Wednesday 28 April 2021

Old House You Have To See

The farm I grew up on has a 40 acre wood running alongside it. And just off the edge of that and the land that dad farms is a derelict house. My brother and I always used to explore it when we were children. 

The other day we went over to visit mum and dad and my brother and his family and I persuaded us all to go for a walk with the intention of having a look at the house again. I always had dreams of doing it up, it's completely cut off from services, about 500 yards away from a beautiful river and on the edge of the wood I used to play in as a child. But the landlords would never sell it, the house itself being tied into another tenancy. 

It's probably been 15 years since I last looked round it, I think I took my wife to see it (before we were married), since then it's taken a sudden step towards complete destruction. 

Sunday 25 April 2021

Yet More Chicks!

We're certainly taking advantage of having our own breeding flock at the moment! More eggs hatched this week.

From 25 eggs we had 25 hatch but unfortunately two chicks weren't good. but that's still some great odds. A dry hatch is the way to go, no messing with water. Switch it on and forget it until it's time to get them from the cradle 2 days before.  

These are all Indian game and the plan will be for most of them to go in the freezer unless anyone wants to buy hens. So for once I'm hoping for lots of cockerels! 

The 6 juveniles hatched out 3 weeks ago got moved into another pen, we had to borrow a heat plate for a few more weeks but they're not using it much. 

They've been loving the grass, and so spend a fair bit of time squaring up against each other - does this mean more males I wonder?

 My youngest has been spending hours just watching the chicks. It's funny as we hatch so many sometimes the children don't pay that much attention once they're hatched but this time they've been out their loads. It's nice now they're all at an age I can trust them with them as well and don't have to watch them constantly. 

Sunday 18 April 2021


 #### This is a collaborative post ####

I take between four to five hundred photos a month. I take photos of everything, from the completely mundane to the occasional beautiful photo.

One of my favourite photo's I've ever taken

One thing I never get round to doing is changing them from digital files to something we can actually see on a daily basis! 

Thursday 15 April 2021

April Weather

April has always been one of my favourite months, the weather is always impossible to guess!

On Monday we woke up with a good covering of snow and it made me thankful that I was so behind in the garden! Whilst I'd been feeling guilty everyone else had their potatoes in for me it was great to have that job still to do! 

Sunday 11 April 2021

Planting Elm Trees

The other day I finished reading this rather excellent book called "Barn Club" about a community project building an elm framed barn using traditional methods. 

One thing that really struck me was how there was still lots of elm trees about if you knew where to look. Not that they get to a good size anymore, unless in a pocket that never got seriously affected by the disease, but there are still some that get to useful timber size. Also how much this timber used to be used. Many of the old carpentry books I've got talk about it's uses, from water pipes to coffins to the hubs of wheels! 

Sunday 4 April 2021

Bird Box With My Middlest

I've been building a great project with my eldest after school and a few hours on the weekend - a spoon mule (a variant of a shave horse) but was aware that my younger children were also keen to build something with me. 

With my younger daughter (my middlest) I decided that a simple bird box might make a great little project we could easily complete together. I cut all the pieces ready and then got her to drill all the pilot holes to guide the nails. 

I think we could maybe do with a lighter hammer for them, but she managed to knock most of the nails in unaided. We used the vice in the workshop to help hold bits while she lined them up as well (not in any photos).

We put the hole in the front the right size for a sparrow, but that is suitable for other types as well. Top is screwed on so we can clean it out should we need to. 

Probably a bit late to be putting it up but better late than never! Last year we did one around this time and had blue tits in it within days! We placed this down in the coppice area, be nice to make a few more and have them all around the place.

What type of bird boxes do you have at your place - does anyone find a certain style works better than any others?

Saturday 3 April 2021

Poultry Out Of Lockdown!

So this week the poultry could come back out and free range! Woop! 

It hasn't been too bad as I have lots of pens, but I was desperate to get the ducks out of the polytunnel! 
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