Monday, June 05, 2006

Good old Google! Thanks to Google, and some clever deduction, Gabrielle has identified our willow eater larvae of the sawfly (Nematus capreae), apparently responsible, so a link to the BBC News page tells us, of a plague on willows around Wolverhampton in 1995! Our potted twisted willows have survived the attack and the adjacent willow tree also attacked seems untroubled.
We bought four more chickens today, to bring the total up to 10. The four we bought last week are in very good health and have settled in a treat with the older ones. Thinking of meat as well as eggs, and with plenty of spare capacity in the hen house, we decided that adding a few more was a good idea. Once adult though, it will not be possible to add new chicks to the henhouse—I think we only just got away with adding the four to the larger (but not fully grown) original two—so I’ll need to build some sort of kindergarten for any newbies in the future.
We’re impressed with the supplier. The man who sold us ours seems to care about his animals: their kept in good, clean conditions and arrived in good health. So, we’ve gone ahead and ordered 10 geese, 5 grey, 5 white, ready for putting out to pasture in a couple of weeks, just enough time for us to build a fox-proof goose shelter, essential for daytime shade from the sun, shelter from the wind as well as night time security.