This weeks rain has meant some of our outside chicken pens have suddenly turned from being lovely, dry and dusty to soggy, wet and muddy! so we have been busy (in the rain!) cleaning and topping the pens with fresh hardwood chips and a sprinkling of Biodri powder to give the hens a lovely flooring to scratch around in. We also give both the pens and hens a general health check at this time of year to check the housing is secure enough to keep out the winter weather and the hens are in top condiditon. Hens can often look a little bedragled at this time, the drop in temperature can induce a moult and bacteria and other harmful organisms can build up during the warmer summer weather.
We now have our last flock of Hybrids for the year, so if you are thinking of adding to your flock during the winter, then now is the time to reserve or collect your hens. Winter introductions can be far easier than in the spring or summer as the shorter days gives the hens less time to peck at each other. It also means you also dont have to wait up so late for darkness to fall so that you can roost the hens in the house together or venture out so early in the mornings to split them back into their seperate runs before daylight arrives.
Apple Day Sunday 13th October
If you are planning to bring you apples along to be juiced on our apple day, dont forget to pick them soon, and dry and strore them in a cool place. Although the rain will keep the wasps away from the fruit it will also encourage any rot/bad to grow. However the lovely thing about juicing fruit is it doesnt need to be supermarket perfect! To test if the fruit is ready just gently pull the apple and it should easily come away from the branch.
It was great to see our September Beekeeping beginners suiting up ready to inspect the bees on a lovely sunny weekend. If you are thinking of keeping bees, why not join us on our November weekend course?... find out just what you need to write the perfect christmas gift list of books and equipment to get you started.
BioDri is a super absorbent powder to extend the life of bedding. Sprinkle on the flooring of your chicken run. BioDri is extremely effective in absorbing liquids and ammonia gas, inhibiting the growth and spread of bacteria and other harmful organisms. The fresh smelling powder is non hazardous and is suitable for use with animals and birds of all ages. Just add 1 cup per square merte on top of animal bedding
At best, a parasite problem in your flock will cause birds to be inactive, lethargic, withdrawn in appearance and can mean a greatly reduced or even ceased egg production. Though, just following a few simple procedures can go a long way towards controlling the problem....
Notes for October...
I hope everyone has completed their bee jobs for this time of year. This includes all varroa treatment and feeding. As I have now removed my feeders I can put insulation on. As soon as it cools down and the bees less active, you can put mouseguards on....
If you are going away over the half term, dont forget to book your animals in for a holiday of their own and go away relaxed, safe in the knowledge that they are being well cared for totally secure inside our barn, in one of our purpose buillt holiday pens.
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