It is with a very heavy hear that I need to impart some extremely sad news, I have been avoiding posting this but I feel it is only right after I got such a great response regarding the chook blog or as it became know the CHOG.
Just after my show in Chelsea one of my bantams, Bob went missing, we assumed as it was spring that she was broody and would return sometime soon. Not long after this Snowflake and Snowball went missing and Snowflake being a boy this ruled out him sitting on eggs, we starting looking at what might be causing the disappearances thinking it was a fox but as they disappeared one at a time with no sign of feathers or struggle we ruled this out, rats maybe? as we have had issues and so we spend a lot of time and effort in dealing with that problem, so successfully we haven’t seen a rat in weeks although I know they will be back. The sad news is we then lost Tea (aka Elvis, in the picture above) and although he was a very old bird he was a mainstay of the flock and we actually found him lying in the middle of the garden, then Evie decided to sleep in a tree and vanish early one morning, we did try and get her down but she just kept going higher into the trees and roosting earlier and earlier. I will say at this point we put them all under lock and key and next to the house, they were not happy being locked up so stupidly we let them out during the main part of the day and then Missy, author of Chook blog was taken, they couldn’t of been out for more than a couple of hours. This was all too much and I was thinking about packing the whole chicken malarky in, the birds were unhappy being shut up, we knew something was afoot, none of the large birds had gone missing and we had settled that the culprit was a Stoat, we do get them round here but as with most wildlife they tend not to cross the busy roads to get food as its too dangerous (yes I know we are idiots) . We then had a long think about what we were going to do when one night our remaining bearded Belgian, Lavender ,who was most disgruntled at being trapped inside a house and had been sleeping up a tree for the past year was caught during the night. She had roosted in the rafter of the 6ftx8ft house and had been missed when closing the pop holes. What totally surprised us is the said Stoat had ripped a huge whole into the roof of the house, killed her and couldn’t get out without leaving her behind and so we could tell it was a Stoat kill. Strangely since then we have not had any issues but we are now 7 bantams less in the flock and we are left with Ruffles, Red, Reds daughter(RD) Quaily and Buffy.
We were both totally shaken by this and so instantly put more eggs into the incubator and 3 little fluff balls have hatched and are now approaching 3 weeks old, I am thinking two boys and a girl and they are all mottled colouring including a silver grey so Lavender has produced the next generation. Then a friend gave me more eggs so have tried hatching them and we now have another three ready to launch at the end of the week so a new flock is on its way…….oh and just to add to the fun Buffy has gone broody and is now snarling and biting tucked up in a safe place and is sitting on 7 eggs, all of which are fertile, so we are thinking in about another two weeks we will be overrun with little peepers. The king is dead long live the king and all that. Anyway sorry for the bad news but a new cast of characters will be emerging in due course.
Other news is work is going fine, I have done a few shows all of which have been acceptable in terms of sales, nothing major to speak of but certainly not unprofitable. I am working on a commission right now and organising a collection for the National Trust, if honest I am a bit stumped with this one but we will get there. I am teaching loads still so not much making in the pipeline. I will say here I appreciate a blog should be about making and designing and showing you lovely people all about what goes on in my shed and I will get that going, I just need to get the time to get in there and get organised.
I am going sign off now and getting working on some more designing aspects and take some pictures and show my process and start making this into a proper blog……with the occasional chog.