closed the door. They did a lot of churring and looking out the window and pooing!
After two hours we let them out and it took them awhile to come down the ramp and explore. But once they started, they did all the things that happy chickens do. They scrabbed, sun bathed, ate themselves stupid, drank lots of water and ate grit. They were very quiet and then Repecka had a bit of a peck at the others. I think it is safe to say she is the Amazon of the lot.
We started to worry about them going back inside to bed when it turned 8:00. But then they started to churr at each other and then, one by one, off they went back into the hen house. They called for Tilly when she decided that she wasn’t ready to go to bed yet.
So now they are locked up securely in their house for the night and we are hoping they will remain safe through the night.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

It's Okay, It's Okay



Yesterday I had a meeting 18 miles away from my office. So I got into our very reliable old Mondeo (over 100,000 miles on her) and off I went. Well, the trip was doomed from the start. I couldn’t find the poxy place with the sat nav because all of the streets were pedestrianised. Finally I found the place but couldn’t find where to park. A half hour later, I found the parking and of course, it was chocker block.

I left the meeting half hour early as it turned out to be not as worthwhile as I had thought it would be. Motoring on along a country road, the car jolted with a hug bang and it took everything I had to control the car. Ah yes, lovely winding narrow East Anglian road. Where to pull off safely? Finally I was able to pull off the road and got out to check the car. TWO flat tires, one with a hole the size of a 50p coin and both rims smashed in as though someone took a sledge hammer to them.

With shaking hands I dug out the recovery service number and my mobile phone. No signal. Sigh. I just got a new work’s mobile phone yesterday . Pulled that out, no signal. Clenching teeth I looked around for any stores, etc. Ah yes, a huge herd of sheep across the road, and on my side two houses that look like they haven’t been inhabited in 15 years. About a mile back I thought I saw a paper shop. So off I went down the road to use the paper shop’s phone. I was to do this again 5 more times in the 3 and a half hours, desperately recalling my insurance company asking where the *&^% wrecker was?????? The rest of the time I spent standing by my car shivering and forlorned. Two men stopped to change my tire until they saw that it was two tires. One of them, Russell, bless him, stayed with me the rest of the time until the wrecker came. He said he wouldn’t leave a woman in a “muddle”. I really don't know what would have happened to me if it wasn't for those two blessed souls (Russell and the lady at the paper shop).

Edwin and I have been married now for several years and there has been precious little cause for him to become cross with me. Any heated arguments we have seem to be over silly things like turning the heat up and down or where to locate our hen house. When this happened, the old feeling came back, and I could see my ex-husband’s face two inches from mine, screaming at me and hating me for my folly. When the wrecker finally pulled into the dealership’s I could feel hot tears on my cheeks and the poor man driving asked if I would be all right with my husband. My lip trembled and I muttered that my ex-husband was abusive but that Edwin wasn’t and all would be well. I was horrified that Himself could reach out from my past and make me feel so horrid. I hated him for sewing seeds of doubt in my mind.
When Edwin pulled into the dealership he held me, told me that he was so glad that I wasn’t hurt and that we would sort it out. No fuss, no anger, no blame - just quiet, warmth and that blessed wink. The whole three hours that I waited for the wrecker I pondered why this happened out of the blue and though I knew in my heart that Edwin would not react badly . . . . still. Now I know that it probably helped to remind me that this marriage truly was different. Life can be easy even in times of trial. I really am worth someone’s love and care. BIG Reminder! Lesson learned.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Great Chicken Run



















I thought I would share this wonderful story with you now that it is complete. I am an avid participant in The Allotment site. It has two chicken forums, and I am forever on those too! At the beginning of the month, one of the people on the forum needed to rehome two of her Bantam roosters. She lives in Devon. There was a person on the forum from all the way up in Darlington that said that he would be glad to take the roosters. How to get them all that way as it is too far for the chickens to travel in one go without being stressed? Members started to pipe up saying, " I can get them as far as such and such." Then someone in that town said, "I’ll keep them for a few days and then take them as far as such and such." and before we knew it, The Great Chicken Run was created. I believe there were about six different families that pulled together to get these chickens safely to their new home.
So here is the web address for the forum: http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=32299.0.
When you get on that page, look for the topic "Chicken Run Start Today?" It is wonderful to follow the chickens’ progress and how excited everyone was! The pictures I have here are of the roosters, William and Anri Paul. The picture is of them in their carrying crate. It is one of those stories that is as delicious as a cup of hot chocolate! Enjoy!