Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Remembering to put the chooks to bed!

OK, so I don't lock all my chooks up every night.

In my main run, where we have two large coops, one broody coop, and one small isolation coop (this is for a broody and her young chicks before they get let loose with the grown ups, a way of introducing the little ones so the resident hens are used to them and don't bully them when they are let out) - we currently have 10 hens one brood of 3 youngsters that are now around 12 weeks old, one brood of 5 that are around 9 weeks old, a brood of two that are around 4 weeks old, and a another brood of two that have just hatched out.

This run is a very large area, about 50 metres by 30 metres, and has a 4 foot high fence with a single strand of electric fencing running along the top and another running along the bottom. It is a main unit so there is a good wack if anyone or anything touches it (it is not mains electricity, it is a small DC current, run off the mains) and gives a constant level of power as opposed to a battery operated unit that gets weaker over time.

This has been in place for two years and just once over that time have I lost any chickens, and that was on a really wet and windy night, when my llamas were sheltering in their shelter, oh yes, my llamas have access to the next field and guard the fence line on two sides, the two sides where predators, mainly foxes are likely to approach my land.

In this run, I do not go down and lock the chooks up, I leave the guarding to my llamas.

This year we decided to breed a few pure Light Sussex, I had 11 chicks hatch out and they are now around 12 weeks old, we think we have 7 pullets (females) and 4 cockerels which have been split up into two groups. The 7 pullets have had a refurbished coop, and a 6' high enclosure built around them, they too have llamas guarding one side, but as they are youngsters and not wise to the ways of the world they need shutting in at night, no electric fence up there as way too far away from any power.

The 4 cockerels are also in a coop away from all the others and only has a small fence but are closer to my office and have goats on two sides (not sure how effective they'd be against a fox, and in any event they are all locked up at night.

So, a new routine, these two sets of chooks need locking up at dusk, and whilst I have remembered most nights, I have forgotten once when a glass of wine seemed to ruin the memory, luckily nothing happened but I must not forget again, must I?

Friday, 14 August 2015

Changing mobile phones!

What a pa lava!

Our contract is coming up for renewal and it was time to look at upgrading my phone.

The main aim though was to try and save ourselves a few bob, after all these top of the range rockets cost an arm and a leg and at the end of the day they are just a mobile phone. OK, they are a mobile phone that you can send and receive emails, you can tweet away, or check out Facebook, you can upload pictures that you have taken on your phone, and you can even take videos.

Well, on researching, there were a lot of smartphones out there that will do all that the top of the range models do at a fraction of the price.

I had an iPhone - cost was around £500 - they said it was free but I have more than paid for that during the 24 month contract I had to sign up for, and if you deduct a cost of a SIM only contract then that is what I paid for it.

So, this time I have gone for an android, cost just less than £90, and I will be going on to a SIM only contract when the current contract expires - I should save myself over £20 a month, so the phone will have paid for itself in four and half months and the most amazing thing is that this phone does everything that I ever did on the iPhone.

There, I feel better already!