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    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 8th, 2010 9:42pm (Mar 8th 2010)
     
    I have eight chickens. Four are now two years old and just before Christmas I bought four new point of lay chickens. They have a small hut to sleep in and two small, connected, covered runs adjacent to the hut to protect them from the rain and snow. Around this set-up is an 100m electric fence (two 50m nets).

    I have two problems. Problem 1. Despite having all this space, the new chickens are feather pecking. I am considering changing their diet as they may be deficient in something. At the moment they are fed mixed corn twice a day and also twice a day they get warm brown bread and porridge. They also get chopped up spring onions, grapes, melon seeds and melon skin (I eat the rest) and of course they have a large space of tufty grass and mole hills to scratch around in. Problem 2. The electric fence has stopped working. Because occasionally I have forgotten to switch it on, rabbits have bitten through the bottom strands in some places. I have spent hours today moving it to a rested plot (it goes either side of the hut setup every month as I cannot move the hut). The fence is clear of the ground and the energiser is flashing. I have bravely placed my hand on the fence and not a twinge did I feel. I have also tried to repair the bottom unelectrified strand with plastic twine. I will try buying a new battery tomorrow and in the meantime will have to rely on the good nature of the fox. I feed the fox with dog biscuit every night (as far away from the chickens as possible) in the hope that she will not be quite so hungry and will leave the chickens alone. My puppy has also found a dead rabbit so we have left that near the dog biscuits. I don't think my puppy killed the rabbit as it look rather too long dead and I managed to get him away before he either ate or rolled on the body.

    Any hints?
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 8th, 2010 10:01pm (Mar 8th 2010)
     
    Hi annwaller (ann?!) and welcome to the forum!

    It must be very worrying having a visiting fox. I don't have hens, and am not an electrician, so can't really help much. One of the other members will post advice on diet / feather pecking I am sure.

    If the bottom strand is not electrified (is this what the rabbits have chewed?) then it shouldn't make a difference to the rest of the fence. If that strand was electrified originally then the charge is no longer getting from A to B. You would need to rejoin the wire to wire so that the electricity can flow again. Do you know anyone that dabbles with electrics? A lot of handymen will know the basics and even though they're not qualified to rewire your house - I'm sure the hens won't be fussy! Or, can you ask wherever you got the fence from for advice? They may sell the right size replacement wire or tell you what you need.

    Many years ago my mom had a friend that had a chicken farm. Any old or sick hens would be placed at the top end of his property for the foxes. He never had a raid on his coop so its a method that worked for him.

    Good luck! Hope you can get it sorted out. If you have any photos of your girls please post them - we love photos!!!
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 8th, 2010 10:47pm (Mar 8th 2010)
     
    The rabbits have chewed the bottom strand and the next one up which is (was) live. I have tried to fix that by running some copper wire along the short distance that has been chewed. The fence has only recently stopped working and did work after the rabbit attack so perhaps I just need a new battery. I expect the old one is flashing just to confuse me. The agreement I have with the fox has worked for the last three years. Before I had the electric fence and the small hut I'd had a large hut and a fairly large run fenced with wire netting for over twenty years. When I was working in the garden I used to let my chickens out (I had six at the time) to scratch about on the compost heaps. I walked about 10 metres away to fill up a peanut feeder for the birds and when I turned back the fox was running off with one of my chickens. My dog (a Dalmatian) chased after it and it dropped the chicken which died shortly after I picked it up. Since then I have put out food for the fox and have tried to make the chickens secure at all times. I had to get rid of the permanent hut and run because rats had begun to live under the hut and they were eating all my vegetables in the adjacent veggie plot - isn't life fun in the countryside? I now have a new puppy who gets on very well with my Dalmatian and both are very chicken friendly. The Dalmatian loves to eat the cabbage and cauliflower stalks rejected by the chickens, and there is always corn to grub up and the odd bit of porridge may drop her side of the fence. I will take some photo's tomorrow as I have no good ones of these chickens. Like your Mom, I also put out the bodies of my old dead chickens for the fox although I am tempted to give them a state funeral. They do get to live in spendid isolation for their last few hours and are given all their favourite treats (melon and chopped up grapes being top of the list). The last one to die of natural causes was Cheeky Chicken who died in May 2009. I was sad.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 12:20pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hello Ann and welcome.
    You seem to be a very busy person.
    I don't have any chicks, I just like watching the coop and chatting with this wonderful group of friends on here.
    I live in Northern England. Where are you? If you go to Googlemapdirectory at the top of the page you will be able to see where we all live. See if you can put a pin on your locality.
    Enjoy!
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 3:50pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hi Annwaller Welcome to the forum you are very brave with your fox,s like that i don,t think i could trust a fox as far as i could throw it!!!!! although i live in a town and i think urban Fox,s are much worse than the ones that live in the countryside
      welcome_chicken.jpg
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 4:00pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hi Ollie and Leevaux,

