Harvey inspects the new item first to make sure it is safe, before the hens start exploring it.

Harvey's seal of approval
February 2024

We said goodbye to the massive beech tree which lost an entire limb during an October storm. I even had a little ceremony the day before it was going to get cut down, thanking the tree for its presence and the timber it gave us. On the 10th January a professional tree surgeon came to take down the rest of the tree and now all that’s left is a stump and a big gap. During the latest storm, Isha, we recorded a 60 mph wind gust in Glendevon, but thankfully no more trees came down or lost any limbs. Mind you, one of our 1100 litres council wheelie bins was missing and I thought it had travelled over 1 mile along the A823, so I alerted our neighbours who went to get the wandering bin back, only it wasn’t our bin! Our bin decided to travel in the other direction and was located 300 yards from our home. That same day, the bins in front of our shop were also feeling adventurous as they too moved somewhere they didn’t belong (the other side of the road).

The ‘wall of snow’, the Metoffice predicted never materialised and we only received ½ inch of the white stuff. It looked nice for a day or two until it started to melt and just looked horrible. The chickens were not impressed either and were getting pretty bored.
You see, during winter there are not a lot of bugs to be found in the ground and chickens get bored and some bolder ones have been escaping into our ‘nice’ garden and found their way to the bird feeder. This is not a good idea for various reasons: we don’t want our chickens mixing with wild birds due to possible bird flu, the bird food is meant for wild ones and I don’t want chicken poop everywhere. So, we need to keep our chickens ‘h-entertained’. There are various things we do to keep them occupied during winter time: they can chill on their climbing frame, there is a cd hanging from the roof reflecting sun light and they get various vegetables hanging from a string for them to have a go at. Hanging out, music (well, a cd) and food: it’s starting to look like a bar in that run!

It was such fun to watch them exploring the hanging squash. One of the young Black Punkers together with a white one didn’t want to wait until Harvey had given the thumbs up; they had a go at it straightaway. You see, with any new buildings, weed heaps or hanging vegetables, Harvey inspects the new item first to make sure it is safe, before the hens start exploring it. Once the swinging vegetable got the ‘Harvey Approved’ seal the other girls soon joined in, but some of the young brown ones were still slightly scared. So, instead of pecking at that strange moving object, they lingered in the periphery and steal any dropped bits. Clever girls!
Chickens have such different characters.

Let’s face it; January has been pretty wet and windy and certainly no weather to start planting the 210 tree saplings currently residing in the greenhouse. We were hoping to make a start but they’ll have to wait until the weather improves a little, the ground is way too soggy to plant anything. I have started sowing leeks and chilli peppers on the windowsill though, which is always nice as it marks the start of a new growing year.


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