Thursday, 2 February 2017

Avian Flu Silver lining and odds and sods

Like all poultry keepers, I'm sick of this avian flu for one reason or another.  I do not want to get into politics as we all have our own views on it.  However, one thing I think most of us smallholders, self sufficient and self reliant folks have in common, is the ability to make the best from a bad situation.
Although the poultry is stuck inside, they do have light, food, water and warm beds so their lives could be worse.  However for us, the food bill to feed them seems high.  Now I don't have last year's costs to compare this too, however my gut feeling is that it's high and although the wild birds are no longer taking their share, I reckon the barn mice and rats are! 
We've known for a while about hanging your poultry feeders off the ground to deter rats and other critters, but we've never got round to it.  So Steven has designed a hanging feeder which we are trialling in the barn.  We have put the same amount of food in on day 1 and then day 2.  Day 1 seeing the feeder on the floor and day 2 hanging up. 
I'll report back on how well they have done.
Once we move them back outside, we'll hang the feeders from the trees.  Now where the birds will go when they're outside is another discussion.  Having the over winter in the barn has opened our minds to where we will house them in 2017 as other animals come along.  I'll do more on that another day too.
So the silver linings being that we're trialling a new way of feeding them that we've not done before and we're giving thought to the best place for the hens in 2017. 
I've also been making mango chutney which Dawn posted about a week or 2 ago and I've wanted to do it since.  It's a lovely recipe which you can find here.  I am really pleased that the food year is already off and running.  Who says preserving is only for the summer?
I'll be using it in a sausage recipe on Sunday when I put a spread on for my daughters 10th birthday.
The seeds are making their way up into the daylight.  It always amazes me that these dormant seeds suddenly sprout life.  The first ones of the year are extra special.


I couldn't finish without showing you this.  On a morning, the youngest dogs come with me to the barn to run off their energy.  So when they were quiet, my senses went on high alert and I found them both happily chewing on undesirable things!  Nothing poisonous, but I'll spare you the details.  No wonder they were quiet.

8 comments:

  1. The chutney looks relish! Glad to hear the chickens are doing well in difficult circumstances. x

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    1. Thank you on both counts :) Hope you are doing ok after your illness x

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    2. Yes thank you...and I meant to type delish...have a feeling autocorrect had something to do with it! x

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  2. God job Ste, again, with the feeder. Jeeze its blowing a gale here!

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    1. It still is here too. Thank you. He's chuffed with them x

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  3. Our feeder is suspended from the roof, I find it keeps the feed cleaner, glad you got a chance to try the chutney.

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  4. I showed the picture of your coop to my husband. We have a large metal outbuilding and could partition it off like that to have more poultry (which I don't need) instead of building a third coop. Thanks for the inspiration!

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