    I don't trust the fox one bit and recently I've even been trecking down the garden in the middle of the night with my torch to make sure there is not a break-in in progress. It's been a bit chilly at -4.5C recently. I've been to get a new battery this morning and have also bought a gadget to test the current in the fence so I no longer have to shock myself. When I got home from battery shopping Pearl had escaped and came running up to meet me. She is literally dicing with death and I've told her so. Anyway, the new battery is fitted and I've been playing with the gaget but it tells me the current is 'very poor'. I am at a complete loss as to why the current is not excellent as I have been so careful to make sure nothing is touching the fence.

    Well, the sun has come out here so I think I will go and do a bit more gardening and try to improve my fence set up. I live in Lincolnshire and will try to put a marker in the map later.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 4:36pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hi annwaller I have found this for you to look at you have got me worrying about your chickens now fix it as soon as you can because a fox can sense an easy meal they are very devious Click on this Link :bigsmile:
    http://www.agrisellex.co.uk/electric-fencing-mistakes-2976-0.html
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 5:22pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Thanks leevaux,

    I've read that will try to find more earth rods as I only have one. I will also remove some of the extra support posts as it sounds like I have too many. I've attached a couple of photos of my chickens and dogs (and the fence). Must go as I have to try these improvements before dark and my dinner has also just gone into the oven so I'm on a deadline. Oh! The photos will have to come later as the file is too big and I don't know how to reduce it.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 5:30pm (Mar 9th 2010) edited
     
    Here is a Link for you to resize you photos really easy to use and free.Any probs let me know
    Lee

    http://pixresizer.en.softonic.com/
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:01pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Thanks Lee, I can't see the link for resizing the photo's though. I've taken away some of the extra posts but this has not improved the current reading. Tomorrow I will take all the extra's away and test it again as it got a bit late, dark and cold this evening. I didn't realise the net should not be tight. I'm not very good with electricity, however my neighbour is coming around tomorrow to help so I am going to print off the electric fencing mistakes sheet to take down the garden for reference. If I can resize the photo's you will see just how many extra posts I have in, although Pearl still managed to escape this morning. You will also see a picture of Pearl. I bet you can't wait!!
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:06pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Sorry Annwaller the link is there now if not here it is

    http://pixresizer.en.softonic.com/

    Cant wait for the photos :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:24pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hello Ann and welcome to Hencam, it is nice to have a new friend to chat with. It will be good to see your photos we all love to see photos. Please feel free to join in with any of the threads once you get a few moments to your self you sound to be a busy little bee.
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:44pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    OK Thanks leevaux and nanny north, It has taken me a while to sort this out but hopefully you may get a couple of pictures. Well one at a time.
      Chickens 09.03.10 001 (400 x 300).jpg
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:46pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    YESSSSS!!! It worked. Here is the next one! This is Sam who will be one year old on Sunday (14th March). He is looking longingly at the bowl of dog biscuit destined for the fox.
      Chickens 09.03.10 006 (400 x 300).jpg
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:55pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Well done Annwaller the photos are great lovely girls you have there and the dog is great he looks like a little old man!!!!!:bigsmile::bigsmile: thats a fair size plot you have there AW its great to see your photos!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 7:57pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Super pictures Anne, what a lovely lot of ground they have to play in. I love the way they are all standing there having a look at what you are up to. Sam looks to be a hansome little chap and how typical they always manage to eat yet another biscuit especially if it is for someone else ha ha.
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:03pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Thanks, now, flushed with success, here is a picture of my other dog Silver. She is less than impressed at my fussing about with "the fence". The wind is from the North East and she is chilly and wants to get back in front of the stove. Oh! and after we feed the chickens, we feed Silver and Sam so there is an even greater reason to cut my photo session short!! Silver is now nine and a half and enjoys her home comforts. Sam, in the background, doesn't care how long he is outside, or what he does, just so long as it is FUN. i.e. swimming in the pond in this weather.

