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Byline: WITH LYNNE ALLBUTT

CHICKEN MUSIC I am always looking for ways to keep my hens occupied and entertained - happy hens are healthy hens and happy healthy hens lay lots of eggs!

To date I have threaded cabbages and lettuces onto string for them to peck - it's a bit like Swingball without the bats, for those of you who remember that! I have also got an old wire shopping basket, which I fill with weeds and grass clippings, which they like, and a friend has suggested that I string a few corn on the cob together for them like a swag.

But the most entertaining thing I have found - for them and me - is a child's metal xylophone.

I sprinkle a few layers pellets along it and as the chickens peck them off they naturally 'play' the xylophone.

Think 'Hen-del's Water Music. It's really lovely; I highly recommend it.

And did you now that spirulina is a wonderful tonic for hens? It has been proven to often cure unidentifiable ailments and is a great pick-me-up.

I often put an additional bowl of water with spirulina added to it, in their pen and it definitely helps to keep them happy and healthy.

NATIONAL PARKS, NATIONAL TREASURES Next week is National Parks Week (Monday 24th July to Sunday 30th) and is the National Parks family's annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about the UK's 15 National Parks - or Britain's breathing spaces, as they are referred to.

Together, the three Welsh National Parks - Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons - protect an impressive 20 percent of Wales, including precious landscapes, habitats, villages and heritage sites and are just absolutely stunning areas; we are so lucky.

More details about National Parks Week and the various events can be found at www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/national-parks-week and you can share your relevant photos on Twitter and Facebook.

Find out more about Lynne at www.lynneallbutt.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Deighton Primary School who have turned ordinary round fencing stakes into brightly coloured pencils

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 22, 2017
Words:341
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