Spring - Part I

ash cottage garden with hens

Oh what a lovely day it was yesterday, it finally feels like spring. I sat in the garden writing and taking photos as the hens pecked around in the grass at my feet.  Lovely girls.  

We've our 7 new Maran hatching eggs due to arrive in the next day or so, just in time for easter.  
So last week I did a full on spring clean of the hen house and run ready for the new arrivals.

chicken hen having a dust bath
Astrid taking a dust bath to clean herself of mites.

I raise my hens more or less organically, but this year I decided to give the hen house a good disinfect, with a red mite insecticide.  It's a once a year thing for me and it wouldn't usually be my choice to use this type of product.  However, after much research on the various poultry forums and reading up on each of the active ingredients in my chosen brand, I decided that as the girls had spent so much time indoors over the rainy winter days, and with new young hens about to join them, I wanted to give the house a good one off clean.

daffodils and grape hyacinths

As the bees are the members of our little herd most likely to suffer from the toxins in the insecticide I was using, I thought it better to clean while they are not flying too much.  However, they are out and about in the Spring sunshine now. 

hives in spring

I have 2 hives and both seem to have made it through winter in relative health - I've not opened them up yet, but there are plenty of bees outside and they are obviously finding pollen, as I can see it stored on their legs as they come in to the hive.  

honey bee on grape hyacinth

One of the lovely things about taking photographs for this blog is how often I see honey bees on the few flowers I do have in my garden, even at this time of year.  So, hopefully, I must be doing something right, even if it is often a balancing act between the needs of one or other of our garden inhabitants.

Joining in with Annie, with How Does Your Garden Grow , pop on over to see some beautiful gardens this week.

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  1. It's always a bit of balance between good and bad in the garden. Nature is very good at balancing it out. As long as we think first and protect our bees and other sensitive wildlife I think we are on the right tracks. #hdygg

  2. Oh that sunny day was glorious wasn't it? Like a tantalising glimpse into the future Summer - joy!
    I've seen some big bees about this week too - so heartening to see them about already :)

    Thanks for joining in again lovely x

  3. oh how i long to keep chickens again, i hope you managed to get rid of the red mite

  4. I had several years of red mite getting into my hen houses until I finally used diatomaceous earth which got rid of them ...and it is organic so contains no nasty chemicals. I will sprinkle some around the houses as soon as the weather decides to warm up as a preventative.

  5. these pictures made me smile. thank you. your hens look very healthy


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