Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Daily Bird Sightings 2015

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 18:31

I think fieldfares and redwings prefer open ground and seem to stay(often together) in flocks - I see them in the fields round here but never in the garden.

Help please!

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 18:25

I had the same problem some years ago and the only solution for me was to fence the garden securely, using "stock" netting along the post & rail fencing and hedges.  It was quite straightforward to fix the netting to the post & rail, and for the hedges I had short posts put in, as close as possible to the hedge itself, and the netting was fixed to them.  Now it's almost impossible to see the netting there, as the hedging has grown through to some extent.  Badgers are surprisingly strong, so tough fencing/netting is what's needed. 

In case you're wondering what I mean by "stock" netting, it's the sort which comes in a roll and is made from strong wire, and the spaces are square/rectangular, rather than the "chicken wire" hexagons.  The way to attach it is to fix the "squares" part at the top and the "rectangles" at the bottom.  If you can visit an agricultural supplies place, you'd be able to see it - or ask a fencing contractor to show you.

Room 101

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 19:22

I'd love to be able to get rid of the current fashion for speaking as though every statement or sentence is a question?  ..................... there's surely enough room left for that.................? 

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 11:04

Hi Bekkie - I don't believe that considering animal welfare is anything new - it's just something people tend to bang on about these days.  Even from a totally practical point of view, healthy happy animals produce more and better milk.   What does bother me though is that the size of herds these days must mean that dairy farmers probably don't know individual cows in the way that the men who worked for my Pa did.  This may well mean that small changes in behaviour (which could mean a health problem) or minor injuries go unnoticed.

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 10:02

Housing dairy cows indoors isn't as bad as you think - they need to be warm in the winter!  These days it's probably better than it used to be in that the cattle aren't tied up in a stall, but relatively free to wander about in the shed.  The automated milking parlours enable them to be milked several times a day which - when you think of it - is what would happen naturally. 

I have come across people who haven't realised that cows need to have had a calf before they produce milk, and that no cow is in fact milked 365 days a year!

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 20:16

I think there's quite a lot of milk which imported from Holland, but it's probably not sold on as liquid milk in supermarkets - I guess it's used to make other dairy products such as yogurt & cheese etc as well as being sold to other foodstuff manufacturers.  the various processes and transport costs would mean that to sell it on as liquid milk directly to the public wouldn't be profitable.

There's all sorts of things they take into consideration - i.e. the fat content and the "solids non fat" - and as all the supermarket liquid milk seems to be homogenised, we don't get the chance to see just how much "top of the milk" there is in the stuff we buy.

Being "a milkman" and being a farmer aren't necessarily the same thing!  As far as really fresh milk is concerned - if you'ever had a glassfull straight from the cow, you'll know that it's warm! 

Would you pay more for a pint of Milk ?

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 18:18

I think farmers get around 25p per litre from firms like Muller Wiseman etc. but it costs farmers around 1p more to produce it.  MW probably collect/use/sell on in various ways & to various outlets and their business probably accounts for about 30% of all the milk produced in the UK. 

As far as I know, most dairy farmers only manage to survive at present because of the payments they receive from the Rural Payments Agency - these relate to the acreage they hold.

The whole thing is unbelieveably complicated, and if you check out MW's website you'll see what I mean............. !  They seem to be the people who collect from most of the dairy farms round here - my neighbour gave up milk production two years ago as he was losing too much money.

Despite the efforts of some farmers to increase the size of their herd, there are many others who can't compete at that level as their acreage and buildings/equipment simply aren't adequate and the costs they'd incur ref enlarging/updating just don't add up.

My own Pa was a successful dairy farmer in the days of the Milk Marketing Board (and even before that!) but I must confess I'm a bit out of touch with the current scene despite having some (slight) connection with the farming industry still.

What would you do with this huge garden?

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 20:27

Gosh, that's a big space!  Do you know how the former owner dealt with keeping the grass under control?  If they had - say - a ride-on mower - could you perhaps buy it from them? 

If you don't keep the grass relatively short right from the start, any planting in the future will be much more difficult for you to tackle, so I'd suggest that you seriously consider how to cope with this aspect of things right now.  It may be possible for you to use the services of a local (professional) gardener to deal with this on a regular basis for you, but it's worth thinking about all the costs and time involved. Some of the "gardening" businesses round here have large machinery, but not all of them do.  Mowing that area would take you so long that other things would have to take a bit of a back seat!  On the other hand, a ride-on mower is probably one of the best "boys' toys" any gardener could have!

Maybe now's the time for you to visit your local library and look at some books which might be helpful.  I've found this quite useful in the past, when I've found a book I liked and then found a way to get hold of a copy for myself via a website. You could look and see if there are any gardens which have elements which you too would like,and could copy, and taking photos when you visit gardens helps too.

There's no "quick fix" to any of this (unless of course you've got this week's winning lottery ticket) so I believe the best way forward is to keep things under control and looking tidy whilst you decide what to change.  Creating a series of spaces is something most of us would love to be able to do, and you've got the opportunity to do that here. 

One of the other things you'd need to consider is the boundaries, and who is responsible for their maintenance.  It's not likely that you'd "own" all of them, so how they're managed/controlled is something you'll have to bear in mind as well.

Good luck, and perhaps you'll let us know what you decide to do!


Cheers!  Ma.

Room 101

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 17:34

There's got to be a place in Room 101  for those plugs you get with many of the new portable phone handsets.  I've got those which have the cable coming out of the TOP of the plug! It's bad enough that all the cables & plugs are black (my skirting boards & walls aren't painted that colour) so not only do I have to try to hide the cables but they don't even trail downwards towards the floor, but  point towards the ceiling!

Where to start on a big old sloping plot

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 20:06

Is he on patrol outside 24/7, Dove?  !  My dogs are quite good at chasing (and sometimes catching) rabbits but they do spend quite a lot of time indoors............ !

Seriously though - in the 20+ years I've lived here - the only thing that worked for me ref keeping rabbits under control was the cats.  I "rescued" them from the RSPCA - who were quite pleased to get rid of two half-wild (non-cuddly) cat brothers, which were approx 5 and 6 years old when I got them.  They patrolled the garden when the dogs were indoors - and lived in the garage/shed.  They had all "mod cons" in there, including a heated pad in their "house" which consisted of two of those big plastic dog beds fastened together with cable ties (looked a bit a bit like a cockle shell),  It took a very long time before I could even spot them in the shed - I was advised by the RSPCA to keep them indoors for at least 6 weeks before allowing them out.  During that time I used to sit in there for about 10 mins several times a day, talking to what looked like a totally unoccupied shed - apart from all the "stuff" stored in there.  Obviously when they heard or saw me coming (shed had large windows on both sides) they'd hide amongst the "stuff" so it was a long time before they felt confident enough not to hide from me. 

One afternoon - in the middle of the "here I am again, Moggies, isn't it a nice day today....etc etc" I happened to look up, and saw the two of them sitting calmly side by side on one of the rafters & appearing to say to each other "oh here she is again - that mad woman who comes & feeds us & cleans our litter tray........."  That was the first step in that they'd learned to be less afraid, and eventually they didn't run and hide from me, but became quite friendly - but it did take a few months.



Discussions started by hypercharleyfarley

ID please!

looks like a cross between grass and foxglove 
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