Friday, 21 June 2013

Another Broody hen

This is Dusty, our Copper Maran, she has gone broody and is taking all the eggs, even the ducks. I have to keep removing her from the nest box with much squawking and complaining, take her down to the pond where she has a drink and maybe a dust bath before running back. It gives me enough time to gather the eggs providing no one else has sneaked in there. Funnily enough, its only the three hybrids that are laying at the moment, the other Maran and the Barnvelders have stopped. Whether that is anything to do with her going broody or the topsy-turvey weather we've had lately I don't know but the ducks are doing their thing without any trouble. We tried putting her in the Eglu with a couple of duck eggs but she wasn't interested, she just wanted to get back to the nest box. Now Snowy is laying in the Eglu and sometimes Copper. Once the chickens have finished laying I have been closing up the hen house so she cant get in, so she's been sulking in the barn instead.
At least Catherine the Goose seems to have broken the broody bit, she's coming out in the morning on her own without having to be pushed out.
So, the egg count, which covers the last couple of weeks since I last did it,
Chickens - 83 - Total so far - 459
Ducks - 63 - Total so far - 330
Geese - 33, they have finished laying for this year.

The chickens are having a lovely time scratching around in the shrubbery. It's cool and dark in there and there is an enormous number of flies that keeps them busy. It has been warm and a bit humid the last few days so they have spent a great deal of time sitting under there.

The sheep have been laying in the shade of the Silver Birches. There would be more trees for them if they would only STOP EATING THEM!!

That naughty sheep is Marigold, who was the last to lamb and so the last to shed her coat. I have two large carrier bags of wool that I must get on and sort out.

I have had the last of my strawberries from the greenhouse today and the outside ones should be ready soon if the rabbit problem goes away. They have chewed through the fruit cage netting, so not only are they getting in but also the birds. Everything is growing nicely in the veg plot, I have a good crop of peas coming and the Broad beans are flowering. The courgette plants are just budding and the carrots, parsnip, spring onions, beetroot, leeks and lettuce are all growing well. Potatoes are up and looking healthy, I have just finished topping up the ones I'm growing in bags. In the greenhouse the tomatoes are not as big as I would have liked them at this time of the year but they have flowers, and the celery and cucumbers are doing very nicely. The watercress outside is a bit slow to get going and the herbs have been nibbled by... the Rabbits!

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