Tuesday 28 July 2020

The Chicken Of Tomorrow

When I shared some pictures of my indian game cockerels on twitter the other day we got talking about how they had been used in developing the modern meat birds. 

This lead us to talk bout "The Chicken Of Tomorrow" competition. Amazing to think that the development of a strain of chickens was a national effort in America and how they were worried at after the second world war people might not bother to eat chicken if birds with more meat couldn't be developed, switching back to just eating red meat. 

Incredible that the Ross Cobb birds we grow each year are descendant from these birds (the same type if birds tend to be called cornish crosses in America). But it also shows that by selling a hybrid like this the hatcheries make people dependant on buying from then. Much the same as the big seed companies have done with hybrid corns and grains. 

One reason why I've been interested in developing my own meat flock and trying different crosses with the indian game I have already. 

The video above is quite long but I watched it with my eldest and we both found it fascinating and a bit of food history that as people that produce our own meat should knwo about. 

Monday 27 July 2020

A Good Place To Work

More and more I'm trying to work from home. Selling my homemade items on Etsy and taking on different commissions as well as bits of writing work and doing talks. But I still take on work that means I have to go somewhere else. 

Because of my working week and childcare always being the top priority it means that I can be quite selective about what I take on. 

One of my best friends manages a group of buildings and he often asks me to work with him. This is something I enjoy and it keeps my skills up to date when it comes to working on houses. They're a range of old properties but one is a huge old hotel (I'm sure I've mentioned working there before) split into flats. 

On a nice day this work was too good to turn down. We had to make a balcony child friendly. But what a setting! 

Quite a simple job, but one that looks really good when it's done.

My friend did laugh at me for my lunch though. As he grabbed his sandwiches I grabbed my little camping stove and reheated all my left over food from the night before - my daughters curry and all the extra bits! 

I love working from home, but doing some jobs like this a few miles away is pretty good as well! I'll be forever thankful that I fell into carpentry some 18 or so years ago. 

Where's a good place where you sometimes work?

Sunday 26 July 2020

Indian Game

So I've not had very successful hatch rates when it comes to male and females this year. I was hoping to start a flock of indian game to bree from for meat. 

But I am pleased with the size of these cockerels! They look like muscle chickens! When I try to pick them up they're so wide it would be impossible one handed and they feel so strong! 
I have a feeling we will eat a few of these and just keep one or two for breeding and hopefully hatch out a few more before this year is out. 
Currently though my incubator is full of duck eggs and some more silkies to create breeding trios of those birds. Silkies seem very much on the other end of the spectrum but I'm really keen to have a small flock of them as well! 

What flock of chickens would you like to create or have? Would you rather keep dual purpose birds or have them for specific purposes (eggs, meat, broodiness)?

Thursday 23 July 2020

12 quid doesn't buy you much anymore, but it does get you this...

I'm all about reducing my spending, especially on highly taxed items. 

Now I don't drink much anyway but I do enjoy a beer on a Friday night. A cold one or two really hits the spot. 

I've just got back into making beer kits. I understand that it's not really homebrew, but it kind-of is without buying expensive equipment. 

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Indian Banquet

I've got to boast my daughter up, She's super proud of tea.

She cooked an Indian Banquet, obviously she couldn't deep fry stuff but she did all the prep! Samosas, bhajis, chapati and a chickpea curry! 

Such a lovely tea (and I get a good lunch box tomorrow!)

Monday 20 July 2020


A follow on from a post in February, my brother and I went to finish the Bathroom.

A busy weekend of work. Unfortunately the first day was heavy rain and it really slowed work down. That and the wrong sized doors had been ordered (not my fault I might add). 

Sunday 19 July 2020

What's your least favourite plant?

Yes you have a bit of a pretty flower, but I'm going to level with you Bindweed - you're a bit of a blinking nuisance. 

 Probably my least favourite plant in existence. What weed do you hate folks?

Saturday 18 July 2020

Single Batch Canning Is For Me

Today I picked just enough baby cucumbers (a gerkin type) to fill one pint jar. 

Not enough to get out my huge saucepan, fill it up and start boiling about 16litres of water. Instead I got my tall, narrow saucepan out and did enough for one! I already had the vinegar mix ready so I managed to do it while we ate lunch.

Yes, it doesnt add much to our larder, but it will add up over time if I can keep doing this, slowly and steadily. 

Anyone else can one jar at a time? I think this is really going to work for me! 

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Bantam Cockerels - Butcher day

##### This post contains pictures of dead animals ######

This year we've been using the incubator lots, it's hardly been off over the last few months. Now that means we've got a fair few birds running around the place.

Unfortunately we've been a little unlucky with our hatch ratios - not the best rates, but also so many more cocks rather than hens. The first batch we ended up with 13 chickens and turns out that only two of them are hens - and bantams at that! 

Monday 13 July 2020

Bread Seed Poppy

I've failed to grow these far more time than I've succeeded. 

This year I started them in the greenhouse, but covered them over with a board. seemed to be the key to my success. 

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Ducks Got Big!

I can't believe how fast these ducks have grown! They are huge! 

We moved them into a bigger pen the other day and it was far easier than moving chickens! The kids loved herding them as they waddled along (the ducks not the kids waddled).

Thursday 2 July 2020


Few fruits I love more than properly ripe cherries 

But few things do I struggle growing more. 

We netted our trees but still struggle to get more than a few berries. Time to go to the professionals. 

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