aquaponics / chickens / rants

New things on the horizon

… and soapy tales to tell!

Wow! It’s been almost two months since my last post. How can that be? I did start a rather convoluted post about chickens which I hope to revisit, but in the meantime, long story short, we had one of our originals, Georgie, die. And then Blanche presented as being poorly. A trip to the vet revealed that Blanche did not have any parasitic infestation (spirochetes like Cilla (and probably the rest of them) had had). No. Although she (the vet) could not be 100% sure, she believes we have a viral cancer in the flock—leucosis—which, working back, we think was more than likely introduced via the leghorns we bought last year. Sigh. I came home with meds for coccidiosis (just in case) and a much (much!) lighter bank balance. 😦 Maybe I don’t have to revisit that post … it’s all a bit depressing really.

We have three chickens, all dosed up for coccidiosis and we can’t eat the eggs for at least a month, and really, I don’t want to eat the eggs of chickens presumed to have a cancer. More sighing. And there is no cure, so we are faced with the inevitable … and you can probably guess, neither Chris or I are killers. It’s a funny phenomenon … prompting the next logical (ethical?) question—why are we all not vegetarians? Believe me it is a debate that rages in my head most days. One last sigh 😦 So at some stage we will have to dispatch the current flock, leave the yard ‘fallow’ for a spell and then restock …

Let’s change the subject, shall we? Brighter things? New things on the horizon? I guess one thing is that I have discovered the delights of making my own soap! I spent a lovely evening with a friend recently, and she lent me a number of books from the 80s, one of which had a chapter on soap making. So, Chris and I got organised and managed to make a batch of sage and cucumber soap (with the sage and cucumber both from the aquaponics system). It was deceptively easy (once I had gone through the process of rendering the tallow from the ‘free from the butcher’ beef fat offcuts). That under the belt, I have done some searching on the net, and my next attempt will be to convert ex-chip-frying oil into soap.

In my way of thinking this has to be a win–win. We turn a waste product into something we can use AND we don’t have to buy soap and throw away the packaging.

I shall let you know how it all goes. The current batch has to ‘cure’ for two weeks … it is seriously its own little chemistry experiment, and I am impatient to see how it turns out, so watch this space!

We are but three days from the New Year. Heartfelt wishes of health and happiness to those who read my little blog. May your hopes and dreams be realised in 2015!


2 thoughts on “New things on the horizon

  1. Thanks Dan! I am about to attempt soap, using blown chicken egg shells as moulds. At least we get to use some part of what our girls are sporadically producing for a good purpose.

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