The work on site continues apace,
with the concrete waste tanks arriving tommorow; so with things hotting up (except the weather, of course) it was time to relocate the goose house, which is actually a lovely 30-bird henhouse but not exactly easy to move – it was dropped off here by the Domestic Fowl Trust in Honeybourne near Gloucester the day after we moved in. Owing to a lack of machinery & resources it was abandoned next to the haybarn on the arrivals yard & has remained there ever since, while we decided What To Do With It.
Our initial idea was to get some electrified poultry netting (which we did) & erect it around said henhouse (which we also did). However the ground was so stony & uneven beneath, that try as we might we couldn’t sink the electric fence posts satisfactorily, with the netting sagging more precariously than a pair of Nora Batty’s stockings. So the netting remained unused, was gradually forgotten & eventually disappeared beneath the brambles; but when I realised it hadn’t been tidied away & went to recover it after work commenced on site, I discovered that unfortunately it had already been buried beneath the rubble. What an appalling waste of sixty quid; it has taught us a salutory lesson indeed.
So beacause we were literally between a rock & a hard place the house was initially redundant with the hens remaining in the two Forsham Cottage Arks which have given us such excellent & sturdy service. Whilst at the Smallholder Show at Builth Wells in 2006, we purchased a breeding pair of Brecon Buff geese; & the henhouse – being big & roomy, seemed an ideal solution for temporary housing until we could sort out something more permanent. So two years later, it would seem that solution did become the permanent one, after all! But now it was in the way…..
The geese vacated their accommodation for the day; & strops were attached to the henhouse. It was then very carefully picked up by the makeshift sling using the bucket of the excavator, & carried across the arrivals yard & down to the farmyard; swinging precariously & literally just brushing the electric cable which supplies power from the house to the farm buildings (my heart was in my mouth at that point as you can imagine). The strops groaned & the roof started to squeeze inwards; & I began to have real fears that the geese would not have a home at all, by evening! But thankfully their accommodation was carefully plonked down beside the pigsties; & we set to work to repair the damage, with Paul & Tony swiftly putting it right again.
So work resumed on site with the excavator bouncing alarmingly along the edge of the hill to prepare for the arrival of the concrete tanks. Being very big & very heavy & at the opposite end of the site to where I thought they’d be, I have grave misgivings about how on earth we’ll sink them into place. But I suppose that’s tomorrow’s challenge….!
As many people have already done so, I won’t post a pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday as it would be overegging the pudding (or pancake, depending on which way you look at it & the ingredients you use!). But I hope that all of you who indulged in said Shrove feast, thoroughly enjoyed it – we certainly did! And Happy Birthday to Richard’s first-ever Southdown lamb – born this afternoon, with no complications. Wonderful news!