Sunday, 12 July 2009

Stairs, eggs and chickens

I now have the answer to the age old riddle 'Which came first the chicken or the egg?'
For us it was the egg - as our ducks started laying a week last Friday. Here's Sam with his treasured find. They taste really good too.

The chickens weren't far behind actually, we got four ex-battery hens last Tuesday, but more on that later.

That Friday was a busy day indeed, as we got our stairs put in too.

Of course, there has been lots happening in the tunnel and garden, we're now eating mangetout peas, broad beans, potatoes, courgette, lettuce and mizuna and have lots of basil and parsley too. Here's a pic of broad beans (mega tasty) and spuds.

Anyway, I digress, lets backtrack to those stairs. Here is our 'before' picture with the hall crying out for some lovely stairs.

Here the stairs are in, looking great. It really makes the place seem more like a home and less like a building site to have stairs (we had a ladder before). Sally is delighted as she can now come upstairs with us.

Here's some detail of the bottom of the stairs.

Here's Elvie playing on the stairs.

Here's Elvie playing on a haystack in the field!

At last, here are the long awaited chickens (well, 3 of the 4 felt photogenic). You can see some areas where their feathers are missing if you look closely. Mind you, we got the best of the bunch i.e. the most feathered!

Here you can see one with feathers missing on her chest. They're all settling in well although the ducks were a tad miffed at sharing their space at first. They're getting the hang of things, although only one is laying so far - but I'm happy to give them a bit of time to settle in. They have to eat the pellets as 'mash' with water rather than dry (it might be because their beaks are clipped). I'm not sure if I'll be able to wean them onto the dry stuff or not. Typically, the ducks now want mash too!

The tunnel is becoming quite a jungle. The squashes in particular are trying to take over every inch of space. I'm forever training them in circles. The sweetcorn is massive now too.

Outside the tunnel I've been extending the gravel, so it's easier to walk when the ground is wet (a job best done before winter) as the water can puddle along the paths there. The border beside the tunnel is doing ok now, with the peas starting to flower and the beans starting to climb.

The beans are now properly climbing the poles in the planters outside the tunnel too .. everything is having a growing spurt.

Now, we're getting on inside the house insulating the upstairs and getting ready for first fix electrics and plumbing. No rest, thats for sure.

I'm finally realising that this is our HOME in the making and I'm getting for of an urge to get in and make our mark on it and make it 'ours'. Time to start thinking layouts again - for electrical sockets, lights etc .. not to mention furnishing and decorating. Looks like it's only beginning in some ways.

P.S. We were hoping to get on wireless broadband but couldn't get line of sight so we're still on VERY slow speed mobile internet here, hence the infrequent postings. Fingers and toes crossed that Eircom actually bring broadband to Carrigallen and beyond in the not too distant future (there is a rumor that they might).


  1. I can't believe how your polytunnel has come on - it looks so lush with home grown stuff! House is coming on great too. Snap with the ex-batts, we got 6 yesterday. Glad yours are doing OK. Ours are still bewildered, but I did have an egg waiting for me this morning - bless them. Take care, Sara x

  2. I love the polytunnel too!
    your hens will be extra friendly when they settle down, they look like an amberred rocks hybrid ....
    tip. try them with some pasta occassionally, they love it and will help build them will encourage them to be friendly too!

  3. The polytunnel is amazing right now - but I spent a bit of time yesterday hacking my paths so I'd space to walk in there!

    The chickens are settling in well. I tried the spagetti ... but they didn't quite 'get it'. Maybe when they're a bit for confident they will. The ducks had a go though. I'll probably do a chicken post soon - to show how they're settling in. Think we'll need to move the run soon too. I've already got plans for making a bigger area for them, maybe with electrified plastic netting (there are foxes, pine martins etc so I must be careful). Anyone got experience of that stuff?



  4. Wow things are really moving on for you!!!! You would think you had been their for years looking at your brimming polytunnel and bumper crops!!!!

    Glad to know the egg came first!!! haha That one always had me in a ponder!! haha

    Had forgotten how annoying it was not to have stairs, your post made me giggle to myself!!! Ladders suck!!! Don't worry, you will soon be taking the stairs forgranted!!! Have you put many doors on yet? Its a real pain the bum when they all go on and you have to open and shut them to get from room to room! haha

    Loving the ducks and hens!!

    Linzi x x x


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