Rodents, Elevenses and Dates.

Now that Winter is upon us, life in the country takes on a new direction. Last Winter, I finally, after 15 years, got a wood heater installed. Oh! Happy days!!

This year I have really enjoyed lighting the fire, and keeping warm. I sit in my cozy chair, blanket over my legs, knitting all sorts of things for my ‘at the farm gate’ stall (SWEETFIELDS), looking like the epitome of a Grandmother.

While sitting there the other day, a movement caught my eye!




It scampered daringly around the room, stopping every now and again and looked at me, as if to say – what are you doing in MY house!

Yep – time for RODENT control!!

Out came my trusty traps, and I smeared them with peanut butter. BAM! 7 little blighters in one night!!

Down in the chickenfeed shed, rats are living a life of luxury. It became a necessity to buy galvanized metal bins to store the feed – rats ate through my plastic rubbish bins and enjoyed their fill of grain mix! I tried various mixes of flour/bicarb soda/plaster of Paris etc as temptations , but… no luck. Maybe tomorrow I might try the water trap. I’ll let you know if I have success.

In the meantime, I have decided they can live in the shed – as long as they don’t come into my house.

I came into my house – and drowned my sorrows in ELEVENSES that’s the Australian for ‘morning tea’.

Strong coffee and cake – Aaah  – the bliss!

Here’s the basic muffin recipe I use:-_muffins

Basic Muffin Mix:

2 ½ cup wholemeal/SR Flour mix.                                          1 ¼ cup milk

90g melted butter                                                                         ¾ cup caster sugar

1 beaten egg



dried apricots

mashed banana

grated apple



coffee powder

choc chips – etc

  1. Pcupcakere-heat oven to 180-200°C.
  2. Prepare greased muffin tins.
  3. Mix flour and sugar.
  4. Add milk, egg and melted butter and mix together until just combined.
  5. Mix flour/sugar and milk/egg/butter mixtures together with any of the options you
  6. Spoon into muffin tin or patty papers until ¾ full.
  7. Cook for approx 25 mins. Put on rack and cool. Ice if desired.

Fortified with cake (DATES this week) I decided to move on with my day.

I turned to doing the next thing on my list. A trip into Taree to get some new chickens.

I picked up ten more hens to add ‘new blood’ for the Spring incubations. Hopefully I will get more hens than roosters this time. Last year, out of two dozen eggs, I got two that didn’t hatch, twelve roosters (five of which are now in the freezer, three more to cull, three that the fox got and the lucky one that is left is ‘The Stud’) and ten hens.

I settled them in their new home, stood and watched their antics for a while, then reluctantly went back inside.


Enjoying a dustbath

Yay! That job’s done – now what’s next?

That will have to wait for next month! Tell you then.




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