flick: (Default)
Flick ([personal profile] flick) wrote2017-02-20 08:02 pm

Ducks and flowers and decorators and seedlings

I've just been looking at the bird 'flu guidance for when the current control order runs out (at the end of the month). Given that free-range birds can only be kept in for twelve weeks before they become barn-raised, which happens at the start of March, I was expecting some changes and had my fingers crossed that I'd be able to start feeding the ducks properly again. Actually, though, they're just officially permitting what I was already doing on animal welfare grounds....

So, it looks like they'll not be getting ad-lib food until at least May. They don't like this at all, and my first duck egg of the year is getting further and further away. I'm very jealous of Mrs Farmer, who moved her hens into an unused polytunnel and is getting far better egg production than usual for the time of year.

In more pleasing spring-time news, yesterday we noticed that one of the dwarf irises on the drive was about to flower and a few more had green flower spikes. We went out at lunchtime today to see that half a dozen of them had suddenly burst into bloom. Oddly, the flowers last year came out the day we went to Eastercon and were pretty much over when we got back. It's been a cold winter this year, and was warm last, so I can only think that it's because they're better established this year: last year was their first.

The decorators have been hard at work on the living room today, and there's one coat of fresh paint on everything. We're camping out in the study: it's not a very small room, and would probably be fine with just the two sofas and coffee/side tables in it. Those plus the usual two desks and masses of books, though, are making things very cosy. Jo is bemused but coping.

Tomorrow, I'm going to pot on the first of this year's veg seedlings. Fingers crossed for a better spring / early summer than last year, and resultant shelves full of passata and other bottled stuff.
juliet: (Default)

[personal profile] juliet 2017-02-20 09:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Someone I follow on the interwebs has just invested in a wild bird / rodent proof feeder for her free-range chickens, also looking to the change in the control order at the end of the month. The chickens stand on its base and get at the food but wild birds are too light to trigger it, or something? I can dig the link out if you'd be interested.
juliet: (Default)

[personal profile] juliet 2017-02-20 10:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Crows are terrifyingly smart, it is true. I can only assume the chicken-keeper doesn't get crows in her neck of the woods :)