Posts Tagged eggs

Flower Show at Buckland St Mary 2018

Today was the annual flower and vegetable show in the local village hall.  I entered just 6 categories this year as I knew I couldn’t get down there on Sunday morning to put in perishable items as I would be serving breakfast to our guests.

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The show was very well attended and I saw lots of my friends there and I had a cup of tea and a lovely piece of carrot cake whilst waiting for the prize giving.

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I got two 2nds, one 3rd and two “highly recommended” so not bad for only 6 entries.

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I was miffed our eggs only got a 3rd, I really think they should have been a 1st as they had the deepest yellow yolks.DSC02407

But it’s nice to think my Blackberry jam and my Marmalade are up to standard, certainly our guests seem to think so.

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I only managed to print 2 pictures of my container garden instead of 3 as the 3rd file was corrupted so I got a 2nd for that.

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And a Highly Recommended for my piggies down on the farm.

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All in all it was a good turnout and a bit of fun entering various categories. Here’s to next year and a few more entries.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Buckland St Mary Flower Show 2015

Yesterday (Sunday) was the day of the annual Buckland St Mary Flower and vegetable show.  It’s always good fun and categories are hotly contested, but all the money raised goes to charity.  This year it was the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  We entered several categories and won a few prizes.

I got a first for my peas in a pod. That’s the red ticket.DSC00428And a second for my lovely blueberries. that’s a blue ticket.

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Neil got a second place for his potatoes.

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And a second for our eggs.

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I got a third place for my lovely yellow courgettes, that’s a green ticket.

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Altogether we got, one first place, three second places and eight third places.  We got third place for Neil’s Blackberry wine, my strawberry cordial, my strawberry and red gooseberry jam and two of my photos.

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When we came home we put all our winning exhibits on the table and took a photo.

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We saw lots of our friends at the show, and were comparing notes on who had entered and won what.  We also had afternoon tea and cake there, so a very enjoyable afternoon all round.  We showed our B&B guests our exhibits and told them they could have prize winning eggs and jam with their breakfast this morning!!

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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What a whopper!

Our hens are regularly laying 14 or 15 eggs a day, but the other day one laid a real whopper.  that must have hurt!

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When I cracked it open it was a double yolker.

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We don’t get too many of those, so Neil had a bonus for his breakfast, he loves nothing better than fried eggs on toast.

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If you want lovely fresh eggs on toast for breakfast, come to our B&B see

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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An “egg”traordinary number of eggs

In the storms we have had recently,  one section of roof off the old hen house blew off.  We know that we need to dismantle the old hen house and move it out of the hen enclosure, but the weather has been bad and we haven’t got round to that yet.  Anyway today Neil was feeding the hens and he noticed one come out of the old hen house through the broken roof.  So he had a look inside and lo and behold some of the hens had been laying their eggs in there and this is what he found – 21 eggs!!

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Some of the eggs were still warm, so quite fresh today, but others were stone cold so we aren’t sure how old those eggs are and if they are still edible or not.

The hens have taken to perching on the old hen house, the broken roof is on the other side of the roof in this picture.

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So now we are going to have to check the nest box of the old hen house every day until we take it down. Funny lot these hens!!

We have vacancies in the B&B for February and March, so if you fancy a Winter break please get in touch.

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Two week old chicks

The little cheepsters are 2 weeks old today.  They are still so cute, but already they are growing and developing their little wings.  We have let them down the ramp from the hen house into the run now and they go and up and down the ramp quite readily, and Mrs Speckledy leads them up the ramp at night to go to sleep.

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They have already learnt that a little bit of bread is a treat to eat.

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The other chickens are delighting in treading down the grass in their new run.  They also love a treat of some bread in the afternoon.

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It’s always rewarding going to collect the eggs.  I love it when Mrs Cream Legbar has laid a blue egg.

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If  you want fresh eggs for breakfast come and visit our bed and breakfast

Look us up at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Big chook becomes a rooster

When we hatched our chicks last July we had no idea if they were hens or cockerels.  I thought we would find out pretty soon on, both developed along the same lines and in spite of looking up how to sex baby chicks on the interenet I could not tell.

Then gradually one chick started to grow larger than the other and I thought maybe this one will become a rooster, but there were no tell tail signs.  When they were large enough we integrated them into the existing flock and both got picked on and chased away from the food.  So we started sprinkling the food in 3 or 4 places around the run so that the new 2 had a chance of some.  Over the weeks this problem resolved itself and now they all eat peacefully together.

Big chook won’t roost like the others at night, he always stays in the nest box.  He certainly grew and grew and is now one and a half times bigger than the other hens.  Then he started to grow lovely feathers and curly tail feathers but didn’t crow and showed no interest in the hens.  I thought perhaps I had a gay cockerel!!

Then after 9 months he started to jump on the hens and 2 weeks ago he did his first “cock a doodle do”. So we know he is very definitely a rooster.

What a handsome chap he is too. He is half Welsummer and half Black Rock.

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Last week him and the girls were dustbathing in the churned up earth in the sunshine.