    I've never been on one of these sites before but this is fun and I love reading about all the other chickens. I didn't realise how many other people chopped up grapes etc.
      Chickens 09.03.10 009 (400 x 300).jpg
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:12pm (Mar 9th 2010) edited
     
    Silver is Gorgeous!! AW with all her spots!!!!
    It is fun on hear AW the people here are so friendly and down to earth and from all over the world to!!!!
    My girls will kill for a grape ann is it ann ? :bigsmile:
      DSCF3531 (648 x 486).jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:13pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Silver looks so adorable Anne, I know how she feels I would rather be near the stove with the chilly NE wind. I had never been on a forum either Anne and this is a real nice friendly one and is such a lovely way of spending a bit of time chatting away with people from all over. Mine love most foods and are just so spoilt !!!
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:23pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    My name is Ann, no "e" as the spelling is short and sweet, just like me. I am really enjoying reading all your comments on this and the other discussions. It is lovely to know people care for their chickens and animals so well. When I bought my new battery today there were some point of lay chickens for sale, but I resisted the temptation as my chicken hut is really not big enough for any more. I am pushing it at eight, their names are (the brown ones) Lucy - who is the BOSS, Rosie, Chocolate and Tom. The two black ones are called Fairy and Princess, and the white ones are Freckles and Pearl. In the first two photos the white mound in the distance is the two wood and wire runs and the hut all covered by a tarpaulin so the chickens can get out of the rain and snow. By the way, Tom is a girl but she belongs to my Grandson who is four and mad on Thomas the Tank Engine, the other three brown chickens belong to my granddaughters and where named by them.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:24pm (Mar 9th 2010) edited
     
    you can get a spray to stop feather pecking Ann it is expensive but if it stops the habit it would be worth it http://www.flytesofancy.co.uk/chickenhouses/Featherite_Anti-Pecking_Spray.html
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:28pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    I am glad you are enjoying the posts Ann it is great we all come and go as we please and even end up missing each other!!!!!how mad is that!!:loco:
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:34pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hi Ann - good to meet you, your girls look like they have a lovely big run.. :-)
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:43pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Hi TracyB, yes they do have a lovely big run but when I had to move it all yesterday it took me two hours. Anyone who wants to have an Anger Management Course can come and move the fence single handed and see it they can do it without losing their temper. I only lost mine once when a hawthorn twig got tangled in the section I was dragging along when I had my arms full of posts and couldn't reach it. It is nice to see the girls enjoying their space though.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 8:47pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    You did real well Ann, I often find that I can use my anger as an extra energy force when doing things of that ilk. Nothing like a good old stomp about to work up an appetite either Ha ha
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 9:02pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    I think I did well too. I made a real effort not to get angry as last time I got in such a strop and shouted at Silver and Sam when it wasn't their fault apart from getting their legs tangled and standing right behind me so when I stepped back dragging the net I almost fell over them. The madder I got the clinger they got so it was not a recipe for success! This time I left a relieved Silver in the warm house and Sam amused himself trying to dig up voles in the tufty grass. I did have a good appetite like you say!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 10:15pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Oh Ann, you are such a busy person. Those two dogs give you lots of encouragement too, they really would help if they could.
    This is the only forum I have been on too. Such a grand bunch of folk.
    I have been retired now for over 15 years, spend the second half of my day supervising 12 year old grand daughter, who came on here last week but seems to have much more to do elsewhere now.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2010 10:16pm (Mar 9th 2010)
     
    Silver is beautiful! I have always wanted a liver spotted dalmation but it won't happen - haven't got the space or the time for walkies! Is Sam a fox terrier?

    I don't have any hens but do have 2 elderly cats and 2 pet rats. (They are very sweet pets but have short lives and can be very sickly).

