Mrs Feathers who had what we assumed was a broken wing last month, took a turn for the worse a few weeks back and it was only humane to let her go.

Keeping chickens isn't always fun
December 2018

We tried everything we could to save her: we isolated her from the others so we could administer extra vitamins and minerals and give her extra protein. We also tried every possible way to keep her upright, as her balance was severely affected by her illness. But in the end, although she was eating, she had lost nearly all of her feathers and she couldn’t even sit up any longer, let alone walk, and as a result she had soiled herself quite badly. At this point we realised we couldn’t go on like this. We expected her condition to improve after a few days of extra vitamins and protein, but she actually became worse. We think she may have had a stroke (or even two!) or contracted Marek’s disease, a very contagious viral infection. All the other hens are fine and we have informed our neighbours as well, so all we can do is hope it doesn’t spread and continue to give the healthy hens extra vitamins and Echinaforce and keep our fingers crossed.

I haven’t been doing any TV extra work for the last couple of months, too busy with my Open University studies (and running the shop!), but my husband can be seen (twice, briefly) in Netflix’s epic blockbuster ‘Outlaw King’ as both an English soldier (watching Stirling Castle being blown to pieces) and as a soldier fighting for the Scottish. The reason he was cast twice is because the filming days were so gruelling that they needed all the extras they could get for the battle scenes. We had to pause the film several times to pick out JP from all the other soldiers, but this is a nice still from the movie. He’s off in the distance, to the left. By the way, anyone who is following Clique Series 2 on BBC3 (iPlayer) might spot me in the episode broadcast on Friday 30th November. I appear as a politician sporting a very nice hairdo!

Obviously there is not much to tell about the garden at this time of year, everything is pretty much asleep. We are still harvesting from our vegetable beds though - there are still some carrots, parsnips, Hamburg Parsley roots, kale and winter cabbages left. So thankfully we’re not down to pickled and fermented vegetables just yet! For the past year (and certainly the whole of this year) we have been self-sufficient in vegetables, apart from onions, which just don’t store that long. We normally run out of potatoes in April or May too, but then we have pasta instead. It all depends on how well the roots will store, certainly our larder is pretty well stocked at the moment and that is a good sign!

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