Saturday, 3 September 2011

Chucks, Eggs and Freegle Jam

Dottie and Flo, our chucks, are so content, free-ranging in the garden most of the day, and today they found a patch of dry soil where George had removed an Acer, and hey presto - instant dustbath! They spent ages rolling about in it, and half the time Dottie was rolling over the top of Flo, but she didn't seem to mind. They also found a new edible treat - fresh corn on the cob, and they absolutely loved it.
I love the Freegle/ Freecycle ethos, and since we joined the local groups, we have offered and received several very different items. This week I saw a listing offering as many plums as you want to pick, so emails were swapped, and off George went to pick plums. I weighed them when he came back, and we had about 7kgs!! Thank you so much, Collette, we have given some to my daughter Emma for jamming, made eleven jars of jam ourselves for the garage sale, and still have plenty left for freezing as crumble/pie filling for the winter.
I have also gorged on them, as they are one of my favourite fruits, and my baby plum tree, which Emma bought for my birthday last year, sadly died in the spring, covered in little fruitlets. The tiny fruits hanging on the dead branches somehow made it seem worse - all that promise to never be fulfilled.  

The ex-bats have been laying eggs since the day after we got them home - well, three of them have, and I bought a fab Egg Skelter to display their lovely eggs. Love it!
We decided to call the four ex-bats after George's and my grandmothers, as we think old-fashioned names suit chickens. So they are Beatrice the baldy one, Doris the most feathered one, Harriet, the pecked one, and Mabel the palest one.

We have had to separate Harriet, as she was being pecked by all three of the others and was bleeding, so she is in a rabbit house we borrowed from Emma, which now opens into a dog crate - her run. She is so nervous, but is getting better day by day. Understandably, she isn't laying, as I think she uses all her energy to cope with the stress of her new life, but she isn't running into her house as much as she did at the start. She is sited between the Eglu run and the coop, so she can see and get used to all the other chickens. As Dottie and Flo are free a lot of the time, Harriet has face to face encounters with them many times a day, and she and Flo have started facing up to each other through the wire mesh and jumping in the air, presumably beginning to sort out the pecking order.


EmmaM said...

I got my plum jam made yesterday after I found 4 jars. Its a gorgeous colour isn't it?!
Emma x

lynnep said...

Yes, and it tastes gorgeous too. We had a bit left over, so I had it for lunch on toast, yum!