    Is anyone watching Lambing Live on BBC2? They were trying to move an electric fence and the shepherd was cursing. Must go with the territory!!
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 10:41am (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Silver is the fourth liver spotted Dalmatian I've had, and now I'm not getting any younger I have decided to go for a smaller dog. Sam is a Norfolk Terrier x Minature Poodle (a Noodle I suppose). He is very playful and is wonderful with my four grandchildren, aged between 7 and 4. He never gets tired to playing with them. Silver is very good with them too and brings her ball for them to throw but never snatches. I have to warn them to be more careful with Sam as he puts his body and soul into recovering the ball and wouldn't notice little fingers in the way. The use a plastic thrower for his ball. I'm afraid I'm not keen on rats but I'm sure the pet ones are much nicer than the wild ones who killed a whole batch of my seven week old chicks the day after their mother left them, despite the fact we had them in a wire cage. The rat squeezed threw a small gap where the door didn't quite close. Not a nice thing to find in the morning!

    I must watch Lamming Live as it would be good to see someone else struggling with and electric fence!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 5:29pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Lovely family of beasties you have there, Ann; I've never seen a liver-spotter dalmatian before...gorgeous!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 6:57pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Yes, rats can be like that I'm afraid. Such is nature and survival I suppose but I wouldn't like any wild rats living in my garden and would be gutted to lose chicks like that. Rats can get through very small gaps with ease.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:00pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Here is one of my girls. They're very friendly (and fat!) and twins so the other looks just like this too!
      IMG_1359.JPG
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:01pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Thanks, chief chicken.

    Leevaux, your two chickens are lovely and look just like my Pearl and Fairy.

    I have tried moving all my extra poles from the electric fence but it has made no difference. I have undone the contacts and cleaned them and have stood looking at it all and thinking hard for ages but have not improved the current level from 'very poor'. My neighbour was not a lot of help as her understanding of electricity was no better than mine. I cannot understand why it does not work when it worked before, although I didn't have a tester then so I don't know at what level. The battery I have bought is 55ah 9v but I could have got one of 120ah (if I remember correctly) 9v. I decided to get the 55ah 9v one because that is what I had before, but I wonder if the other one would have been better. What is 'ah' anyway. My husband will be home on Saturday afternoon (he travels a lot and has been away for two weeks in Germany, China and now Indonesia). He may come back with jet lag but he gets no dinner until he's fixed my fence!!!

    Dalmatians are lovely dogs, I got my first one in 1971 and have never been more than a couple of days without one since then. They are not scatty as many people think and are very sensitive. They just need a lot of exercise.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:04pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Carriage dogs aren't they - used to run alongside the horse drawn carriages so must have good stamina!

    Does your hubby bring you a present back when he's on his travels? If so ask him to pick you up a new electric fence while he's in China - should be cheap there!!! :D
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:37pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    That's a good idea. I'll suggest that next time he phones! He doesn't bring me a present back very often as he is away every week so I suppose it would get a bit expensive! Of the Plus side, I do have his credit card and have not ruled out a new fence if this one refuses to work. Yes, Dalmatians were carriage dogs and used to trot beside the carrage to guard against Highwaymen! Silver would be quite good at that as she is very protective and is quite a good guard dog. I doubt if she would ever bite someone though. Little Sam is a bit of a coward but he barks like he really means it while he is running away.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:41pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Kateb I love Rats i have had loads over them over the years they are so intelligent and great fun to watch.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:43pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Oh Kate what a superb picture of your sweet little rat, she looks as if she is really smiling. She is so adorable and I am sure her sister is as well.

    That fence sure is a pain in the proverbial Anne, I would be tearing my hair out by now. Lets hope your hubby can sort it out for you.
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:44pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Kateb, the picture of your rat has just come through and I must agree she is very cute. I've heard they make lovely pets and are very intelligent. Might not have one myself though!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 7:57pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    said - "Does your hubby bring you a present back when he's on his travels? If so ask him to pick you up a new electric fence while he's in China - should be cheap there!!! "
    Now I spent a few weeks in Japan staying with a professional colleague. I admired the table top " keep hot water hot" thingy. They insisted I take one home and put one in my case. Now it is not on to refuse gifts, despite trying to explain different voltage. They just pointed to their fish tank transformer, which was dropping it down and not up as the water boiler needed. A very different problem.
    I still have it in my hall cupboard.
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 8:28pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    Hi Ollie in UK, I think it is about time you tried the 'keep hot water hot' thingy out! Once I get my fence working I will be so expert I will be able to give you some advice of getting it going. I just have to keep reminding myself that the brown wire in a plug is NOT the earth. I was interested to see you have been looking after your 12 year old granddaughter. I have been selected to look after one of my granddaughters for two weeks in the summer holidays. She is seven and is called Hannah. Luckily she is dog mad and loves Silver and Sam so I thought we could set up an agility course for Sam. This should hopefully tire Sam and Hannah out at the same time while I sit on my greenhouse chair and watch.

