I picked up some reduced cranberries in the supermarket, had to be a bargain at only 5p 😀 I will probably use them to make a cranberry and orange sauce to go with cold meats at Christmas as we are not having turkey this year. I may pick up some more if they have any next week they will always be useful for making something different.
Monday: Cold start again today so I made sure I had thick socks on, plenty of layers 1and thick gloves as well. To give the hens a bit of heat I mixed in some poultry spice with their feed this morning. I make my own as it’s cheaper than buying the pots that you can buy, they contain turmeric, fenugreek, garlic and one other ingredient that I can’t remember at the minute, but I just looked on the pot and ordered bulk individual items and mixed them in a tub, it makes loads. Hopefully it might boost egg production which has dropped off considerably due to the lack of daylight hours and the cold temps. I did a bit of cleaning out of nest boxes as I went, that helps to keep the eggs clean and makes my job easier when I am boxing them up later in the day. I checked the baby rabbits and fed all the small animals, we now have five in there so one of the escapees has come back! The small garden birds have discovered the feeding station that now has bird seed in and judging by the excited chirping this morning they are very grateful. I am going to make a couple more seed holders as I only have one and there are a lot of birds, easily around 20 I would say and these are the ones living in and around the nest boxes (and gaps in the cladding)on the front of the house.
Then on to feed the dogs and give Kai’s kennel a clean out and give him a nice clean duvet for his bed for the colder months.
Inside then to light the Rayburn and the temperature is not going to go much above 4 degrees today ❄️ and I want to try and stay warm to see if it helps my hand problems, I think it does as yesterday they were fine until I had to go outside then all evening they were playing up.
I fed the Christmas cake some brandy and it will now be wrapped up and stored for a couple of weeks when I will get it out again and lace it with more brandy 😀
Tuesday: The day of epic boiling of the Christmas pudding, 8 hours of bubbling water to cook it so an early start is needed, and I better put the timer on as I will probably forget over the course of the day how long it has been in. Again I followed a Mary Berry ‘figgy pudding’ recipe. I made bread, leek and potato soup and some rock buns while I was at it. Had Mia from lunchtime and Shelley and Josh came for a visit, I can nip out and feed the hens and collect eggs while Shelley is here so that’s what I did. John came home in time to put the birds to bed and found a bag of live chickens dumped at the gateway! Going through the the cctv we could clearly see who it was and they are known to us so John will be calling in there tomorrow for a few stern words 😤 Clearly they don’t want to look after them so there is no point taking them back to him and after all it’s not the chickens fault, but there is the risk of contamination to my flock so they will all have to be wormed and de loused/mited just in case. Very unfair on us and the chickens.
On the upside I have found a home for any of the baby rabbits that are female so I just need to sex them and see how many that is, just the boys to find homes for as there are definitely both sex’s among them.
Wednesday was lost somewhere 😝
Thursday: I have a fair few jobs I want to get sorted today, the main one being separating the boy and girl rabbits! I’ll tell you though you couldn’t write this stuff, I went out and fed them caught the three up that are in the run I made, the others have escaped 😜 then I looked at the one in the guinea run, 2 boys, 2 girls great, I go off to prepare a separate hutch for the boys and when I get back I check the bunnies again in the run and remove the boy, go to get the one from the guinea hut and it’s gone!!! I’m sure it will be back but it means I don’t get the job done and dusted just yet. One of the babies died, I don’t know why, it was looking quiet yesterday, can’t see any obvious signs of anything but they have been getting out and so anything could have happened to it at some point. Just having a quick coffee then I have 10 sweet chestnut trees to decide what to do with. Some will be potted up for sale, some will be planted in the hedgerow.
Among many other jobs on the list today, the rat poison arrived so I needed to put that down just as it got dark, the rubbish needs to go out though I have no idea what colour week we are on 😝 had another look for the baby rabbit but that one is right under the hutch and I can’t reach it, meanwhile another is out in the paddock chomping on grass but I can’t find the net to catch it with.
Friday: ❄️ brrr very cold this morning! Did the rounds quickly lol, topped up the wild bird feeder as they will be hungry in this weather as well, thought about working outside but gave it a miss and did indoor stuff instead. Had a visitor drop in for a chat and as we were talking at the gate another egg customer pulled up, good job because two minutes later a very dodgy couple in a old van who couldn’t speak any English pulled up. They were trying to buy 1 chicken??? Well that was what they were gesturing but as I have said before you know when someone doesn’t seem right, the chap wouldn’t take no for an answer and I was grateful that there were others there with me, one took the registration number and the other wrote down directions to go and find chickens for sale, I don’t think they were real directions lol. They left and my visitor stayed around for 10 more minutes just to make sure they didn’t come back. With all the activity in the area at the moment you got to keep your wits about you 😜 As a consequence I am now spending every five minutes looking out of the window just in case, puts you right on edge. The egg customer came back twice, once to give me the reg number she had jotted down although I had already committed it to memory and then again to tell me they were still hanging round the village an hour later so they clearly didn’t head off to look for chickens for sale, at this point I rang 101 to report the incident just in case they were up to no good.
Saturday: The weather started off ok and slowly deteriorated 😟 John was away early this morning on an errand so it was just me manning the place. Did the morning rounds and found that something had attacked my guinea pigs and killed one of them, poor Stuart Little, Herbie the other one I bought in and tended his wounds which were superficial and purple sprayed him and put him back out, hoping that whatever it was doesn’t come back and if it does he can fend it off as I don’t have anywhere else for him to go. I’ve half a mind to think it was the baby boy rabbit that was in with them but he didn’t have any blood on him and the neck had been eaten out so looks like stoat maybe, if it was a rat they are usually only interested in food and there was some in the bowl. The boy rabbit has now been put in with the other boy, so now girls and boys are separate thank goodness, so we won’t have any mishaps!
We often have some strange customers and visitors as this week has already shown 😜 and today’s request did not let that custom down, ‘can I cuddle a chicken’ luckily it was John who was out there and he can be very obliging lol and so the lady’s request was granted 😝
The rain continued to come down and once I had finished the housework and John had finished outside we called it a day and watched a film in the warm and dry 😀
And that’s it for this week as I am off with the girls tomorrow morning for some great food, great drink, spa treatments, relaxation and general time out leaving John in charge for the time I’m away.
I haven’t got any photos this week and I was looking back through them to see if I could find one or two of general interest, what I decided was that I will do a blog just of past photos sometime next week, it’s interesting to look back at what we have done form year to year, keep your eyes peeled for that 😀