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

Friday, May 24, 2013

Froog's Giveaway

Froogs has a beautiful toy that she is giving away.  Read all about it here:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh dear...

One of my pair of the oldest hens is starting to look very old suddenly - much older than her friend who is still laying the occasional egg.  She wasn't even interested in the slice of bread I had for them yesterday let alone the corn.  She just stood and watched her friend gobble it up.  At this rate I'm going to have lots of henhouses/runs with just one hen in.  At least I know that she is just old and not poorly.

I have an elderly cat who is going very thin.  She is 17 now and just not getting the benefit from her food any more.  She is happy and has the same appetite as always although she drinks more than she used to.  She is my cat and I am her person and I'm really, really going to miss her when she goes.  She is such a nice natured cat.  She was a rescued cat that had obviously been used to being kicked.  Why do people do that to animals?  All these years with us gradually taught her that some humans were to be trusted but it took over two years before she asked to come on a lap.  And she always checked and asked before jumping up.  She used to sit on my bed but always on the very corner so that she could slip off quickly and get down the stairs out of harm's way.  Now she plonks herself in the middle and I have to pick her up and move her if needs be : )

My other cat is turned 14 and is being a bit expensive at the moment.  She developed a little patch on her back with a scratchy looking rash and the fur coming out around it.  So we took her to the vet who said that they had no idea what might be causing the problem.  They gave her a steroid injection and treated her for mites to see if that might help.  We took her back for a checkup a week later as requested and they said that there was no evidence of mites (phew!!). The funny patch was the size of my palm by now and was obviously bothering her.  The vet was still no wiser as to the problem let alone the cure so they had her back to do a biopsy.  They also did some blood tests.  So we've had the results now and they still have no idea what the problem is although they can say definitely some things that the problem is not. The bald and rashy patch is now the size of my hand and other smaller areas are now affected. And we've just paid £260 for them to not know any answers. 

So we're not really much further forward and don't know what to do to help my cat.  And if I wasn't such a skinflint, we would not have the £260 sitting there ready to pay the vet's bill.  But I'm not happy!

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Another one gone

I've lost another hen so that makes 4 gone since Easter.  At least this was one of my older ones and she was happy and looking for bread in the afternoon and just went quietly in the night.  It made a nice change from the other 3.  Two had to be culled because they suffered prolapses within a couple of days of each other and their little flock took against the one at the bottom of the pecking order and pecked her to death.  Horrible!

I'm very fond of my hens and their antics never cease to amuse me but sometimes their behaviour is not what I want to see.  At least this old hen had a good life and a peaceful end.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

Fresh Food

We've just taken delivery of a lamb for the freezer.  It grew up on my friend's farm and I probably cuddled it when it was little.  I know it had a good life and was well looked after so I am happier to have it in my freezer than any random lamb from a butcher or supermarket. I paid a fair price for it and am happy to do so in this instance because I know its background.  At other times, I love yellow stickered items from the supermarket because it reduces my outgoings.

This lamb is beautiful meat and we use it for special meals and celebrations.  It is a dark red and because the animal lived outside for a whole year (longer than the meat in the shops) then it is more "beeflike" in texture.

But...  There is always a but, isn't there : )

In this case it is not a very serious one but it is costing me money.  I had understood that the lamb was coming a week later than it did and that I would therefore have this weekend to sort out the freezers enough to fit in the packets of meat...  So I was a bit taken aback when the meat was delivered a week earlier than expected and we had to sort the freezer there and then.  We hadn't enough time left before bedtime and we were tired after work so we were not able to do a very good job.  We had to take out of the chest freezer what we could of the bulky and least expensive items and hope that we wouldn't waste too much of them. And so the lamb is in but the freezer lid doesn't quite close ( just a fraction open) and I can just hear that electricity meter ticking away at double speed... and it will continue doing so until the weekend and we can have a major sort out.  Grrr. A heavy blanket hopefully will help to keep the cold air where it should be and the warmer air out where it should be too.