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Ex holiday cottage as new family home.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5213
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vortex2 wrote:
There is supposedly a house in Brisbane where the builders put in a 19000 litre hot water tank in the basement.

The Cropthorne Passive House which is near us did something similar, using a stack of huge ex-orange juice containers. They fill their basement.

Rather less eco, they deliberately used 150 tonnes of concrete in the construction to act as a thermal mass.

We used ZERO concrete in our build.

We do however use a couple of tonnes of ceramic board as noise isolation and thermal mass.
That is quite a large one. I have a neighbor that has a wood fired boiler feeding such a buffer tank and his is about 11,000 liters. five feet tall by ten feet in diameter. if they cycle the water from 210F down to 60F that stores 3.7 million BTUs of heat or with his large house using 55,000 BTUs / hour in cold weather about three and a half days of storage.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7129
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Met two members of this household in the local pub.
Generally going well.
Oldest son has found employment on a nearby farm, despite no experience in this sort of work. Assisting with a large herd of cattle. "pays no better than other jobs, but is much more interesting"

The Rutland wind turbines have performed excellently in the windy weather, regularly producing rated output for a day or more.
The very cheap PV modules seem fine.

Keeping free range chickens has been a failure, most of the birds simply vanished ! in broad daylight.
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Vortex2



Joined: 13 Jan 2019
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Err, there is a creature called the fox ..... who quite likes snacking on chicken.

There are two legged foxes too.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5213
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:

Keeping free range chickens has been a failure, most of the birds simply vanished ! in broad daylight.
If at first you don't succeed try try again. A coop that lets the birds roost safe from foxes at night is a must and now you have the possibility of raccoons in the UK. Also some breeds are much better at self preservation then others. The white meat birds are as numb as a pounded thumb while Rhode Island Reds retain predatory heritage handed down from velociraptors.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible that foxes took the chickens, but no noises of alarm, no remains of any dead birds is a bit surprising.
They are confined a in secure run at night.

I suspect that they flew away. Chickens are not good flyers, but most breeds can fly a little bit, and perhaps aided by a strong wind went too far away to return from.

They were "common fowl, ideal for free range farms" brown with white speckles, large and heavy.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5213
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
It is possible that foxes took the chickens, but no noises of alarm, no remains of any dead birds is a bit surprising.
They are confined a in secure run at night.

I suspect that they flew away. Chickens are not good flyers, but most breeds can fly a little bit, and perhaps aided by a strong wind went too far away to return from.

They were "common fowl, ideal for free range farms" brown with white speckles, large and heavy.
A vixen will grab a hen by the neck and run with it back to her den to share it with her kits. The hen might not get out even one squawk but the rooster if you have one usually puts up quite a fuss about it and will even attack a fox if he sees her approach before the pounce. Dawn and dusk are prime hunting time for the foxes.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update time.
More chickens purchased, these also vanished. The new CCTV shows two of the stupid birds struggling to reach the shed roof, from which they flew away, downhill and aided by a strong wind.

Probably the rest did the same.

The wind turbines and PV have produced ample electricity.

The garden remains almost useless "a windswept pile of rocks, interspersed with gravel"
The water supply has proved ample. Not fit for drinking without use of a gravity ceramic filter.
On a recent visit I drank about 2 pints of untreated water from the kitchen tap without thinking. I am still alive.

After a trial to see if it got on OK with cats, the family have adopted a "failed sheepdog" The farmer paid a high price for the puppy believing that it would make a fine working dog. It was too nervous and generally silly. Nice pet dog though.
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 534
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always like to hear updates about this project. Please keep them coming and also the other projects you work on. It is reassuring to know that even nervous dogs can get a second chance.

It looks like the chicken mystery has been solved.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
.....The garden remains almost useless "a windswept pile of rocks, interspersed with gravel"......


Sounds like raised beds are called for.
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