Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live in Herefordshire with Compostman and teenage daughter Compostgirl. We have just under 4 acres of land which contains a woodland, polytunnel, small orchard, garden and veg plot. We grow our own organic produce and make lots of cider, wine, jam and chutney. We also make a lot of compost. We share our lives with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We try our best to live a more self reliant lifestyle, growing and making and fixing and mending and re-using and re-cycling stuff, if we can.
I used to be a Research Scientist, but that was many years ago. I now work as a freelance environmental educator/writer/lecturer/Forest School practitioner and community artist; I also spend a lot of time volunteering as a Master Composter, Master Gardener, Love Food Hate Waste cookery demonstrator and hens@home mentor. Doing all this allows me the privilege of helping people have fun outdoors and live more enjoyable and sustainable lives.
This blog is a record of what I have been up to from day to day. I might write about something I have done in the garden, an article I have written for a magazine, the latest batch of chutney I have made, a training course I have attended or "just" my daily routine of cats, chickens, compost and mud.
I hope you find something to interest you in The Compost Bin, remember there are lots of "How to" guides about all sorts of stuff and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!
Saturday, 31 December 2011
Friday, 30 December 2011
|Broken wing and Limpy having some food|
In addition to the normal routine for the existing 9 hens in two separate house/run combinations (say hello, collect eggs, check food and drink and condition, later check for eggs, let out to free range, later still check for eggs, last thing feed high carb and protein food late afternoon, then an hour later shut in ( well before dark) and top up feeders and drinkers etc ..)
I now have the extra checking of 7 not so great healthed hens, including 2 who are really poorly.
So they need a lot more attention at the moment!
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Also have two limping girls so they went to be looked at as well. One is just bruised but the other may have arthritis ( quite common in caged hens, as are brittle bones due to lack of exercise and natural light
The hen with the broken wing and the very lame hen are in my ICU on extra special special treatment, the bruised hen has gone back in with the others but I am keeping a close eye on them.
My vet is used to me by now bringing all sorts of animals to them but I am sure they must think I am mental for being so concerned about hens - most people would just cull a bird with a broken wing and never take it to the vets and tbh if she had been looking like she was on the way out I would have done just that - BUT she is a feisty, fighty little hen and too full of life to give up on – so I won’t!
Am concerned about the hen with the broken wing – as the body bandage may not work, but the alternative was it being pinned under anaesthetic – which we did not think she would survive so it is the best available option we have – she didn’t like the pain relief drops, either…pecked me and drew blood, ungrateful hen!
One of the hens gets her first taste of jumping up onto something :-)
We arrived at 2 pm at a farm out on the Hereford - Brecon road, where a load of people were arriving with cat baskets and dog crates and boxes and basically anything suitable to carry away hens.
We were welcomed by the BHWT volunteers and signed in to say who we were. I joined the queue in the barn to collect my hens. They had been brought up from a battery farm near Bristol at noon, so were still quite dazed and confused by space, air and light.
They looked pathetic and bald and really rather poorly and I felt ashamed to be a member of the same species as those who had subjected these animals to such cruelty, all in the name of greed and " economic food production"
I got 7 from the BHWT collection point and gave them my gift aid form and what I hope was a generous donation.
5 of them looked very ropey, poor things and one somehow broke her wing on the way home :-(
2 of then though you would not think were ex battery hens – apart from a bigger comb they look wonderful – alpha hens or maybe a cage where some had died off?
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Excited children all over the world are beginning their festive countdowns. 19 sleeps until Christmas!
However, for rescuers of battery hens in the UK there is another, much more wretched countdown. They have until 30 Dec to rescue and find homes for as many hens as possible before the unlucky girls who don’t have homes go to slaughter.
How can we possibly celebrate the festive season when so many hens, who have spent their lives entombed in cages, will be sent to their deaths during the festive season?
The thought of these poor, desperate, unloved hens being slaughtered, has spurred many people, me included, to offer a home to an ex battery hen or several.
Some lucky hens will wake up a few days before Christmas and be whisked away to new homes, where they can scratch in the grass, bathe in the dirt and see the sky. The others will spend a few more nights in the cages before waking up one morning to be transported to the slaughterhouse, hung upside down in shackles and killed.
Which would YOU prefer to happen to YOU?
Please, if you can, rehome some ex battery hens. Click on this link and arrange to have some.
If you can't, please conside donating to a rehoming charity? AND please, make sure you do not buy any products which still have eggs from caged systems in them - look for " enriched cages" or better still buy free range or organic products. That way you can be more sure the hens have had a better life while producing the eggs you eat.
Monday, 5 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
So, if you want to see what I have been up to with making things, have a look there :-)
I will gradually be moving all the craft related posts over to this other blog, so if you are looking for a particular item or idea, try there!
Saturday, 3 December 2011
I still feel inside much as I did as when I was in my late twenties or mid thirties ...even though I am nearly fifty now (only a few more months ...!)
Outside I am very different, oh yes, I am much more decrepit and ill and physically limited than I was twenty years ago..but inside, ah inside I still feel about thirty five ( which I view as the best period of my life, physically)
Strange how much our view of our age is governed by our mental image, rather than our actual physical age?