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

Breeds We Have

Hi Keepers, just thought for those who may be intersted in the different breeds and a bit of history thrown into the bargain.

 

WYANDOTTE GOLDEN LACED

 The golden laced wyandotte is a golden color with black around the edge of every feather and black tail. Joseph McKeen of Wisconsin was the originator of the Golden Laced Wyandotte. In 1880 he crossed Silver Laced Wyandotte females with a large “Black Red” patterned fowl of unknown origin called the Winnebago. The variety was admitted to the American Standard in 1888.

Betty

Betty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 MINORCA. The black (occasionally blue or white) Minorca is the largest of the Mediterranean ‘light’ breeds, and famous for its extra-large white eggs.  A proud and stately chicken which does surprisingly well in confined surroundings. The Minorca can be traced back in Britain to 1780 but its origins lie in Spain, perhaps originally as the ‘Castillian’. The Castillian is the common black fowl of Spain, the name of Minorca being derived from the port from which most of the birds were exported. By selective breeding, the head features of the Minorca became famous during the twentieth century, with the white almond shaped lobes particularly striking.

Manuella

Manuella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LIGHT SUSSEX.

The Sussex chicken was created over a century ago in the county of Sussex, England. The original colours were the Brown, Red and Speckled, and the Silver is the latest variety. The breed was prized as table fowl more than one-hundred years ago and, more recently, the Light Sussex was very popular for the laying trials of the 30’s. Today they are a popular breed for exhibitions as well as a backyard breed. The breed has made a huge contribution to the poultry industry and is even an ancestor to the modern broiler. Sussex is one of the oldest breeds of chicken that still exists today.
The Sussex was bred to be a dual purpose bird and is one of the most productive breeds of poultry. They lay large eggs that are cream to light brown in colour. A person owning a member of this breed should expect approximately 240 to 260 eggs a year, although the light and white varieties are the best choice for layers. Recently there has been an olive green coloured egg introduced to some Light Sussex breeds, although these green egg layers are very rare.

 Renee

Renee

 

 

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BROWN SHAVERS

These are the brown chickens you get if you buy layers from a commercial poultry farm. The names Shaver and Hyline denote the different commercial breeding companies that created the bird. The two breeds look very similar and are a complex genetic mix, designed by humans over many years to get a strain of bird that is a good layer, that eats less for higher production and produces on average 300 eggs per year at its peak.

Nellie

Nellie

Scaley Mites

Hi there chicken keeping people, I recently discovered on the magic box of buttons, a inexpensive way to treat Scaley Mites, you may even already have the ingredients in your shed, or cupboard.

Simply mix in a small container, one part Turpentine (white spirits) to two parts Linseed Oil (boiled will do, don’t get refined oil it will be pricey), both should  be on sale in any hardware store, then paint on to the hens legs with a small paint brush(or simular), a little will go a long way, so work out your needs, but I don’t suppose it will go off, if kept in a sealed container. Why buy expensive chemical concoctions from a shop , when you can make your own for a fraction of the price at home. Also the individual ingredients will be useful for other projects.

Molting Hens

Hi there keepers of the chicken, we have a serious molting situation going on here,  3 of the shavers are losing their feathers, good old Gloria is the only one still laying, even if it is in next door’s garden, they are ok about me retrieveing the eggs, and of course I give them an eggs or two now and again. Thankfully Manualla has just started to lay, the cutest little white eggs, yesterdays one was almost perfectly round, like a giant white gobstopper, ( confectionary from uk childhood).

Renee our newest  recruit, looks like she was laying when we got her, but has stopped in the new enviroment, hopefully she will resume normal service soon. The coop le grande is almost finished, but that dreaded thing called work, has got in the way again of my plans and endeavours.

Thanks for tuning back into the chickenkeeper, hopefully I too have resumed normal service.