Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Ducks hatching!!

Just an extremely quick blog update to show off the new member of the family - sadly only one duck hatched from the 4 eggs that were left in the incubator.  I'm putting it down to the incubator being a bit up and down with it's temperature, thankfully from now on I only have to use the decent Brinsea Octagon Incubator so hopefully all future hatching will go a bit better.

In other news, the chicken eggs have started cheeping and wobbling so it's only a matter of days before the duck has some playmates (3 Light Sussex and 4 Ixworth - fingers crossed!).

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What browser do you use?

As I'm quite nosey, I thought I'd do a little blog post about web browsers and ask you all what browser you use.

I used to always use Internet Explorer, I never really had any issues with it, then I dabbled with Firefox - didn't think it was really much different to IE.  I never really got into Google Chrome or Safari either.

Then one day whilst on Twitter someone mentioned Rockmelt - at that point I didn't know what it was so I looked it up (good old Google).

Anyway, Rockmelt turned out to be a different type of browser, I watched the video and asked for an invite, I've used it ever since.  For me, it's a bit like using Tweetdeck for Twitter but for the internet.

This is what it looks like:-

I realise this is not the easiest size to view so I've tried to add a few (wonky) notes.

Down the left hand side are all my Facebook friends, at the top are the people that are logged onto Facebook chat (Husband is near the top there).

Next to the address bar is a Share button, this is useful for when you're on a webpage you like, instead of having to copy the address from the address bar and then paste it into Twitter or Facebook, you can just press this button and select where you want to post it - you can also add notes.

On the right hand side are all my feeds, at the top I have my Facebook feed, below that I have my personal and business Twitter feeds, my Business Facebook Wall, and my Personal Facebook wall.  When anything new has happened, a number appears so tell me.  It lets me know if I have any Facebook notifications.

Below the Facebook and Twitter feeds, I have BBC News, BBC Cornwall and Business Cornwall - these update when a new story has been posted.

Then below that I have the blogs I like to read - I never used to read blogs but recently I have found a few that I enjoy.
From top to bottom they are:-

Clotted Cream Diaries - local (to me) food reviews

Dots and Spots - fab spotty and dotty gifts and stuff

Heart and Soil - some great stories and photos from Hen, an amazing woman living a totally different life to most

MooBaaCluck - some more lovely gifts and things from the talented Gabby

Snapdragon's Garden - talented ladies from Scotland - I love everything they do!

Just a few opinions - a blog by Flo who I used to work with

Scrummycupcake - a lovely lady from Twitter

The Rat Adventures - by my step-daughter Holly (though no posts yet)

and last but not least Tea Down My Top - by me! So I can tell it's worked!

If you're interested in finding out more about Rockmelt you can find them here - whatever browser you use, happy browsing :0)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Coming along nicely...

If you've read my last post, you'll know I'm not very patient.  You'll also know that my eggs are not due to hatch until the end of the month - that's over two weeks away!

So I'm trying to

a) be organised
b) find enough things for me to do to pass the time

Currently I have a chicken house with a connected run
and a duck house with no run.

Thinking ahead, I know I need to be able to keep separate the new babies from the (one remaining) older chicken.  I also know that the chicken house ramp will be too steep for the ducks.  So today, I turned these...
into this...


Now I have a chicken house and a duck house, both with runs that can be attached/closed or detached/open.

Now I just need another large house with no run, where they can all live when they've got used to each other, keeping the smaller houses for when I need to separate them.  But that will be a project for another day - mainly because I haven't got anything to build it out of yet.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Hatching a Plan!

So, those that have read my previous blog post here and some of you from Twitter will know that I recently had my first go at hatching some chicks in an incubator (this one)

Well, to be honest, the result wasn't great - we had one hatch from six eggs and it ended up being a boy so we couldn't keep him anyway.

So, whilst chatting to some lovely chickeny friends on Twitter one night (@madchickenlady @scrummycupcake @mumsmuddyducks and @chickenstreet) I noticed a tweet from @chickenstreet saying about his hatching eggs that he has for sale.  It wasn't the first time I'd seen the tweet but this time I was more in a position to take notice so I visited the Chicken Street website.

After a few tweets back and forth, Andy (@chickenstreet) told me to call or email him to discuss the different types of breeds that he had available.  So I did, and boy am I glad!  Andy has turned out to be the nicest, most helpfulest (that's proper English you know) man I've ever met (apart from Husband of course).

I told Andy about my situation and what I wanted from a chicken and what I didn't want and he told me the breeds most suited to my needs.  So, after having a little think (about 5 seconds) I decided to go for 6 Ixworth eggs.  The incubator currently has duck eggs in residence
so I asked Andy if he would except a Pre-order and he said "Of course, no problem at all!".  Then I got searching on eBay for a new (2nd) incubator as I'm not very good at waiting for things.

So, I ordered an incubator, it came (and I had to confess to Husband about it) but was rubbish, so it went back again.  However, during a visit to Mole Valley for some chicken feed, Husband noticed an advert for a 2nd hand incubator – the exact one I wanted – a Brinsea Digital Octagon!  I wrote down the phone number, phoned up, went to visit the next day and bought it – for a fantastic price too (see, no patience)!  Then of course I was straight back in contact with Andy to order my eggs, this all coincided with Phoebe going missing (see here) so I decided to order 12 eggs instead of the original 6.

Well, today they arrived!
6 Light Sussex and 6 Ixworth, they are currently 'resting' before being put into the incubator tonight.

So, with any luck, at the end of the month we shall have lots of fuzzy babies.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

One of our chickens is missing!

