Wednesday, 29 July 2009

new chicken area

very rough plan

Chickens current run

Shed and view of plot at rear of garden

Wall and mound

rear fence

fence of left near shed

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Quail the animal

We decided on Japanese Coturnix as they are cheap, good laying and meat birds, we got the eggs a couple of weeks ago now, 30 of them!! Through the post from Quails in Essex .We popped them in the incubator, we have to rotate them 3 times a day to stop the embryo sticking to the shell, at day 15 you stop, then on day 17 they hatch. that day came, this happened:

quail Hatching

This happened 19 times over a 40 hr period, mostly within the first 4 hrs! Our first one failed to get out of his shell but apart from that and having to help a couple they all hatched well apart from those that didn't. This is a good number as the hatch rate is around 55 - 65% and we got just over 63%! not bad for our first go.

The chicks after hatching have to be left in the incubator, Ideally for 18 hrs from the first one to hatch so they can all dry out so they are able to regulate their body temperature.

quail Hatching

As you can see we kept them at 38 degrees during hatching and aiming to get humidity as high as possible, the more quails that hatched the more it rose. after 18 hr we released them into a brooder (a box under a heat lamp set as 35 degrees centigrade.

A couple of late arivals had feet issues, we named one floppy foot, we hat to plaster his foot to some car to straiten out his toes, however after a day of this we were planning on replacing this but its already mended. photos of this also to come.

Quail day 1

after a bit of a incident when we were out, which involved 4 of them getting in the drinker and getting soaking, one died of hypothermia before we found them, the others were saved by a return journey the the incubator, we decided to down scale there brooder for a couple of days.

Quail day 1

The thing with coins in is there new water device (drawing pin case) the coins are to stop them getting to wet if they stand it it, the black thing is a screw bottle top. the other thing is a thermometer.

Quail day 1

We later put a mop head in too which they like to snuggle up with when they nap, (every 20 mins or so)

They have recently been moved into there old brooder box with straw floor now they can walk better with a bigger drinker and feeder bit still with stones in the bottom of the drinking to minimise wetness. photos to come of this.

Quail 1

Our temporary house mate Jon, a friend from uni, invited his Aunt and Uncle around for tea, they suggest getting some Quails as "we already have housing", that sounded like a excellent Idea! So the Quail venture began.

Quite early on I realised that they don't get on, so I will have to construct a new house, this time learning some lessons from both robs and jeffs shed, constructing the house in panel form as well as upgrading my tool etc. using a staple gun rather than funny u shape nails.

The Quail plan is to have a house which is splits into 2, Generation 1 (G1) that I will hatch with a borrowed incubator and will live in one section at a ration of 1 boy to 3 Girls. I will collect eggs from these both initialy for eating but also at week 10 for incubation. Generation 2 (G2) will live in the secon partition section, these will be bred for meat.

The build.

This is the base of the house, mesh under the soil to stop baddies getting in.

These are the panels

This is the house constructed, it is taller than the chickens one because, the Quails will not be allowed out to play like the chickens are so we have to go in and see them, also when they are startled they have a habit of flying directly up and hitting there heads.

There is a door where Sam is stood and another door at the far left, there is a step in to allow us access without granting the Quail leave. The partition will be put in when G2 get on the way between the central wood Columns.


Since I blogged last we have been on a bit of a poultry fad, after returning from the warm conditions of "away" and returning to "home", going out on the water seemed less appealing and as the night were drawing in, I found the Battery Hen Walfare Trust, the are a charity that buys battery hens after they are removed from the cages and relocates them to new home.

This was all the encouragement I needed to go about trying to get some, after asking my house mates and our landlord, who surprisingly was for the Idea 100%, his only criticism was that the house and run was too big for just 3 "I should have got more".

It was very appealing Idea, as chickens are cool!, they can pretty much look after themselfs for a week at a time (with enough food and water, and you get eggs! (not that I really like eggs). Also if we are going away for a longer stint, getting someone to chicken sit is easy as they get a supply of free fresh eggs in payment.

Also at 50p each and food at £6.80 for a 25kg sack, you cant go wrong! (plus about £100 or so for wood and stuff)

So I set out building a chicken coop, a Triangular natured contraption, with a run connected to the end.

This is my house on the inside, one white thing is food the other water. Chickens supposedly like to sleep on a perch.


This is there whole run and the house.

This is Margo, our prize hen as she has moulted and looks "normal again", Babs and Dandelion both are missing a few feathers still.

first eggs

these are are first 2 eggs, over the winter we have been logging egg collection, and the 3 Girls are averaging about 1.5 eggs a day, however, we have lost this data dure to a hard drive failure, and since now it is spring we have had a couple of 3 a day!!!! so the new average is probably closer to 2!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

van, sumer windsurf fun

To read about the summer voyage in the van go to,
or some pictures at my flikr account

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Van Build

Over easter than van build has defiantly started! very exiting, do have some pictures, but currently the building of the van is more fun than the documenting it, but watch this space, with exams coming up there will probly be a few volumes of build process.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Back to Lectures

Back to lectures now, have millions more than last semester but some are more intresting, least have the evening free, ferrying around this weekend and prob a bit of sailing. but next week, the Nurf Log is back on the plan!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Hill Head

Headed over to hill head where I got my first go on my exiting new stuff 5m and jp FSW wikid fun, almost got a gecko but still am no where near vulcan.

Kwoon - I Lived on the Moon

Just remembered how amazing this song and video is, I'm just learning some case studies for my exam tomorrow!

So amazing, you can down load a higher resolution version at Kwoons website, you should also look at Krapooyo Yannick Puig by the same artist, a Yannick Puig

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Second, best Idea of the day!

This is the first time in the history of this blog where I have decided there are two equally good best Idea of the days, as you will probably appreciate this must be pretty special, Its an amazing Idea, a bike stand / locking to arrangement, with a build in bike pump!