Sound advice

Never put the egg you've found in your pocket whilst you clean out the chicken house and enclosure.


Chickens can't swim

Anyone who lives with ex-battery hens will know how super inquisative, tame and entertaining they are. Mine is called Harmony. Amongst her other attributes she has an Attachment Disorder, she thinks I'm her "Big Chicken". She follows me wherever I go. In fact she follows me very very closely. She hasn't learnt to back off, despite being stood on a number of times. If I appear whilst she is out and about in the garden instead of inside her run with my bantam Drew, she races towards me and boy can she get a speed up! She is always there to "help" when I am cleaning out the chicken house and the run. I fill the trug with the old bedding, she kicks it out again. She gets depressed if she doesn't see me and stops laying. She starts again as soon as I spend time with her. She recognises the sound of the car, answers to her name and knows which window to stare through if I am indoors. More spookily, we have a communication system which we both use to attract each other's attention - welcome to my world!

Harmony is also the living (fortunately) proof that chickens and ponds don't always mix well.......

Harmony loves hanging around by my small wildlife pond, especially if I am there keeping it tidy. Even when I am indoors, she generally makes her way to the pond to potter around. This year is Harmony's first winter with us. On the day she discovered the pond frozen. I glanced out of the window to see her gaily skating all over it, occasionally having a good peck at the pond plant leaves that poked up through the solid ice. Plants she had never been able to access previously. She was having loads of fun.

Sometimes we can all see into the future. I actually said to my hubby "when that ice finally starts to melt again, there'll be trouble".

It happened a few days later when the day was milder, the sun was out and the ice on one side of the pond had melted. Unfortunately Harmony hopped onto the still icy side. It was possibly not such a good move on my part to dive out of the kitchen door to try to shoo her back to the bank, because she set off skating toward me...and ran out of ice.

She squawked, flapped and began to sink like the proverbial stone. Luckily she was within reach and I hauled her out. Actually she didn't seem to mind at all being brought indoors and wrapped in a fluffly towel to be dried off. She simply stuck her head under my chin and started making happy little cooing noises. She was much more upset at being put out again once she was warm and dry and she kept knocking at the kitchen door to come back in. My hubby was at work during this little drama. I sent him a short text. It simply said "Chickens can't swim".

RSPB garden bird watch headache

I feed the wild birds  every day and often at the same time. Because of this I've got to know my regulars and in some cases how many use our feeders. Handy when it comes to not counting visitors twice over. But I'm blessed with a large flock of sparrows who all suffer ADHD. Myself and my hubby have tried before to figure how many there are in the flock, we've managed to get the number anywhere between 12 and 17. Trouble is, being so hyperactive, they won't sit still and be counted. Because for the sake of the great garden bird watch it matters how many we see today, I've just devoted a large chunk of my hour ignoring all the other birds and doing a very passable exorcist head spinning impression counting and re-counting the bloody sparrows. It's not helped that we have now got three teeny field mice who've set up home near one of the feeders and keep popping out to grab bits of food between the bird crowds. Five times have I mistakenly included one or more mice in my sparrow count. I have now decided to settle on the number "many"!
I thought taking part would be fun, instead I need an Anadin.


My pets (including the Hubby) & the Great Frogspawn Rescue.

I'm a specialist children's nurse and when I working with parents/carers or delivering training to other professsionals I generally get asked "Have you got children?"

I always say "Yes" and tell people that I have two kids, one boy, one girl. I also tell them that they are both very hairy, have four legs and a tail that wags.

(Only very rarely have people then asked how I can work with children when I don't have any of my own? I generally point out that I am also a qualified general nurse, but I don't have to personally have any particular illness in order to be able to care for those that have. I also wouldn't need to own a bus in order to be qualified to drive one).

So, my own family currently consists of two dogs (both very different to each other but completely in love), one cat (since her brother was shot by some local moron), two chickens with a plan to increase to three and one husband: possibly the only man on the planet who can put up with me!

I also take care of a garden full of wild birds of a huge variety and a pond which has suffered a population explosion amongst the newts. Not necessarily a good thing, 'cos now I have to figure out a way to keep the frogspawn and then the tadpoles safe this year.

My tiny wildlife pond was created in August 2008, by January 2009 I spotted my first dollop of frogspawn. At first I was excited and made my hubby get out of his nice warm Saturday morning bed to come look. Then came panic....

It's only January! What if there's a sudden freezing cold period? My fogspawn would turn into a lump of ice and all the eggs would die. A rescue plan was needed.

My baffled husband was despatched to the loft to bring down a small all in one fish tank that for some reason was still up there. Off outside I went with my pink kid's fishing net and into the tank plopped the frogspawn. In answer to my husband's curious, "So now you've done that, where do you plan to keep it?" the coffee maker was re-located to accommodate the tank's appearance on a kitchen work surface.

I need to explain something here - only my hubby thinks the kitchen is for cooking in, silly boy!

"It's just until the weather warms up a bit, it's too early in the year for frogspawn to survive" said I wisely.

The following morning though the spawn just didn't look right. I guess in must have been the warmth of the kitchen that conned it, but the whole bloody thing had hatched!

My husband is really good at those kinds of looks that say "You've done it again haven't you?" Of course I went from the oh no moment to laughter to ahh look at the babies and on to trying to count them and then wondering if I could name them all.

Anyway, I was right, a period of big freeze came. The tadpoles lived with us until the end of February then were returned healthy and happy to the pond where, at a later date, I came across the problem of how I could help as many little froglets to migrate as safely as possible: especially when my hubby thought mowing the lawn regularly was important!


Wondering why I've decided to "blog".

1. I hate facebook.
2. People who are involved in my life keep saying "You should write a book."
3. All my animals are crazy but I'm hoping I'm not the only one.
4. I loose diaries.
5. Struggling, but I'm sure I'll think of a number five soon.

By the way, can anyone tell me if there's a damn spellcheck on this thing???????????