Friday, September 11, 2015

New Chickens

Our flock is down to 7 birds at the moment (not including the growers) and as they're getting older we are getting fewer eggs.

I went out this week and bought four new hybrids, originally two White Stars, a Columbian Blacktail and a Black Star

The Black Star developed a swollen face and bubbly eyes once we got her home. I suspected Mycoplasma (though they are vaccinated against one strain) so isolated her and contacted the supplier. She agreed to swap her straight away which we did for another Blacktail. 
I've kept an eye on the others and they all seem to be in good health so hopefully it was a one off.

The following day one of the Blacktails laid her first egg, it's only tiny and known as a Pullet Egg but they do get bigger with age.

Monday, August 10, 2015

GRIDS Akihabara Capsule Hostel Tokyo

We arrived in Tokyo three days ago and after two nights in a great AirBnB the other side of town, we are now staying in the GRIDS Akihabara Capsule Hotel.
We're in a 30 bed room with loads of these self contained capsules, lockers and shared bathroom.
It's actually really nice, surprisingly private considering you share a room with 30 people and the bathroom is the nicest we've had since arriving in Japan.
There is a laundry room and shared common room upstairs, bar and cafe downstairs and the staff have been great.
Only thing that could make it better would be another pillow but to be fair I haven't asked for one, was too tired and fell straight to sleep!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery - Sri Lanka

Tonight we went to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery on Bentota beach in Sri Lanka. We arrived at 6:30pm as advised by Lonely Planet and we're not disappointed! We were the only people looking around the hatchery and had a great tour of the whole sanctuary.

Fishermen collect eggs laid by the females on beaches and take them to the hatchery to receive 2,000 rupees (£10). They're collected as otherwise iguana, monitor lizards and mongoose dig up and eat the eggs.

The eggs are buried in nests in the hatchery, covered by fencing and netted over the top to keep predators and birds out.
The turtles hatch overnight as it's cooler and are looked over for deformities, blindness and sexed according to tail length; males go into one nursery pool and females are kept separate.
Males are kept for 3 days while they absorb the yolk sac and fed some fish food pellets before being released into the ocean at night. A much lower percentage of females hatch so they are kept for a few years to grow until they are bigger and stronger to give them a fighting chance at survival.

The hatchery had quite a few large females ready for release as well as some residents - two blind and four with deformities, from one missing fin to all four fins missing. These are all hand fed tuna and seaweed.
After being shown all around the hatchery we collected 15 three-day-old Green Turtle hatchlings and headed down to the beach.
There were two Sea Eagles hanging around so we waited for them to leave and then released the babies into the Indian Ocean.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sri Lanka; Government Veterinary Hospital

We arrived in Kandy last night on day 8 of our tour of Sri Lanka.
My parents and brother went to the Botanical Gardens but I spotted the Government Veterinary Hospital while we were driving, so walked back to have a look.
 As I was walking up I asked a man if I could take photos, he asked where I was from so I explained I was a vet student from the UK. He introduced me to the Chief Vet Surgeon who gave me a guided tour of the clinic, surgery rooms, pharmacy, dispensary and kennels!
They have four surgery tables which were all in closed rooms behind glass, I couldn't see any gas anaesthetic machines but it all looked very clean and well organised. Surgery instruments looked like they were kept in glass cabinets and autoclaved as needed.
 Consult tables were on the patio around the outside of the building under cover, I guess it's cooler and less stressful for the animals to keep them outside.
There was a price list above the door; Farm animals are free, Small Animal consult 20-30 rupees (10-15 pence) and a Rabies vaccination costs 50 rupees (24p).
The clinician said they see a lot of skin conditions and parasites through the clinic which they manage quite well and mange, which I've seen a lot of when travelling the island.
 I stayed to see a few consults which were Parvo, Distemper and Rabies vaccinations in young puppies, foreign body removal from a puppies ear and some really bad mange.
A big German Shepherd type dog came in on the back of a Tuk Tuk collapsed which they had to immediately put on IV fluids, I didn't get chance to ask what was going on in the rush but it looked like heat stroke which I'm sure they just see a fair few patients for.

They had kennels out the back for monitoring post-op animals, dealing with skin conditions and separate area for Rabies monitoring.
Love their cones of shame which looked like a small plastic laundry basket.

I got some videos on my GoPro so will compile and upload those when I can!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Glastonbury 2015

I had an awesome time at Glastonbury this year and don't want it to be over.
I was working rather than visiting this year so was there for 9 days doing 12hour night shifts, 8pm-8am. 
Even so, we managed to catch a few acts in the daytime and could just about hear the Pyramid stage from our shop.

It was Danny's 21st birthday so we had a BBQ and cake then headed to Arcadia bar for a few drinks.

We went for a walk up to the top of the hill overlooking Pyramid and it was crazy seeing the field so empty, no punters or tents and pretty quiet...
A week later on Sunday afternoon in a similar spot, the whole place was completely different 

Highlights have to be Jessie Ware, Lionel Richie and Alt J, we managed to catch the first showing of the new Amy Winehouse film which was really good... Overall concensis was that Kayne was a massive disappointment, his Bohemian Rhapsody was awful ��

We had a little bit of rain but nothing compared to last year and we didn't reeally need wellies this year.

Oxfam were there with their campaign, 'Get lippy. End poverty' so Nat and I had to join in...

