Saturday, 26 September 2015

The garden smallholding

We moved into our current house 2 years ago. What attracted us most to the property was the garden because although we live in a bungalow the garden is quite large and was easily separated to allow us to do what we wanted.
We split the garden into 2 a veg patch and the family garden with a wooden fence between the two to keep the dog out of the veg patch and the chickens out of the family side.

In this picture you can see my runner/french beans, sweetcorn, kale and sprouts, rhubarb, leeks, spring onions and just the tops of my parsnips. 
It has been a poor year this year and everything seems to have struggled what you see is the survivors of the poor summer. I hope to rip it all out this winter and manure/compost it to improve the fertility of the soil ready for next season. 

As well as the chickens we share our lives with a number of other animals most of which are previously unwanted pets.
  • 1 black Labrador - Shadow
  • 2 ginger tabbies - Simba and Stitch 
  • 2 budgies - Ben and Penny
  • 2 musk turtles - Michelangelo and Raphael
  • 4 rabbits - Braveheart, Flopsy, Toffee and Fudge
  • 1 old rat - Smokey
  • 2 Roborovski hamsters - Rhino and Fatty
  • 3 Royal Pythons - Arwen
  • 1 Corn snake - Merlin
  • 1 leopard gecko - Angel
  • 3 Crested geckos - Mulder, Bob and Salem
  • 1 Pacman frog - Dexter
  • 2 guinea pigs - Jack and Freddie
I have converted my garage into an animal room where most of them currently live. I thought I would introduce them to you one set of pets at a time so heres a few shots of Jack and Freddie.

When I was thinking of purchasing my chickens I wanted to know as much about what other people were using as possible so I thought it would be nice to show you what I use for cleaning out my coop.

My kit contains poultry shield which I spray into every nook and cranny to ensure that I kill any red mite (if there are any in there) I then let the coop dry out before squirting diatomaceous earth everywhere to once again ensure red mite is kept at bay. The mask is to protect myself from inhaling the diatoms which can be carcinogenic. I use sawdust as the substrate within the coop and nest boxes with a nest of straw. 

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