This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Back to snow and ice again but not enough for a snow day.  Staff are as bad as the kids in hoping for a snow day : )   The snow has melted a bit as temperatures went up above freezing but then went down again so the pavements by us are treacherous with ice.  The forecast is for more snow today but then temperatures will soar tomorrow to 5'-6'C so the snow will all go but more importantly, the ice will go too.

So, a day later and almost all the snow is gone.  Just a few little white lumps tucked under hedges and in other places that are shaded from the sun.  And best of all, it is Friday and half term starts in a few hours - yay!!!!

It was hard work to get up this morning.  It was sheer effort of will to lever myself into an upright position and totter off to the shower.  And I was so slow moving (going as fast as I could) that my lift had to come and ring the doorbell instead of me being stood ready and waiting... And when I got out of the front door, there was heavy frost everywhere and the pavements were slippery again. 

The hens want to start laying more eggs with the promise of spring around the corner but with the quick changes between snow and warmth (relatively speaking) they don't know where they are and one day will lay 7 and the next day it will be 2.  Last week, all my customers were on rations and this week, most of them had what they asked for. My oldest hens (Bluebelles) have started laying an egg or two each this week, which surprised me.  The next oldest (Warrens or similar) are over a year younger but have not laid anything yet and I'm not sure they will.  The ones we had from school have laid a couple each and the youngest, who aren't young any more, are laying the bulk of the eggs. 

I had thought that the two older sets of hens (two left of each little flock) would not make it through the winter but they are still with us.  Without me claiming them as my pets, my husband would have "done" for them long since and my farmer friend thinks I am just plain mad to keep them but I like them.  They have served me well and I think they have earned their retirement.  I have to admit, though, that cleaning out four henhouses is something of a chore.  I am going to have a problem when one of each pair goes because they don't usually like living on their own.  But that is not a decision I have to make yet - and am happy to postpone.