A sad message

Keeping chickens and ducks has been a central part of the garden here since we moved here. At one time I kept over 50 chickens, 60 quails and 12 ducks…quite the Zoo to tell the truth! The ducks, our faithful quack pack were an unwavering army against snails and the chickens and cockerels removed all garden waste and turned it into perfect compost 😁 But the last few years have been difficult with bird flu and the increasing cost of food and straw that we have stopped buying and breeding new birds.

This year has been notably challenging and we have lost several ducks and hens to something attacking them during the day and at night 😔 Today, we lost 6 hens and one cockerel to some creature in the mustelid family e.g. Weasel, Stoat, Polecat, Pine Marten or Otter 😢 We now only have 3 ducks, two hens and one young cockerel left 😔

Keeping animals brings so much enjoyment but it’s also really difficult at times. The orchard will be much quieter from now onwards!