    This picture was taken when Hannah was about 18 months. She has played with Silver from the minute she could sit up. I am looking forward to having Hannah stay with us, she is a very kind little girl. I had all the family here last weekend (Son,his wife and two children, second son with future wife - wedding Easter Saturday, Daughter with Husband and two children, one of which is Hannah). When they were leaving Hannah told me she was very worried about me in case I was lonely because Granddad was away and I was on my own. I thought that was very cute and I told her in a very jolly voice that I was not on my own because I had Silver and Sam and I was not lonely. It's true too!
      Silver and Hannah sleeping Oct.04 (400 x 300).jpg
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 8:32pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    oh bless.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 9:48pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    They are very sweet girls but very greedy too and much too fat, but the vet says its OK and their life span is just over 2 years on average so at least they're happy! You are right Lee, they are very intelligent and have great memories too!

    I love your picture Ann. I didn't spot your granddaughter at first! I hope you have a great fortnight with her - is it just in the daytime or overnight too?
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2010 10:04pm (Mar 10th 2010)
     
    It's overnight too because they live in Lancashire and I am in Lincolnshire. Her little sister Charlotte (four years) is going to stay with the other Grandma because Mum and Dad work full time. We will have a lot of fun I am sure. I also think it will do both girls good to have the undivided attention of their respective Grandma's.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 3:14pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    I'd have insisted on having them both together for company that they are used to. Two are MUCH easier than one, as we found when we took a pal for grand daughter Georgie on holiday with us. We couldn't match any dates last year so she was by herself and harder work.

    I couldn't spot Hannah at first either, still not found her head, worrying...
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 7:56pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    Hmmm! See what you mean! Don't worry though, nothing horrible had happened to her head, although you could be forgiven for wondering!!! Here she is Christmas 2008 (she's the one with the halo). I will let you know in due course how we get on in the summer, but her little friend standing next to her in the photo is moving to Lincoln with her mum and dad in the Spring (they both used to live in Manchester) so I am hoping some days I can go and pick her up so they can play together. That will be nice for them as they were best friends, but Hannah moved away from Manchester last August and only sees her friend at Christmas and birthdays at the moment.
      December.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 8:11pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    Oh Anne I love the picture of her in the dogs bed that is a picture to treasure. She is a beautiful little girl was she in the school play in that picture ? I am sure she will be fine by herself. Nanna is a very special person and she will love her time with you. It would be real nice if you could go and visit her friend as well.

    My Grandaughter is comming to stay with me over Easter weekend I am so excited, she is 18. We both missed out a lot over the years due to family arguments not of our making I hasten to add. I have only just been reunited with the grandchildren before Christmas, after a twelve year absence. The boys came to stay in the new year and we had good fun. It is a shame I have only got a very small house now so can not have them all together.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 8:42pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    Posted By: nanny northwas she in the school play in that picture?

    Nah, that's her natural angelic halo...:rolling:
    • CommentAuthorannwaller
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 9:01pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    It is great you have been reunited with your grandchildren after such a long time. It must have been awful not to be able to see them for so long. I try to get to see my four at least once a month, but it is not easy as my daughters two children, Hannah and Charlotte, live near Blackburn and my eldest son's two, Emily and Matthew, live near Cambridge. I live in Lincoln and also have a poorly Father-in-Law in Newcastle who needs visiting as often as possible. Luckily my neighbours are always willing to look after my chickens as the eggs are lovely and I take the dogs with me.