So, it's Sunday afternoon, it's a nice day, the dog needs a bath so Husband and I decide to take the dog to the woods (he needs cleaning anyway so might as well get him really muddy).

We put on our wellies, get into Bertie (they'll be a post about our vehicles coming soon) and off we drove.  We left Son and Step-daughter at home quietly amusing themselves, the cat asleep on the bed and the chickens happily wondering around in their enclosure.

As we walked through the woods we mentioned what a nice weekend we'd had, yesterday we went on a Hatch, Match and Dispatch course we was very educational, this morning I managed to pick up a second-hand incubator in very good condition for a good price.  I also managed to get out in the garden and sow some more seeds - carrots, parsnips, turnips, lettuce, spinach, rocket and radishes.

We got home from our walk feeling lovely and refreshed, it was the first time in a week and a half when I've actually felt well - it was a lovely feeling.

I asked Son to bath the dog (he's still paying off his gerbil debt) and I went out in the garden to have a mooch around.  Rachael chicken was lying in the sunshine enjoying her sunbathing, Phoebe was nowhere to be seen so I went to the enclosure and looked in the houses wondering if she was in laying today's egg.  Well she wasn't - she was nowhere to be seen or heard, I wondered if perhaps she was hiding behind one of the trees so I went to have a good look around, it soon became apparent that she had completely vanished!

Rachael chicken was happily wondering around, gently clucking and being very calm and normal.  There were no feathers around, no sign of any scratching around some of the lower fencing, no sign of any chicken in any of the neighbours gardens.

I am stumped!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Spring has Sprung

I realise I am not going to be the first blogger to mention that Spring has Sprung.  I thought I would share we you why Spring has Sprung here in my little bit of Cornwall.

It's been a long cold winter this year, normally in my bit of Cornwall I don't need to scrap the car windows before setting off in the morning, I've never had to protect my garden from frosts, generally it's quite pleasant.

This winter has been slightly different, the car has been scraped more than a few times - we even considered buying some de-icer, and the onion and garlic bulbs have been covered by a horticultural fleece - though some of that reasoning was to protect them from the chickens.

However, the weather has warmed up considerably over the last month and I'm getting out in the garden a bit more.

For the last week I have been quite poorly, I have just about managed to get out of bed and dressed everyday but that's about it, not been safe to drive and no energy for the garden or a walk.  This morning when I woke up I felt a little bit better, so I got on my jeans and wellies and got out there, I think I may have overestimated my energy levels though so I just had a little wander about.  I did manage to sow some Spring Onion seeds (White Lisbon) which I've been meaning to do for ages and check the seedlings in the greenhouse that I'd sown a few weeks back.

I also checked on the growth on the various fruit trees and was pleased to see that everything has little shoots.  The rhubarb was the best surprise though, I put a homemade forcer over the crown a month or two ago (it's an old cracked pot - a bit like myself) and when I took the put off this is what I discovered...

Despite not wanting to spend money on a "proper" forcer, the rhubarb has grown so much that I may have to invest in one - perhaps my afternoon's energy can be spent at the local garden centre, though I'm not normally allowed there unsupervised :D

Failing that I shall make a rhubarb crumble and sit down with my Veg Patch book, a cup of tea and my pot of seeds for a bit of planning.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Soon we're going to need a Farm!

So, in my First Blog Post I mentioned that we have some animals.  Well over the last weekend, the number increased by five.

Let me introduce you:-

First we have Tabby, we've had Tabby for nearly 7 years now, she came with her brother Grey but he was sadly run over after about a year.

Next we have Sandy, he's a rescue dog (which is why he's so skinny).  We're not sure how old he is but it's somewhere between 11 and 15.

Then there's the chickens - we did have 3 but Monica was egg bound and died in January, the other two are called Rachael and Phoebe.

My son is now 12 and wanted a pet of his own, so we built this...
Gerbil Towers
...to house Charlie and Simon

Every week my step-daughter Holly comes to stay for a few days as she goes to college in Newquay, in an attempt to stop her being bored, husband decided to get some Rats for them to have joint responsibility for.  So, after getting a free rat cage from Freecycle, over the weekend we welcomed Lola, Chandler, Shadow and Fat Stripe to the house

And last but not least, at around 5.30 yesterday morning, the little fella came into the world...

...he is the only one to hatch from a batch of 6 eggs.  We know it's a "he" as the eggs were from some Cream Legbars chickens where the males and females have different markings from day one.  Unfortunately this means we will not be able to keep him as the area where we live is too built-up for cockerels so until we decide his fate he is called "the chick".

That's all for now...although there are 6 Runner duck eggs in the incubator and 6 Khaki Campbells duck eggs to be added tomorrow that are due to hatch at the end of March :D

My First Blog Post

So, this is my first blog post.  I've been thinking about starting a blog for a little while now as lots of things are happening in my little world and I think it might help me keep control of them all.

I hadn't really though of what to call my blog and as I was sat here picking the layout etc I split tea down my top - something that happens a lot to me!

So, here it is - my first blog post - not very trilling but it's just to get things started.

So, a little introduction, I'm Ruth, I live on the outskirts of Newquay in Cornwall.  I'm married to Mark (from now on known as husband), I have a son and two step-children.  This is a photo from our Wedding Day - Christmas Eve 2008.

The children are now a bit older and will certainly not thank me for posting this photo but it's one I love from the day.

We also have some pets but they need a blog post all to themselves.

Enough of boring you all for now, I shall write something a little more interesting next time - I promise!