Batten down the hatches

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Margaid
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by Margaid »

Sun shining at the moment and the wind has died down - was very windy last night. I'm south of Shrewsbury so not affected by the Severn flooding. Just hope there hasn't been more rain upstream as the river is due to peak at Shrewsbury and Ironbridge later today.
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LadyA
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by LadyA »

Hen-Gen wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:20 pm
Margaid wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:26 pm
Um, what about the forecast snow????
Not this far north. 😀
Not this far south either!! Yay! Hate the stuff.

I'm always complaining about the wind here where I live, because I'm kind of perched on a hill, with the land falling away on three sides. And I'm within a few miles of the sea on three sides. But, when weather like we've been having strikes, I'm very glad to be on a height! If this place floods, then we're all doomed!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by Hen-Gen »

LadyA wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:15 am
Hen-Gen wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:20 pm
Margaid wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:26 pm
Um, what about the forecast snow????
Not this far north. 😀
Not this far south either!! Yay! Hate the stuff.

I'm always complaining about the wind here where I live, because I'm kind of perched on a hill, with the land falling away on three sides. And I'm within a few miles of the sea on three sides. But, when weather like we've been having strikes, I'm very glad to be on a height! If this place floods, then we're all doomed!
Yes, similarly. Land falls away on three sides. And I’m confident that The Greenland Icesheet will outlast me so no problem with a rise in sea levels.
Though naturally I’m a cheerful person I do like to fantasise about different scenarios including coronavirus. The death rate from people in their seventies is 15%. In folk in their eighties it’s 25%. Nevertheless it’s fascinating watching it’s advance. The Italians have now instituted serious control measures. I can imagine the sixty people here immobilising our ferry and quarantining the island. Certainly enough sheep to keep us going for ever. Bit deficient in fruit and veg though! 😀
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
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Marigold
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Re: Batten down the hatches

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I've been reading Robert Harris' latest book 'The Second Sleep' which like all his books is just wonderful. In it a character writing in 2022 identifies 6 'catastrophic scenarios that fundamentally threaten the existence of our advanced science-based way of life.'

They are;
1) Climate change
2) Nuclear exchange
3) A super-volcano eruption leading to rapidly accelerating climate change.
4) An asteroid strike also causing accelerated climate change
5) A general failure of computer technology due either to cyber warfare or an uncontrollable virus or solar activity
6) A pandemic resistant to antibiotics.

He goes on to explain the probable consequences of 5) in particular and remarks on the total lack of planning or even acceptance of the need to do so by the Government. As regards 6) coronavirus I can't help feeling it could be a very good way of reducing the global population to manageable numbers and preventing a lot of the factors driving climate change. Now I'm in my 80th year and with COPD I will be well up in the 25% mortality band HenGen mentions, but at least it picks off the oldies and it would be better than being stuck in a residential home for years on end at vast unnecessary expense with no dog or chickens. The problem is that it doesn't actually seem to be any worse than a bad flu epidemic at present, in terms of actual percentages of deaths overall. maybe it will mutate to a more useful type as it spreads.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by Hen-Gen »

With you there Marigold.
Have to get that book though.
But I must admit to having ordered a mountain of tinned goods just in case!
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
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Marigold
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Re: Batten down the hatches

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Margaid
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Re: Batten down the hatches

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Like both of those Marigold!
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Marigold
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by Marigold »

Now that Iris and Nigella have actually departed for the Brahmas, the question has arisen 'What do I do next? Do I want another lot of pullets? Can I be reasonably certain of being able to see to their care for the next 2-3 years? "

This winter I've been having a lot of breathing problems following a bad chest infection in November. Even walking down the garden to the hens was a struggle and I still find it hard to do a proper dog walk. Although the daily care of a few hens is not very demanding, now and then they need a through clean-out which can be a dusty job, and sacks of feed or Aubiose are heavy to move. If I got really ill I would worry about their care. The local farm shop has started selling lovely big organic eggs, £2.20 for 6, which I reckon works out at less than it would cost to buy, feed, worm and care for 3-4 hens for their 2-3 productive years, plus £20 a week to a local teenager for care when we go away. In their first year I give away lots of spare eggs, which is nice to do but uneconomic. Also I hate sending them to the Brahmas when they stop laying, though I'm getting a bit better at that. I do like hens as individuals but not really as pets, and they have to lay well to earn their keep, in effort as well as in cash.

Obviously, whatever happened next, the first thing I had to do anyway was to clean out the run and coop and all the equipment, feeders and drinkers etc. I could easily sell the Green Frog coop etc, but then it would be final, the last lot of hens. The task of shovelling up barrowloads of grubby Aubiose, even wearing dust protection, has taken 3 days, puffing around, and has been difficult. I do poo pick, but not all poos get picked up, some are scratched in, and the missed ones get dehydrated and become poo dust on the bottom of the layer of litter, so not good when doing a complete clear out. So I considered breeding budgies in the run and calling it an aviary. I've bred budgies before and I like the idea of lots of pretty little birds flying around, getting on and hatching out their own babies with very little help. Then I read an excellent long article about keeping budgies which said they were not suitable for asthmatics because of the feather dust, and I recalled that had been a problem before, so that was out.

So I've been thinking hard about what to do next. I have this lovely big clean run and a lot of perfectly usable equipment, several spare bales of Aubiose and plenty of pellets. It looks empty and lifeless without any birds in it, a waste of space. So today I finished the clear-up, looked online and found that a local supplier has lots and lots of POL pullets for sale, of various breeds.

I guess I shall be looking for the chicken transport boxes up in the attic tomorrow, - maybe......
Margaid
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by Margaid »

Can't imagine you without hens Marigold, but I understand the dilemma being asthmatic myself. Although not particularly pleasant to work in (and probably unobtainable at the moment!) have you considered wearing a dust mask when you do a full clean out? I found they did help when doing a really dusty job.
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Marigold
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Re: Batten down the hatches

Post by Marigold »

Yes, thank you margaid I did that. I found it was worth it to prevent breathing in the dust that gathered on the outside, but in itself it was uncomfortable and did make breathing difficult. And I couldn't wear glasses because of the condensation!
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