I lost 11 of my hens last autumn to the dratted fox. Always a possibility, something you just try not to think of. Trouble is they don't just take one - they kill the lot, so it's an all or nothing situation. He got into my big pen by yanking my feeder/hopper off the wire wall and then pushing his way through the little hole they have to peck through for their feed.
Anyway enough about the downside, the upside is that as it's nearly spring (well you gotta look optimistically don't ya?) I have decided it was time to fix the run, clean out the house and fill it all back up with hens (this decision was in no small part due to the price of pretty pale and insignificant eggs in Sainsburys)
So the two hens and cockerel that the dear ol' fox left me with (cos they were living next door) got moved into the big pen last weekend.
My handsome boy!:
I'm afraid tho' he didn't show many manners when the new girls arrived ;) he pretty much dictated immediately what they were there for as far as he was concerned - so rude! The new girls are a bit young yet, but when they start laying we will use him for that purpose and hatch some eggs for meat. He's a big boy so I think will produce good eating birds. (I know it sounds callous, but really they do have an incredibly good life and any hens that are particularly good layers get kept and the cockerels always have a chance to father more before their time, I'm sure the same can't be said for the birds that you buy at the supermarket)
In other news, the crochet blanket is going well and will be finished in a week or so, I have nearly finished all the squares (yes there were 130 if you remember) and I may even be able to do an extra row as there seems to be some yarn left over - I'll have to see how that goes though. There is an, as yet unused, oatmealy colour which is used to join all the squares together as "sashing" so to speak, so when I've finished the squares (maybe tomorrow) then the joining shall commence. I've tried to take some photos but it's a grey day here and they don't look as lovely as they should so you have to wait! I may take this blanket out somewhere special for a photo shoot when it's finished!
The final news is that the Crafters' Barn is gaining momentum. I have new software and new webspace for a bigger better Barn and will then be inviting many more sellers to join us to improve the range of handmade gifts we can offer you. It's testing my tech skills though I must say - I haven't worked so hard at learning something new since I was 14 and taught myself guitar!! ;) I'm off to a trade show in a couple of weeks so am hoping to find ways of maximising our exposure and providing the very best retail outlet for crafts that I can.
Right, it's very chilly here so I have a date with a fire, a cup of tea, a hot cross bun, the tv and some crochet.
Til soon xx