You know, I sometimes feel that all I do is talk about the weather, and not necessarily in a positive light. This weekend has been GRIM. Rain, grey winter has truly arrived on UK shores, and as the fog and dampness flows up The Thames, I’m getting hit with some unwelcome weather. Of course, it’s all rather good for the garden – the plants love all this extra moisture. But… Continue reading
Heeeeeeeaaaatwave. Cor blimey, gov’ner, bit hot ain’t it.
Once again, this is why us Brits are notorious for our weather ramblings; it’s because it’s so changeable. Last week it was monsoons, storms and lashing rain. Now, I’m sat in next-to-nothing with a fan (though, it’s actually pointed at the dogs) and trying to survive the sweltering heat. I do like it in the evenings though; perfect for watering… Continue reading
On Sunday, I went to the lovely Blindley Heath Country Fair and happened upon some Hylands for sale. The lovely point-of-lay (POL) pullets were only £10 each, so knowing I wanted to grow my layers flock, I nabbed a couple. They were very happy and healthy hens and I popped them into a quarantine pen and left them scratching around in the sawdust and laying eggs.
This morning I entered… Continue reading
I’m obsessed. Chickens. They’ve taken over my life. This past weekend I’ve had another hatch – kind of by accident. I bought six silver-laced poland eggs at an auction, and couldn’t bear to do a half-filled incubator run so I topped it up with homegrown eggs. Of 17 eggs, 14 made it to Day 21 – 13 have hatched and the final one is pecking inside, though it hasn’t yet… Continue reading
It’s been extremely foggy here the past few days. Living closer to a river, the pervading moisture never lifts either, so it’s been very damp; not that I’ve minded. In fact, I quite enjoy the atmospheric mystery it creates. The garden’s happier too with a little moisture, and though the poland chickens crests are all a little lacklustre, the flock don’t seem to mind the creeping mist and falling temperatures.… Continue reading
So, this girl on the left is the last one standing. In fact, when I say girl, I mean transgender. This little Buff Nankin started life as a hen called Gabby. They’re not huge layers like many bantams, preferring to lay just one or two clutches per year instead of the egg machines we’ve become used to. I found Gabby and… Continue reading
At three and half weeks old the four little fluffballs are doing incredibly well and have proved that rearing chicks is quite easy. Tiny, the last of the clutch to hatch and who looked rather off colour for the first days of life, is almost unrecognisable from her three clutch mates. I say her because as I recollect, Rhode Island Red hen chicks are slightly dark in colour than their… Continue reading
Spring is here, everything is becoming lush and green, and seedlings are starting to thrive. However, lusty urgings are also starting to stir, and for one unlucky individual their sexual prowess may just be the end of the them.
Little Red, who has until now lived a very happy life, may be looking to a dismal future. I’ve been having the distinct impression for some time now that unfortunately she… Continue reading
Keeping livestock is not for the faint hearted. I awoke this morning to a listless crowd, there was some passing interest in the kitchen scraps, a few clucks at a worm, but far from the normal rowdiness. I went to a clients, I had some wine, I rescued a women and child who had filled their diesel car with petrol. I then discovered, after hearing some odd sounds booming from… Continue reading
I am once again craving solitude, aspiring for hermiting, and wanting to disappear to a land far from London. Off in the deepest reaches of Suffolk, beyond towering buildings and sprawling suburbia, lie some quiet, green, unkept acres. My family farm, now mostly sold to a holiday let entrepreneur, is hidden amongst a patchwork of fields, a labyrinth of hedgerows. Our land rented to farmers for the meantime, it continually… Continue reading
I’ve always found that by far the best pest control in any garden is chickens. I keep a small group of 7, 2 silkies, 2 buff nankins and 3 light sussex. They provide me with fresh eggs, an outlet for all my, and many of my neighbours kitchen waste, a constant supply of nutrient rich manure and on hand, organic pest control. If you aim to let chickens out in… Continue reading
Silkies may possibly be one of the best little hens on earth. With 12 eggs winging their way to me, 6 light sussex and 6 Gold Brahma’s, it seemed that both Georgia and Elle had decided to spite me, join forces with the wintering gale and weathermans threaten of snow, and go totally non broody after both sitting on top of each other in the nestbox for several days. Elle… Continue reading
Both Silkie hens are now broody! I’ve placed each in a seperate pen, their own nests and they have now been sitting cooing softly for the past couple of days.
I won another eBay bid on some light sussex eggs which should be winging their way to me now as I speak. After the problem with the last batch I have chosen Georgia for these. This is by far the… Continue reading