    I am excited about Easter too as my middle son is going to be married on Easter Saturday. He is 36 and I thought he was never going to find a girl to put up with him and he has had far too much freedom. Anyway, my future daughter-in-law is lovely. I went to her Hen party in North Deven two weeks ago and it was great fun. I only hope the presence of the future Mother-in-Law didn't ruin the weekend. I am a bit of a party animal and really enjoyed myself. They live in London.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 9:20pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    I didn't see much of my grandsons when they were small. I was working hard, all hours and the other granny lived a few doors away from them so she did the honours.
    Making up for it now as Georgie came along after I retired so I have all the time in the world for her.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2010 10:40pm (Mar 11th 2010)
     
    Talking of grandchildren I have some news - hencam baby number 2 is on the way! (Oh, hang on, Sara's baby Dennis probably counts as hencam baby #2 doesn't he!) For the newbies, baby #1 was my granddaughter, Caitlyn, who was born in Jan 08.

    I will have to start up the baby thread again. Question is, am I brave enough to go for blanket #2?!!!!!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2010 10:48am (Mar 12th 2010)
     
    Congratulations on another grand child Kate. It's lovely doing it from a generation away, isn't it? All the fun and cuddles, then hand them back.

    How about sewing something this time? Let the machine do the hard work.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2010 4:08pm (Mar 12th 2010)
     
    Congratulations Kate what wonderful news. Go on go for the blanket we could always do half each !!! Or Ollies idea is a good one. Thinking about it I have a knitting machine somewhere up in the loft.
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2010 6:47pm (Mar 12th 2010)
     
    Dear God, another Blanket...I don't know whether my nerves will stand it...:gasp:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2010 7:13pm (Mar 12th 2010)
     
    Poor CC we do make you suffer xx
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      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2010 8:46pm (Mar 13th 2010)
     
    They all came for tea tonight and I said "I don't have to knit another blanket do I?" and they said a resounding ... "Yes!" Though they did say I could make it smaller this time! Last time Rach chose the design. This time maybe I'll choose a crocheted one. I had a link to some lovely ones somewhere - must go have a look for it. Oh dear, what am I thinking?!!!
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2010 10:58pm (Mar 13th 2010)
     
    Lovely news Kate, I think I missed the blanket saga and arrived just after. Did you actually 'knit' one? I do vaguely seem to remember a pic somewhere!!!

    CC it's ok love, it's ok, shut your eyes, look away and it will all be over before you know it. :sleep:
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2010 11:29pm (Mar 13th 2010)
     
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2010 1:46pm (Mar 14th 2010)
     
    I say go for it and knit a blanket... :-) but then I would say that as I 've now finished doing cross stitch duty for a while.. T
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      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2010 11:27pm (Mar 14th 2010)
     
    Yes TM, it was a huge saga! We saw a lovely blanket in a baby shop, and I made the mistake of saying "I could knit that for half the price". My fingertips and sanity suffered greatly and I finished it days before the baby arrived! Maybe I'll crochet this time.
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2010 8:18am (Mar 15th 2010)
     
    oh my gosh Kate i just clicked your name and there it is a pic of blanky in all it's glory, it looks huge, what a woman!!! Can you do patchwork, that's even faster!!:nodyes:
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      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2010 9:48pm (Mar 15th 2010)
     
    It is huge - it is cot blanket size and will completely cover the bottom of the cot. She loves it though and they do use it often.

    I tried patchwork once but didn't enjoy it. I've chosen a few blankets that I quite like and will send them to Rach tomorrow for her to choose one. Hope she picks an easy one!!!!!
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2010 9:59pm (Mar 15th 2010) edited
     
    Kate what you do is fantastic all these great things people do just on here is amazing!!!!We have all got a lot of interesting talents its great.:hurray:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 16th, 2010 4:55pm (Mar 16th 2010)
     
    Anyoine know where to get Prozac wholesale...? :devil:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 16th, 2010 9:17pm (Mar 16th 2010)
     
    Just put the F1 on CC, you'll be out of it in seconds!!!!

