Monday, 3 May 2010

The beginings of a farm

Well the day finally arrived last Saturday and we got our chickens! I've been desperate to blog about it for ages and now I'm caught up I can :) I think the last time I blogged about our chicken journey we had just done the chicken keeping course. Over the next month or so we researched coops and after looking at nearly every coop ever produced we found exactly what we wanted on ebay. It's the same as the one I posted about before but slightly bigger. It's actually the biggest run we could find as the girls have to be in it during the day while we are out earning their pellets but we will still probably extend it further at some point. We managed to buy it for about £140 which was pretty good. It arrived a week later and we set about building it and preparing the area it was going into.
The previous tenants had a green house exactly where we wanted the coop so we recycled the paving stones around the edge of the coop to hopefully deter foxes a bit more. Brian also set about building a fence down one edge of the garden and constructed a brilliant little gate too.
So we were all ready for our ladies and all we had to do was go and get them. We had already found a lady out near Blackpool who rescued battery hens and re-homes them. She is also a breeder for Omlet and has a lovely little farm called Happy Chicks which you can check out by clicking here. We set off on Saturday morning nervously excited to be collecting our first animals on the road to our small holding. When we got to the farm Kate, the owner, took us to see the ex-bats. They had already been at the farm for 6 weeks so they were already looking so much healthier. Here is a picture of some of Kate's ex-bats when they arrive,
I'm sure most of you already know the state they are in but I still find it shocking it's allowed. After 6 weeks in Kate's care the girls were already looking a million times better. She picked out 4 girls for us and popped them into carries for the journey home.When we got in (after a slightly nervous and careful car journey) we showed the girls their new home and they settled in straight away. It was amazing how quickly we got to know the girls characters. We got four so we could name one each and so in no particular order I'd like to introduce the first of the girls, named by me. She's the most ex-bat looking of the girls with a bare chest and bald head but loves her grapes and is always the last to bed (like me). Here is the lovely Tullulah,Next up we have the prettiest (and nosiest) of all the girls, named by Brian. She's the most chilled out chick who loves nothing more than a good sun bath. Here's the gorgeous Ginger,
Following Ginger is the top lady of our coop. Named by Callum, she likes to be the boss and lets the others know it. She's the first at the gate when we come out to say hello and noisiest second only to Ginger. Here is top chick Tikka,and last but by no means least, named by Hayley, we have the little chic who loves her treats almost as much as Tikka. She'll happily attack your shoe laces or wellies when you go to say hello. Here's the sweet little Tinkerbell (aka Floppy, can you guess why?)We had our first egg the very next day we got them but we're pretty sure it was in production before we picked them up and was a bit on the thin side but it was one of the most exciting things ever! I also discovered a use for my lovely giant tea cup :)We got our first proper egg on Friday which we're pretty sure was layed by Tinkerbell and then another egg followed on Saturday,We decided we had enough to make and omelet and it was the most yummiest, yellow, satisfying omelet ever!The girls had a rest on Sunday but then Ginger layed us an egg this morning so hopefully we're going into egg production now. I love the girls so much they are great and having eggs from them is even greater. I've already been wondering what else we could have in the garden that the land lords would let us get away with! Small holding here we come :) Living your dreams is the greatest of all things. I'll leave you with a picture of the girls showing just how relax they really are after a week with us :) This is them Saturday having a bit of a sunbath :)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Birthday Surprises and Treats

I was up nice and early this morning (reasons to follow in later post) so I decided I would get the final bit of catching up done on my posts so I can finally get on to the really exciting news! This post is all about my birthday even though it was back in February but it was so lovely I need to share. It started a week before with a visit from my Mum and sister (their first trip up North). We spent the Saturday in Chester at the university open day where my lovely sister will be starting in September. I can't wait as she'll only be 40mins away from me then :)Chester is a gorgeous place with so many cute shops...
which I now have a good excuse to visit :) I took them to the amazing Trafford Centre on Sunday where I made them spend quite a bit of time in the best shop ever :)
and my lovely Mum bought me a gorgeous bag which I just realised I don't have a pic of yet but I may do a CK post soon so I'll include it in there. So, onto my birthday surprise. My Birthday was on a Monday but on the Friday night before Brian told me to pack a bag as we were going to one of my favourite ever places, Glastonbury! For those of you that haven't been you really need to visit. It's so lovely there. Brian also booked Monday off for me as a surprise. I'm very impressed everyone at work kept it quiet! We stayed in the cutest B&B, look at our lovely room with all the floral prints :)
and lovely little touches like these,
and the owner was Spanish and made the best paella you have ever tasted! We spent Saturday browsing shops and then had a trip to Minehead on Sunday to see the sea,
where we had to dash back from to make our Valentine dinner reservations and ended up running down the high street with me losing my shoe once or twice to make it in time (we were slowed down by laughing so much). My birthday morning started with a gorgeous organic, locally produced fry up, yum yum.
and a view of the Glastonbury high street,We then had a trip to Stonehenge, (check out gorgeous birthday present bag from amazing sister, close ups to follow)and then were heading towards Brian's sisters for a visit on the way home but stumbled across this place as we were a bit ahead of time,it may just look like a barn but look whats inside!An Aldins cave of floral and shabby country chic! I could have spent all day in here. Then it was off to Brian's sisters for a yummy curry and then home. I had sooo many lovely presents I wouldn't know where to start listing but lets just say all my Cath K and Fairy needs were sated for a while :) Hooray! I'm all caught up. Next post will be exciting news I've been popping with to tell you :)