My First Double

Hi there keepers, a quick post to say how thrilled I was today to finally get a double yolker, and it came from the least expected source, the little eggs that Manuella the Minorca produces, however this was the biggest egg she has layed to date. I thought that maybe one of the shavers with their giant eggs might produce one but no, not to our knowledge, but then we have sold quite a few of those, so maybe someone else got one.

Big Eggs Have Landed

Hi keepers, our Minorca has been laying now for some four weeks, which is a delight, as the eggs have been the tasiest little white eggs I’ve ever had. It seems though wherever I read about Minorcas, it says that they lay the biggest white eggs of all the mediterranean birds, so I enquired on several sites( listed in blogroll), and everyone assured me they would gradually get bigger, so as I wouldn’t really notice.

Well today Manuella De Minorca layed an egg about 5 sizes up from the previous day, we thought we heard her clucking loudly this morning, and I’m not surprised judging by the size of the egg.  It’s enormous, it’s actually bigger than the shavers eggs, which is some feat, as there’s are usually bigger than you get in the shops, unless you go for Jumbo size. Here’s hoping they taste as good as the small ones.Manuella's first large egg

Finding a Chicken Sitter

Hello keepers, it seems that going away on holiday is going to be harder than it was pre chickens, it’s one thing to ask friends to come over and water your plants while your away for a week or two, however trying to find someone to either live at your house while your away, or come over at least twice a day is alot to ask, no matter how good a friend.

Feeding a cat is a common request from holiday goers, which again isn’t that much of a hardship, cats are so independant, they could look after themselves while you were away, they’d probably just go to the neighbour, as they do that whether your on holiday or not. However looking after a small flock of hens seems to daunt some people.

Is it possible to change egg colour?

Hi there keepers, just a quick post to ask that question really. Can you change, or I should say tint the colour of the eggs, by feeding the hens coloured food? The reason I ask this somewhat strange question is that, I noticed today that manuella’s eggs had a slight pink tinge to them, and it was only two days ago that she stopped eating the party food, which included a cake with very pink (fushia) icing, I’m wondering if this has made her eggs look slightly pink, hardly noticeable really, it was only when I put the eggs in the basket next to the previously layed eggs that I noticed this strange pink tinge.

Has any one had experience of this? or is it some other reason? please let me know via comment here, cheers.

Fussy Eaters

Hello keepers, not much to report so far this week, no projects on the go, although I did aquire a small fence, from a job I did earlier in the week, so I imagine that will be going up somewhere soon, just trying to figure out the best spot for it.

The main thing I have noticed about the girls this week, is that after their party food had ran out, of course we went back to buying feed, they have mainly been fed layer pellets, from several suppliers, they have turned their beaks up at the budget pellets before. Well we had swapped them onto mash, the week before the party, so they had been used to moist food for a couple of weeks, unfortunatly the two shops we tried were sold out of mash, so we bought them the midrange layer pellets again, well it wasn’t good enough, although they were hungry, as they had been complaining for a half an hour before I went to the shop,  when I delivered pellets to their feeding trough, they had a look, tried a couple, gagged a bit on them, like P.O.W’s from an old film, then took themselves off to bed, moaning about the dry food. I don’t know some birds just aren’t grateful.

A Happy Easter

Hi there keepers of the chicken, and collector of the eggs, just wanted to wish one and all a Happy Easter, the time of year in the christian calendar when the egg is held in high regard.

May your new beginnings be fruitful.

Party Girls

Hi there keeepers, I’m sure that title might attract some non-chicken keepers, but the reason for it, is the other half finished up work for the easter break and they had a farewell do for a colleague, it seems there were too many party foods to consume and Eimear came home with a carrier bag full of quiche, sausage rolls, cake, apples and various savouries, so this morning I gave them just that, I piled a bit into their trough, they were staright into it, grabbing a piece of quiche each a running away with it, quite a sight seeing seven hens running around the garden with quiche sticking out of their beaks, they came back for cake and a drink after, no not lemonade, just water, I didn’t go that far. When they were all head down in the trough it did look a bit like a party, maybe next time I can make them some little hats to wear.

Painted Eggs

Hi there keepers, does anyone still give painted eggs for easter? do you remember making them as a kid? would you be considered a cheapskate if you gave a child a painted boiled egg?
I think they look great, and are much more of a gift than a bought chocolate one, not that I don’t love chocolate.
whats your thoughts?

Eggs Eggs Eggs

Hello keepers of the chicken, today has been bountyful, it seems Manuella the Minorca Black hen has layed twice,  I found four eggs today , when I should of only found three, she had been honking alot today, that’s her clucking sound, a bit like one of those old rubber bulb horns,  honk! honk !, and it appears Daisy is back into laying even though she hasn’t finished growing her feathers back. So the basket is once again full, now with two colours of eggs, white and brown.

On the way to drop off the other half at work this morning, we drove out of our road towards the main road, and around the corner in the next street, (50 metres away),on the doorstep, clucking outside the neighbours house to be fed, was Daisy. I stopped the car, opened the window, and said ‘ Oi ! what are you doing?! ‘, she turned around looking very sheepish, then I call her a tart, and started to walk down the steps away from their door. She had only just been fed at home half an hour before hand, the neighbour Gary came over yesterday, and told Eimear that Daisy had been clucking at their door at seven thirty in the morning, he then went on to say ‘ and she ate two whole slices of wholemeal bread’ , no wonder she’s knocking on the door at seven thirty.

BUILDING A COMPOST BIN

Hi there this is in D.I.Y corner, but it seemed popular so I’ve posted it here too.

Rather than go to a shop a buy a plastic bin thats awkward to use, I decided to build my own from recycled timbers, even if you use bought wood, it’s still going to be better than plastic.

I started by finding the four posts for the corners, these are a mixture of pieces of pallets, and salvaged pieces of old fence post wood, as I had been recently donated a bag of ready mixed quick drying cement, left over from a job I did for a local,  I decided to concrete the posts in place, I only went down approxiamately 100mm, (easier to remove later if need be), using a wall as the back,  then place post in hole, fill hole with water, then pour in ready mix, pushing it down with fingers to get all the air out, ( however there is no need to use concrete at all, but if you dont then I suggest you put your posts at least 200mm into the ground, and pack the dirt back in using a heavy boot ), I then waited 1/2 hr for the cement to set, (it’s that quick), then cut all of the side pieces to length, and nailed them to the inside of the posts, thus making it easier to shovel out, with the straight edges,(see pic below). For the front I have placed two pieces of wood across at the bottom only, I may go higher as the heap grows, this will make it easier to get the fork in to turn it, plus stop the hens from scraping it out.  Also a hinged lid maybe put on in time.

 

compost bin

compost bin