Tag: chickens

Looking back at 2022

I realise we’re at the end of January, but I thought I would take the time and reflect back at 2022, and look at our successes and failures.

After moving plots in autumn 2021, 2022 was the first year growing on the new plot. We managed to clear a large bed in time for spring (in fact it covered almost half the plot) and gave enough growing space for what we needed. We kept to our core veg; potatoes, beans, onions, sweetcorn, pumpkins and courgettes.

The potatoes started off well and we managed to harvest all our first and most of our second early potatoes. However, we left the main crop in the ground for too long, and when it come to digging them up in the middle of winter, they had rotted away.

The beans done extremely well, but started to suffer a little during the heatwave. They soon bounced back in late summer.

Our onions were fantastic, in fact probably the best crop we’ve ever had and we’ve still got some left in the cupboard.

Sweetcorn started really well, but we had a few succumb to smut, a fungal disease which affects sweetcorn. Smut thrives on hot dry summers, so it’s no surprise we had it considering the temperatures we had.

There’s one major issue that cropped up in late autumn and that’s rats. Rats have moved in underneath the chicken coop and while we are keeping them at bay with traps, they are still a problem. Fortunately, they seem to be leaving the chickens alone and more interested in digging holes everywhere.

Here’s some pictures from last year.

Downsizing

A couple of weeks ago, I took the decision to give up half of my allotment plot. I started my allotment journey back in 2012, when my first plot measure 12m x 5m, and then moved to a 25m x 5m plot in 2014, and then in 2016 took on the plot next door, giving me a 25m x 10m plot. However, since having more room to grow vegetables and fruit, I don’t seem to be using it efficiently enough and have been harvesting less and less each year. My theory is, by giving up half my plot, I have to think properly where to grow stuff and will have to manage it properly.

So last weekend, the downsizing began. We (myself and my family), moved one of the sheds and converted it into a chicken coop. The shed was just a dumping ground and wasn’t really been used, and with the existing coop needing to be replaced, an unused shed was perfect.

Unfortunately, I started to take the shed apart before taking pictures, but it didn’t take long to dismantle it. Luckily, when the shed was originally erected back in 2014, I put it on some pallets, so it’s still structurally sound.

I managed to source some new pallets to put down before moving the shed. So these were put in place, ready for the shed to be moved.

Once moved and erected, I measured the door and cut a hole big enough for the chickens to use. Some perches were built and made some nest boxes out of some large black plastic tubs. Unfortunately, I forgot to get some pictures of the inside 🙁

The final job was to move and re-attach the water barrels to the side of the shed so I can collect the rain water. Overall, it took us around 4 hours to move everything and I’m extremely happy with the results.

Extending the Velociraptor Cage

Allotment Chickens

I keep a flock of 12 chickens on my allotment and I often refer to them as my dinosaurs. I feel like Chris Pratt in Jurassic World when he’s training the raptors every time I enter the chicken pen ?

Anyway, yesterday, we spent the morning extending the pen so they’ve got more room. In fact, the pen now takes roughly a quarter of the plot.

I managed to get my hands on some heras fencing and some netting for the top, and I have to say, it’s given them so much more room.