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Since then we have had rain and yesterday more snow, so no chance of a dustbath today.  We need to move the hens enclosure as soon as possible as they have churned up all the ground and there is no more grass where they are.  Still they are back laying well.  Most days we have 8 to 10 eggs from 13 pullets and one day we had 11, so they can’t be too unhappy, but we will move them soon. We have lovely fresh eggs for our B&B guests.

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She just curled up her toes!!

We went down to clean the chickens out this afternoon.  We did all the normal stuff, changing their straw, sweeping out the sawdust and droppings, filling up their pellet feeder and changing their water.  Neil was in the hen enclosure doing the water, when he saw one hen step on another that was laying down.  The laying down hen did not move, which Neil thought was odd, so he went to investigate and found that one of our Speckledy’s had just curled up her toes and was lying in the sunshine dead!!

We had no warning of this.  She had not acted poorly in the preceding days, we had not seen any signs that anything was wrong and there she was laying on a patch of grass in the middle of their run, so unlikely that she died of fright!! We can only assume her heart gave out or something similar to suffer sudden hen death.

Neil took her poor body away to the woods for the fox disposal service. So now we are down to 13 hens, 12 laying birds and one foster mum, who doesn’t lay at the moment as she is still looking after the chicks which are 7 weeks old today.  Today we had 11 eggs, including one massive one (ouch!!), so not bad for 12 hens!!

If you want to try our eggs for breakfast visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Moving the chooks

As our baby chicks are now 4 weeks old we wanted to move them and their mum, Mrs Speckledy out of the ark and into the old hen house with an enclosed run.  We had purchased a new hen house for the other chickens, so we put that in place, added an electric fence and on Friday night moved them out of one hen house and into another, so that in the morning when they were let out they would be in their new run.

The new hen house

The next day we cleaned out the old hen house and made it ready for Mrs Speckledy and the babies, but catching them to move them proved slightly problematical.  Firstly Mrs Speckledy thought we were killing her she made such a racket, but as we moved her first, she obviously didn’t want to be separated from her brood.  Next it was the turn of the babies, but they are fast!!  One jumped out of the ark when we opened it and made a bid for freedom.  Good job we had taken the fishing net down with us, so we were able to catch it.

Neil with the little brown chook

The little ones squeaked like mad as they didn’t like being separated from Mum, so we moved them as quickly as possible.

me with a little black chick

It took a while for Mrs Speckledy and the baby chooks to come down the ramp and into the enclosed run, but they soon got the hang of it and there is a lot more space for them in that run.

The other hens were enjoying the long grass in the orchard as new turf to spuddle about in.

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They soon made themselves a spot to have a dust bath and they scattered all the bark that we had put round the base of the trees.

the light sussex in their new area

So all in all a successful move for all the chooks.  Our original hens laid 11 eggs (out of 13 hens) on the first day they were in their new hen house and area, so I don’t think they were too traumatised by the move.

visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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The chickens get a treat

The other day a friend gave us a whole pile of left over bread for the chickens.  The chickens go mad for bread, they grab a bit in their beak, run off to find a quiet spot to eat it and then run back for another bit.  When they hear our feet on the gravel they know we are coming and they wait by the fence expectantly.

The chickens waiting for us

Then as soon as I throw them the bread they tuck in straight away and all you can see is their bottoms in the air as they peck away. 

 

 

  

 After they have finished the bread they return to “spuddling” about in the run.  Spuddling being a local word for scratching about.  Some of them found some nice dry earth to have a dust bath.  Above is a picture of our remaining Cream Legbar hen, looking very handsome at the moment. She is the one that lays blue eggs.

A friend came to see us recently and was delighted to collect the eggs from the nest box, something of course that we take for granted as we do it every day. The girls are laying well at the moment, most days we get 12 eggs from 14 hens.

our friend collecting the eggs

So if you want to taste our lovely fresh eggs visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Goodbye Mrs Cream Legbar hen

We have had to say Goodbye to one of our Cream Lebbar hens.  She was so poorly she couldn’t even stand up in the end.  I said to my husband, if this were a cat or a dog, you would take it to the vet and have it put down, so perhaps we should despatch this hen and put her out of  her misery.

It’s not a very nice task, but I didn’t have to do it.  Neil wrung it’s neck and put it out in the woods as fox take away.

A couple of weeks ago this hen was standing away from the flock and fluffing up her feathers.  She didn’t seem interested in food, and wouldn’t come running when we threw down bread or grain.  She became more immobile as the days progressed, and got that she wouldn’t go up the ramp into the hen house at night, and Neil was lifting her up and putting her in the nest box.  She wouldn’t come out again in the morning and again we were lifting her out. Until she was just so weak that it was cruel to keep her living any longer.

We spoke to a farmer friend of ours who suggested it might be a respiratory disorder but it is difficult to know without taking the hen to the vet and economically it just doesn’t add up to take a £10.00 hen to the vet and pay £40.00 for advice,  –  you could buy another 4 hens with that money.

So it was Goodbye Mrs Cream Legbar. At least the other 14 all seem healthy enough.  We had 14 eggs from 14 hens yesterday, so can’t complain at 100% production.  The hen that died was the only one that laid cream eggs, the rest are shades of brown, with the other cream legbar laying blue eggs.

So there we are – life in the country, where death is all part of the circle of life.

visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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