Thursday, 4 December 2008

Leukaemia Research Calendars 2009

Leukaemia Research Calendars for 2009 are available from my pal Bodger on his forum.

Only £2.50 incl P&P

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Converting a shed for poultry use. Part 1

Converting a shed for poultry use is a reasonably easy task suitable for even the most amateur diyer.

First you need a shed make sure it’s sound and watertight. Remember fresh air and cold won't hurt hens, a drought will.
The size of the shed will dictate the number of hens you can keep in there; I’ll assume that you are adding a run so a 6 x 8 shed will easily accommodate 8-12 birds with lots of room inside for rainy days etc.

The next thing to do is decide on a site. Away from full sun would be best in my opinion, you don’t want them to cook in the summer and as far away from your own home or neighbours as you can or is practical.

Let’s talk vermin, yes you probably will get them at some point but there are plenty of things you can do to minimise the problem. Good house keeping is essential all food stuffs should be kept in sealed containers any food spillages cleaned up.
Raising the shed up off the floor will also help a great deal, rodents feel less secure if the floors raised and so the underneath is more open.
I’ve raised mine on 6x2 joists and this is the minimum I would use, with hindsight I’d have raised mine by 12 inch probably using building blocks.

Now make sure the window is operable, but secure weld-mesh to the inside, so you can open the window and leave it open without Mr Fox or wild birds getting in. It may also pay to mesh over any fixed panes too.

Next you need to block off the bottom 12” of the doorway, do this from the inside using something like marine ply which is weather proof. This gives you a barrier against the hens throwing out their litter.

Then build an inner frame around the original door frame, than build an inner door out of timber for the frame and cover that with mesh. Hang this on you inner frame and use something like a pad-lockable bolt to lock it shut. You should now be able to leave the main door open throughout the day, while keeping your hens well ventilated, but secure.

If you wish to use just part of the shed it’s easy to create a partition frame of timber and cover with mesh.

In my next part I'll try to cover nest boxes, pop holes and perches.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


That's the noise that greeted me today as I set foot on my plot so that was it for me, to wet to do what I'd intended but no surprise after all the rain. My plots are on a slope, but some of the plots at the top still had standing water.

Thieves have struck on the site a number of sheds have been broken into and tools have been stolen. Also our sister site has been targeted too.

On the up side I discovered a huge pile of leaves has been left for me, so now do I dig them in or compost for next year. I'm not sure yet.

The broad beans seem to be enjoying the wet weather and are now 5-6" tall, so to are the Japanese onion sets I put in. But I've noticed quite a few gaps in my garlic crop.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween

Hope you all have had a peaceful & fun Halloween

We have had some strange things appearing on photo's we have taken, lots of orbs all around the room.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Winter Digging

I was greeted by the sight of a dog fox sitting on my plot this morning, not quick enough with the camera though.

Started the winter digging in earnest today. Before the frosts hit, they will break up the rough clods for me. Another good reasn to winter dig is you unearth no end of pests so the birds will have a feast.

The little black things in the picture are slugs dormant a few inches under the soil.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

On poultry Keeping

As well as having 2 plots, we keep a small backyard flock of hens, just 4 but they supply us with enough eggs most of the year. They are kept in the back of my shed, with a pop hole to an outside run, they also free range when we are able. Spring time creates problems with free ranging hens they seem to home in on any seed tray I've left laying about and scoff the contents.

They seem pretty easy to keep really, as long as you keep the basics in mind, plenty of fresh water, good quality food ( table scraps are ok in small doses but tend to make hens fat if they get too much ) and a safe place to roost for the night well ventilated but draft free. And you don't need a cockerel to get eggs

The photo was taken last year not long after I had bought them, they are Rhode Island Red x Light Sussex.

I'll be adding a post or two on how to convert a shed to a poultry house at a later date.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Day 1

Well not really day one, but as good as anywhere to start
I've been on this site for about 2 1/2 years now and slowly winning the war on the weeds. Both plots are mine but the one on the left was taken on early this year. I don't stress too much about weeds they will disappear over time ... I hope !

To the right are garlic, followed by overwintering onions and under the hoops are a couple of rows of broad beans. Not much to be seen so far.

Today I've sown some Autumn sowing carrots just the other side of the hoops they are Thompson and Morgans "Nantes Frubund" a fast cropping cold resistant carrot, never tried over winter before so time will tell.