Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Trials and Traumas and a Chicken for Sale

Fantastic weather - I love it and so do the girls. Five chickens, four eggs a day (even Nigella is laying albeit very small and somewhat wobbly shaped!) so lots of egg mayo sandwiches for lunch, omelettes and frittatas and no, my cholesterol won't get worse as recent papers have shown that eggs are actually very good for you (not that we didn't know that already).

It's been a bit of a sticky week for the new girls. When introducing any new birds into a new flock there is always going to be some ructions as they fit into the group structure. Firstly we increased the size of the lawn run (still no access to all of the garden until later in the year when the plants are established. Tallulah and Ruby got into the rest of the garden during the week and delighted in eating the newly emerges delphinium and hosta shoots and scratched out lots of new plants that had recently been put in). Tallulah and Nigella got exclusive use of the lawn run during the day just so they could build some confidence.

At least four girls in the run are getting along well!
Ruby has been hugely graceful and has accepted the two of them very well so she joined them during the day. Harriet was in complete princess mode and decided that they needed to be kept in there place so had to spend a few more days in the day run before getting to spend the day out on the lawn and all four a getting on really well. Stella.............well Stella!

Wanted - new home for Stella - are you interested?
As the lowest ranking chicken in the original group even though she is the biggest, Stella was determined to raise her ranking to ensure she didn't stay at the bottom of the pecking order and she has been doing it by brute force. A week after the new girls arrived and Stella still only gets mixed with them in the evening when she has a couple of hours out on the lawn with them and of course overnight but all seems to be okay then as everybody is roosting. I think that after this coming week they will all be together but we have decided to put Stella up for sale. Even though she is a bantam she is VERY solid, I picked her up the other day and now understand where all the food is going! She is also the most destructive bird in the garden. I hope we do find a new home for her as she is a stunning looking bird and laying really well at the moment (and her eggs are probably the best, for some reason Orpingtons always do produce huge yolks).

This week I watched "The Edible Garden" on BBC2 for the first time.
It's great - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s1lc8
The presenter Alys Fowler has also written a book to go with the series - I just ordered it to see if its as good as the television programmes.

Allotment is very busy at the moment, we have lots of trays filled with seedlings and working hard to get the beds ready for planting out. We also still have the mini polytunnel which we need to get erected soon as cucumber, tomato and melon seeds have already germinated and growing well!

I love Crocus http://www.crocus.co.uk/home/ (plant nursery and online store but not open to the public)they do great plants and put together some really good planting plans. I'm always inspired when the seasonal catalogue arrives so when we saw Crocus were having an open day we leapt at the chance and it was well worth the journey. Got some fantastic alliums, Cardiocrinum giganteum and a stunning dark red Dicentra however I really do need to stop mucking about with the pretty things and get on with the allotment and grow some veg to go with all the eggs.

1 comment:

king said...

we use the food grade Diatomaceous Earth at www.diatomx.co.uk. It has helped us combat red mites and bed bugs too