We have a magpie problem, they are stealing the eggs. This first started late summer so Simon made proper pop holes for the hens in the larger houses, they had just been using the main door, an open invitation for the magpies, this worked well for a few weeks then the magpie discovered the pop hole and the eggs started going again. Now we can't be sure if it is the same bird each time but watching it from the kitchen I suspect it is, it has a fixed routine and route. So how to either get rid of the birds or protect the eggs, getting rid of the birds I think would involve a thing called a Larson trap, but you first have to catch a bird, place it in the trap to get the others to follow it, then when you have caught your birds, drive them many miles away to release them, and let someone else have the problem of disappearing eggs.
We discovered some very realistic rubber eggs, they look like the real thing and even weigh the same as a hens egg so we bought a couple, working on the theory that once the magpie had discovered it's mistake it would give up and leave our eggs alone. Well, we were wrong, and in fact the damn bird stole both of the rubber eggs, no sign of them anywhere. Plan B. Mustard eggs, this works with hens if they are eating their eggs, we know it works as we have done it, so does it work with magpies? No, it does not, once again both eggs disappeared completely and this was within ten minutes of the eggs being put into the nest boxes. Clearly the magpie was not too keen on the taste as we saw it within minutes drinking some yoghurt we had put out for the dogs . So will this experience put it off, I rather doubt it .
|The rubber egg.|
We have bought four more rubber eggs, this time they have been fixed with screws and strings to the nest boxes, Simon's theory being that the bird will become either frustrated at not being able to remove it or it will discover that rubber is not nice to eat. We will see.
The quail that we bought a few days back have now started to lay so I guess they have settled into their new home OK. They are very cheerful little birds and highly active, come January we will incubated our first lot of eggs from them before we need the incubator for hens eggs.
|The first quail egg.|
It appears from news reports that many people are anticipating the end of the world this Friday , according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, Nasa has reported many phone calls and emails from people who want to know if they should kill their animals to save them suffering, and hundreds of people in China have been arrested for spreading the Domesday rumour.
Things are changing, and things have to change but I'm sure not in the way that these people believe.
Many people have become aware that we can not continue consuming in the way we have become accustomed. There are more people who are trying to live a more simple life, produce some, if not all of their own food and be less reliant a consumer society. However it is not made easy for people to do this with so much state intervention. Many of the age old practices and remedies are now either banned or unobtainable, many blame the EU, and in some instances this is true, but member states seem to make up their own rules as they go along.
I recently tried to buy Feverfew tablets and was told that they were no longer available due to the EU ban on herbal medicines, this is not true, Ireland have not approved them. This week I tried to buy a well known herbal cough linctus , once again I was told it was not available here as it had not been approved for use in Ireland, yet this linctus has been on the market for as long as I can remember and the active ingredient has been used for over three hundred years without harm, yet you can walk into any supermarket or chemist shop and buy such things as Lemsip and Benylin and Paracetamol which have over a doz possible side effects with no questions asked. I try to take responsibility for my health, I don't want to depend on Doctors, and I certainly don't want to depend on pharmaceutical companies who's main responsibility is to their shareholders. We try to shop local and we try to buy Irish, but more and more I find that I have to buy on line.
I'm sure it is the same in many counties, with stupid rules and regulations, and people not longer say Hey! This is not right, we are people not sheeple, we can take responsibility for the way we live. Change will come, but only when we stand up for what we believe in, not what we are told is good for us.