Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Nelson Road chicken flock increases in number......

I wanted you to meet the new girls!

They came from a breeder in Dorset and picked them up while I was down there last friday.

I have 3 little Pekins (Millefleur, Mottled and a Blue) and a Partridge Silkie.

They are about 8 weeks old- and are all girls- however im a little suspicious of the Mottled Pekins comb- it looks a little large for my liking but ive got my fingers crossed as its a long way to go to take her/him back!

Because they are still young they are staying inside at night for the next weeks or so before going out permanently- and intergrated hopefully with the rest of the girls later in the summer.

We have decided the names of the new girls are:

Storm- the Blue Pekin
Twiggy- the Mottled Pekin
Fleur- the Millfleur Pekin
and Dodo the Partridge Silkie

Me trying to make friends with a Pekin Cockeral at the farm!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Could you give a chicken a new home?

Hey everyone,

I don't know if you all know but I recently started keeping chickens in my back garden, and havent regretted it- as they are great fun!

However I have just received the email below and wanted to spread the word to see if I could help save some battery hens from slaughter- perhaps you or someone you know might be able to help by giving them a new home.

If you think you might know someone just forward this and the email below on to them- any questions just ask!

Owen :)

>> Hello lovely people,I needed to get your attention - and quick!!
Little Hen Rescue are about to attempt the trying to rehome 10,000 hens in less than 2 months....
Yes, 10,000 hens in 2 months.....
As some of you may know, we have been working hard to empty a Norfolk battery farm for the last 9 months or so.

The girls in these barns have been in quite a frightful state and we have given thousands of them the chance of a new life.
However, this farm is now closing and going into something different (not livestock) BUT there is approximately 10,000 girls left in there. The farmer has the slaughterman booked for the 29th June. Any girls not rescued by then will go to slaughter, with no if's or buts and no second chances.
So.........Here's your opportunity to help!

Please you lovely lot, this is your chance to help rehome some of these beautiful girls. I really do believe that we can pull together and get these girls out.
Little Hen Rescue

More info here:

If anyone can take some hens and find them safe homes, please get in contact with Little Hen Rescue.

(NB Try ebay for a cheap hen coop)
Hens cost next to nothing to feed, provide you with entertainment and fresh eggs!



Sunday, 3 May 2009

Let the sunshine in!

You can see in the above photo the newest leaves on the Tetrapanex Rex unfurling- the reason why the sun is shining so nicely through them is that I have cut down some of the branches of the Sycamore tree that you can see behind it.

The tree is on our boundary on the south side of the plot so casts quite a lot of shade at the back of the garden. The branch actually was about 20ft tall! So when it fell there was a real danger of it it flattening alot of plants in my garden! Luckily while i was on next doors shed roof sawing the branch P was down in the garden to catch the huge branch!

Luckily the branch fell slowly and a Bamboo and Arundo donex took the brunt of the branch.

Now something i didnt see happening after the cutting down the branch was that along with the branch fell literally thousands of Greenfly that covered all the plants and pots below in the garden- however the chickens got a welcome snack of greenfly from the pots- and despite the insects small size the hens were easily able to pick them from the pots.

The mini greenhouse is full of baby vegetables ready for being planted out on the allotment in a few weeks time.

The Persicaria Red Dragon has been moved from the sunny border into the shade and seems to be doing well so far- also in this photo is the Mouse plant, Astillboides tabularis, Bugle and a Schleffera impressa.

The Maiden Hair Spleenwort has pushed up its new leaves- and really glad i chose to plant it up in a pot rather than plant it out. Hopefully it will fill out much more over the summer.

This is one of my Dicksonia antarcticas- this is a potted plant- and sends up a larger set of fronds than any of my treeferns which have been planted out. It is also grown in full sun- its a lovely plant.

The Cyathea cooperii I got from Fibrex has been potted up- and become the central plant in the garden. You can also see to the left of the fern in the blue pot the flowers of the Sarracenia flava var Maxima.

Here is the large Aloe I bought from CGF, and also the Purple Aeonium, Echeveria and Agave attenuata from the plant swap. Now when i bought the Aloe it had a label but its disappeared since getting it home- any ideas what type it is?

The beautiful Adiantum aleuticum 'imbricatum' I got from Fibrex nursery. Trying to decide whether to grow it in a pot or plant it in the fern bed under the Dicksonia antarctica. Im thinking it might be a bit dry in the fern bed.
These Asarum europaeum will be planted out in the shade borders. Ive been looking for the plants for ages after seeing them in the Natural History museum wildlife garden! I love the shiny evergreen leaves.

Bath day!

It was a gloriously hot day on saturday so I decided it was time to give the cats their annual bath with some anti flea shampoo.
Now im sure many of you dont wash your cats at all- but Cleo recently has developed abit of a pong! So we decided it was time to get her a bath!

The cats obviously dont like having baths- and this is the first time India has been washed and as soon as they realise the bathroom door was shut they put up with it fairly well!

And they come out smelly all nice and get dried down with a towel.
The cats both got a cat treat too for being well behave -well Cleo was well behaved im sure India was muttering dark thoughts to herself when she went off to sit in the sun to dry off.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Cat vs Mouse at 2am :(

So its 2am this morning and it sounds like someone is having a rugby match in the kitchen - that means only 1 thing- the cats have got a mouse. I get out of bed and find that the mouse is still alive but India has it in her mouth and wont let it go- and she is growling to the world in general!

Normally she would run out the cat flap when she sees me coming (as I'm a spoil sport and always take the mouse off her) but as the cat flap is set to in-only (as its fox cub season) she cant escape- I then proceed to wrestle with the cat trying to prise open her mouth and let the mouse go- the mouse decides its time to try to make a break for it and starts trying to bite me and India - probably scared out of its life! So eventually I get her let the mouse go and take it up the garden and let it go under a bush- I didn't give it much odds on surviving tho.

So now I have completely woken up, I leave a grumpy cat in the kitchen and head back to bed. I know I cant stop her hunting- and so I keep them in at night, but now she had the mouse I just didn't want it running behind the fridge and dying! Or a repeat of when I walked out of the bedroom and stepped on a dead mouse bare foot- eeuuuuggghhhhh!!

Now living with Siamese cats- you get uses to them making noises 24/7 but for the sheer variety of noises India wins the prize- she chatters at the birds in the trees through the window, yaps back at you like a naughty child when you tell her off for scratching the sofa or trying to climb up onto the shelf in the lounge by balancing on the tv) and mews at you to get attention. India was the cat that we really didn't intend to get, but our neighbours cat had kittens and we honestly only went to help our friend who wanted to choose a kitten for herself- and then we got caught up in the whole lethal cuteness that kittens seem to posess- so our friend took home Indias brother and sister and India came home with us- how did that happen? The Siamese cats definitely did not approve of this rash decision- and took months for them to settle down- luckily for her India seemed completely oblivious to the death stares she was getting everyday!
When you look at her India looks superficially like a tabby cat but she has good breeding in her family! Her mum is a pedigree Bengal Cat who fell for the charms of the local black Tom cat! So when you actually look at her patterns she has spotted coat rather than stripes as a normal tabby has. She also appears to have got her mums hunting instinct too resulting in 'fun' things like the above happening!