Posts Tagged chickens

A Few Early Summer Pursuits

Mr. Tialys says I buy too many bags.  What nonsense!  At least I use the bags.  It’s the shoes I keep buying that are a waste – I must come to terms with the facts.

   – I don’t live somewhere anybody would consider it practical to wear heels.

    – I don’t go out in the evenings enough to wear them and, if I did, the previous fact would still probably apply.

   –  I am not one of the cast of Mad Men

    – I can’t wear them to go shopping because they have started to make my hips hurt after a couple of hours.

 Isn’t life cruel?

Anyway, back to the bags, which I have decided don’t count if Imake them instead of buying them.  Sneaky eh?

I like this pattern because it produces a bag which actually looks like a shop bought one – I hope so anyway!!  I got the pattern from the amazingly talented Lisa over at  u-handbag.  It was actually a generous free download on Lisa’s blog but she has these special handles in her online shop, plus the interlining, etc. that you need.  She made a lovely floral one and calls it the ‘Graceful Kelly Bag’ but I fancied spots ‘cos I’m more that kind of person, if you know what I mean, although I might stray into floral next time.  I had fun with the interior too

I must confess, I was a bit scared of the gluing in part as I have only used sew in frames on little clasp coin purses before.  It is a good idea to put masking tape over the metal before you brandish the glue.  Ask me how I know this.  Anyway it was fun but I’m going to road test this one before I make any more to make sure the glue I used is up to the job of my wallet (not very heavy due to buying too many bags!), cheque book (just in case), phone, keys, occasional book, etc. etc.  Maybe I could learn to make shoes too.

Changing the subject, why is it that weeds and plants that self seed often do so much better than the things we plant?  Here is a case in point

Mr. T. will be pleased as I’ve given you a partial glimpse of his dry stone wall which he is very proud of and is home to countless lizards and other things no doubt.  I actually tried to take a close up of these huge bee like things we have here which buzz and hover but are black with a sort of purplish tinge.  I have a feeling somebody told me they were called Carpenter Bees but I might be wrong.  Anyway, I gave up in the end because he wouldn’t keep still long enough and I got fed up but I liked the close up of the poppies anyway and, if you click on the pic and look  closely, you can see what looks like a big raisin inside one of the blooms.

Still in the garden, I have suddenly realised that our chickens are thoroughly spoilt.  Not only have they got a custom made chicken house but they appear to have roses around the door now too.

Certainly something for Darth (don’t ask) to crow about

the neighbours love him – you can imagine!

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Shocking Statistics (1)

Sometimes I see statistics which really shock me.  I thought I’d include some of them here occasionally as I am very generous and like to share my shock with others!

‘855 million chickens are slaughtered for their meat in Britain each year; only 5% of them are free-range’  (The Independent)

I probably found this particular statistic so shocking as I keep chickens myself .  I also thought lots more people bought free range chicken these days.  I suppose, the vast majority go into processed foods like ready meals, chicken nuggets and fast food outlets.  I don’t even want to think about what the statistic for the whole world would be.

HAPPY CHICKENS

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Is It Summer Yet?

I feel like I’ve just woken from hibernation and gone staggering outside, blinking in the sunlight, marvelling at the things that have appeared since I went to sleep last November.  Yes, it’s warming up, the sun is out and  I actually want to go out in the garden again.  Don’t get me wrong, I have to go out in the garden every day in order to trek up the side of the small mountain with the dogs but, before today, with a couple of exceptions, I’ve gone out and immediately wanted to come back in again and throw some logs on the fire. 

Happily, as we are now completely out of logs, having used around double what we usually get through, that may no longer be necessary.  I think summer may well be here.  Well, it is getting on for the end of May and we are in the South of France so it is about time.  What happened with the weather this year?  We had snow at the beginning of May!  Is it the volcanic ash cloud messing with the climate as well as with the flight schedules?

Anyway, I was out there watering the tubs of geraniums which would normally be adorning our balcony by now but which are being pampered inside the greenhouse in case of another cold snap, when I spotted an old wheelbarrow which was picturesquely rusting behind the compost heap.  I hauled it out and am going to plant it up with stuff over the weekend.  I think it is sufficiently rusty and knackered looking  not to look twee. 

Picturesque Rust?

Anyway, that’s my plan.  There is a big flower market in a local village over the weekend  so I should have a lot of choice.  However, in reality, and based on past performance, I won’t actually get round to it and Mr. Tialys will eventually, and with many meaningful sighs, put it back behind the compost heap where it will be ready for me to discover  anew next year. 

The chickens are enjoying the sudden warmth.  Darth  has accompanied his harem on a promenade through the grass, obviously deeply grateful that he isn’t buried up to his chest in cold white stuff any more.  The dogs are wanting to be outside all the time, the cats roll about and play fight and, if I had lambs, I expect they would be frolicking in a cute and photogenic manner. 

Darth and Wife No. 1

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Chickens – Killers or Carers?

The other day my mother told me about a story she had heard on the news where a fox had got into a chicken house and, unable to get back out, the chickens killed him.  Although I would hate it if a fox took any of my chickens, I must admit I did feel a bit sorry for the fox.  What a way to go!  Also, I wasn’t entirely surprised as I have seen how vicious chickens can be.  When we still lived in England, our chickens there had somehow found a little fledgeling bird and one of them was running around with it in her beak while the others chased her for their share.  I had never realised, until then, how carniverous they were.  Anyway, we somehow managed to rescue the little fledging and, assuming it had fallen down from one of the many nests under the eaves, we put it inside our old pet rats’ cage, with the lid open, and the mother flew down every day to feed it.  In the end, it managed to fly off.

On the other hand, when we had a broody hen, a neighbour gave us some fertile eggs and we put them under the hen.  Two of them hatched and the four adult hens fussed over those chicks all day long.  Whenever they found a tasty morsel in the garden (hopefully not baby birds), they would call to the chicks to come and eat first.  Then I read about a broody hen who. taking advantage of the family dog going outside and leaving her puppies for a moment, decided to get in with them to keep them warm.

Mabel with the puppies

 

Who said chickens don’t have personalities?

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Cockerel Trouble

We have a cockerel and 5 hens.  The only reason we have a cockerel (and one of the hens) was because all 4 of the original hens went broody and my husband had the ‘good’ idea of giving them fertile eggs to sit on.  Two hatched and one was a cockerel although, of course, we didn’t know that at first. 

He has been fine until recently when he suddenly took against one of the hens and nearly killed her.  Blood everywhere!  We managed to separate them but every time we let them out at the same time, he goes for her again.  They have a huge garden to wander around in so it’s certainly not overcrowding that’s the problem.

This has led me to a ‘Poultry Keepers Forum’ where I had to ask for advice – I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be on a poultry forum but, there you go.  Some advice given but most of it we had already tried.  So, this weekend, when my husband gets home, I’m going to ask him to make another chicken house and then I’m going to separate them into two flocks.  He won’t be pleased. 

‘Why not do away with him?’   I hear you ask.  Because I’m a fool and we gave him a name and he’s handsome and I like hearing the cockcrow in the morning.

The Villain

The Villain

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