Like all poultry keepers, I’m sick of this avian flu for one reason or another. I do not want to get into politics as we all have our own views on it. However, one thing I think most of us smallholders, self sufficient and self reliant folks have in common, is the ability to make the best from a bad situation.
Although the poultry is stuck inside, they do have light, food, water and warm beds so their lives could be worse. However for us, the food bill to feed them seems high. Now I don’t have last year’s costs to compare this too, however my gut feeling is that it’s high and although the wild birds are no longer taking their share, I reckon the barn mice and rats are!
We’ve known for a while about hanging your poultry feeders off the ground to deter rats and other critters, but we’ve never got round to it. So Steven has designed a hanging feeder which we are trialling in the barn. We have put the same amount of food in on day 1 and then day 2. Day 1 seeing the feeder on the floor and day 2 hanging up.
I’ll report back on how well they have done.
Once we move them back outside, we’ll hang the feeders from the trees. Now where the birds will go when they’re outside is another discussion. Having the over winter in the barn has opened our minds to where we will house them in 2017 as other animals come along. I’ll do more on that another day too.
So the silver linings being that we’re trialling a new way of feeding them that we’ve not done before and we’re giving thought to the best place for the hens in 2017.
I’ve also been making mango chutney which Dawn posted about a week or 2 ago and I’ve wanted to do it since. It’s a lovely recipe which you can find here. I am really pleased that the food year is already off and running. Who says preserving is only for the summer?
I’ll be using it in a sausage recipe on Sunday when I put a spread on for my daughters 10th birthday.
The seeds are making their way up into the daylight. It always amazes me that these dormant seeds suddenly sprout life. The first ones of the year are extra special.