    Rachael has chosen the blanket - the only one that was knitted out of all the pictures I sent her! - so tomorrow I'll be sourcing wool and getting started. Wish me luck my wonderful support group, and I apologise in advance for all the swearing that will soon ensue!!
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2010 6:20am (Mar 17th 2010)
     
    CC I know a little man who sells lovely incense that you smoke, oh maybe I am getting that mixed up with weeds? :028:perhaps something aromatic that will knock you out for a few months and when you wake up it will all be over and the blanky will be finished. :gasp:

    Kate you could add health warning to your thread about the next blanket project:smoking::sifone:
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2010 4:57pm (Mar 17th 2010)
     
    *sob*...I don't think I can stand it. How could those children be so THOUGHTLESS!? I've a good mind to get in Arfur, trundle up to Brum and SMACK THEIR LEGS.
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      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2010 9:41pm (Mar 17th 2010)
     
    The wool is bought. I need to start but can't bring myself to. I'll be easy to find CC, just listen for the crying!
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2010 6:04am (Mar 18th 2010)
     
    But why did they get to choose, you should do it and pick the easiest one.

    I will send you a crate of Gin and tonics and a packet of valium. Maybe CC would like some too!!:crazy::drinkparty:
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2010 5:51pm (Mar 18th 2010)
     
    Ho yes indeed...I'll wait for Hannah the Postie with renewed interest....:drinkparty:
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      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2010 9:25pm (Mar 18th 2010)
     
    I figure if they choose what they like they'll use it rather than it being dumped in a drawer and never looked at. As I don't drink, send CC the gin and I'll have the valium!

    Actually the wool is lovely - Merino. It was pricey but it feels so much better than the cheaper stuff and I'm sure my grandchild is worth it!
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2010 9:35pm (Mar 18th 2010)
     
    When's it due, Kate? Can you discourage Rachel from eating lots so she'll only have a liitle sprog and thereby minimise the knitting...?:devil:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2010 9:37pm (Mar 18th 2010)
     
    9th September. Caitlyn was something like 8lb 12oz I think (can't remember now) and we're wondering if this one will pass the 9lb mark!
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2010 9:44pm (Mar 18th 2010)
     
    Ow. Is there a vanillacon for watery eyes...? Rachel isn't a big girl either, is she?
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMar 19th, 2010 6:54am (Mar 19th 2010)
     
    Kate I just saw this about the new grandbaby..congratulations!! I hope it will be as darling as Caitlyn. Do they know if it's a boy or girl yet? September the 9th isn't that far away..You're going to have to get into the knitting pretty soon..the other "blanket" took some time for you to finish..remember we're all here for you..buck up little camper..I know you can get this one done too...we have confidence in you. :cheerleader: come on girl..get out those knitting needles!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 19th, 2010 6:43pm (Mar 19th 2010)
     
    Mmmmm....now, where's that corkscrew.....??
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 19th, 2010 8:19pm (Mar 19th 2010)
     
    No, Rachael is very petite so I don't know how she manages it!

    Thanks Lynn. They don't know what it is yet but I'm pretty sure they will find out if they can. The blanket is started!!! 13 rows done so far. Its harder this time because I need glasses now!

    (I'm considering taking up drinking - can you knit when your sloshed?!)
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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 19th, 2010 9:19pm (Mar 19th 2010)
     
    Posted By: Kateb(I'm considering taking up drinking - can you knit when your sloshed?!)

    Yes. But nothing recognisable...:)
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2010 2:03am (Apr 9th 2010) edited
     
    Dare I ask how the blanket is comming on Kate?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2010 5:31pm (Apr 9th 2010)
     
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2010 9:02pm (Apr 9th 2010)
     
    ha ha ha ha you love it really CC and does you good to scream occasionally !!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2010 11:51pm (Apr 9th 2010)
     
    Actually, its about 10 rows away from being 2 thirds finished! Then I'll have to get some material for the back, but am putting that off until I decide what colour I want.

    So ... no madness just yet!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2010 8:16pm (Apr 10th 2010)
     
    Well done Kate, I hope you are going to get a photo of it for the arts and crafts page.
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      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2010 11:32pm (Apr 10th 2010)
     
    Of course!!!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 11th, 2010 7:22pm (Apr 11th 2010)
     
    I finished a little short sleeve summer cardigan for Aurelia the other day I said I didnt think it would be big enough for her when I saw her and was right. I have the wool for several more so was real glad I didnt make them and send them over. I am making the size three to four now. I have just started a little bolero which is quite cute. Luckily Becky has a friend with a little girl who is smaller than Aurelia so I said to give it to her.