Overall we had an awesome week and I can't wait for next year!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Friends visiting Vet School

Jasmine's photos from the week my friends and I visited Košice and Tatranska Lomnica.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ski Weekend in Tatranska Lomnica

I've had the best weekend skiing with friends in Tatranska Lomnica, a resort in the Slovak part of the High Tatras mountains.

Four friends from home flew into Košice on Friday, we went for lunch in Napoli and then got the train to the Tatras with six other friends from vet school.
As I'm a student under 26 I get free train travel in Slovakia, the others only had to pay €5 for the ticket, a 120km journey via Poprad.

We booked an apartment called Wili Tatry which was a couple minutes walk from the train station and supermarket, with the ski lift less than a kilometres walk away.

Cable car up to Lomnicky štít

There are 9 lifts and 12 slopes which meet in similar places at the bottom of the mountain meaning people can choose which runs they want to ski and meet the group at the bottom.
I stuck to blue and red trails 1,751m high but Niall and Lena went for the 2,190m high black slope!

Après Ski on the slopes

We went out for food and drinks every night and on Saturday went to Humno Tatry, a club who's main selling point was that they had Madonna's Cadillac suspended from the roof, which ended up being a really good night.
We read online that the locals dubbed it, 'Club Tropicana' 'cos drinks are almost free.
We stayed out until 5am so the planned up and on the slopes by 8:30am became more like 11:30 after I cooked us all scrambled eggs on toast. We still had a good few hours skiing, though Mika and Jasmine only made it down the slopes once on a hangover.

I had a great time and was really nice to have 5 days with friends from home, can't wait for them to visit again and we'll definitely be back skiing next year!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finches Settling In

The finches are settling in well, constantly beeping and chatting away!

They're in a Hagen Vision cage with a couple of nests and seem to like it so far...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Zebra Finches

We've had the Diamond Doves since 2009 but lost one recently so just have a single female.

I went to Birmingham Reptiles & Pets where we got Hughie the tortoise, just for a look, and came back with these...
A trio of Zebra Finches.

They've settled in with the dove already and make really cute beeping noises.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Matriculation Ball

This weekend we had our Matriculation Ball which I guess it's the equivalent to a Freshers Ball in the UK.
There was a ceremony where all the Freshers stood on stage and put their head through the butt of a fabric cow and did a shot, then we were knighted with a Femur (thighbone) before putting an ink print of our fingerprints on a certificate.

The wierdness of it all kind of sums up this place but it was all organised for us by Slovaks in the older years and they did a really good job!
There was a sit down buffet style meal with free alcohol all night.
They leave bottles of wine, spirits and mixers on the tables for you to help yourselves and as soon as they see one of the bottles was nearly empty, it would be replaced with more wierd and wonderful Slovak Vodka or Tatransky Caj.

Friday, November 21, 2014

PCGB National Poultry Show 2014

Had a great weekend at Telford International Conference centre for the Poultry Club of Great Britain's National Poultry Show.

I flew into Luton on Saturday where I met a friend and travelled up to the show.

Supreme Show Champion was a Rosecomb (Mr Taylor) and Reserve Show Champion a Yellow Dutch (Mr S Yorks):

We went to the Saturday Evening Social which was to be honest a bit disappointing.
We've been for the last 3 years and they usually have a really good auction followed by a live band or disco.
In previous years the auction prizes have been art commissions, expensive metal chicken statues, rare antique books, poultry cigarette cards, egg skelters, coop covers, peck a blocks etc; this year they had 5 pairs of shoes, a new book and a couple of feeders.
In the past we've been out on tables and mingled with 'strangers' but this year people stayed in their groups and didn't chat.
We did have a speech from the Championship Judge Andrew Sheppy which was interesting, if a little long!
He did leave us with this, which I might start living my life by... "If you have a nice one, get it out and show it, I might like it."

It was really nice to catch up with friends that I've known for years and to finally meet new people I've been speaking to over the year on Facebook and Twitter.

Of course I had to get a photo with my old friends Chip from EasiChick and the legend that is Mr Simon Pickles!

I love this prototype clear MS Broedmachines Incubator 

...but as amazing as the Heka Incubators are, I still don't think they will hatch this rare breed Kinder egg:
They had little hatching trays with different types of dividers so separate eggs by colour, parents or breed etc which was clever; I've seen people make their own but not seen them manufactured to fit the incubator trays before.

Chris Jones the artist was there again so spent 10 minutes admiring some of his oil portraits. The detail is stunning and every time you look at them you spot another little details.
Will be a few years saving before I can afford one of his originals, but I bought another of his calendars ready for next year.

Think the Barnevelders had the best rosettes...
Some breed clubs has tried to go modern with just the paper circle and a ribbon coming down, no 'Rose' bit around the outside but they just looked cheap to me.

Also these birds are the grand-chicks of the Serama boy my Flatmate brought down from Scotland to Aberystwyth for a friend of mine!

Sat on the tube in London on Monday and the last next to me was reading The Guardian and I spotted this!

There has been a lot of bickering and political unrest in the club over the last few months with new members getting onto council and some members being stuck in their ways rather than moving with the times, but everyone came together and put on a fantastic show.
The Poultry Club, it's committee and all the volunteers clearly worked so hard to get to where the show is today, a massive improvement on the cattle sheds at Stoneleigh a few years ago; let's hope 2015 is even bigger and better.