Friday, 26 July 2013

Weather? What weather?

It's still the same old hot & humid weather we've had for weeks. All three boys have now broken up from school for the summer hols and there is plenty of weeding and watering to be done. We have been waiting for all this rain that is constantly forecast with swathes of blue across the county and threats of thunderstorms. Well, we had two short heavy-ish showers Wednesday, that did not even wet the ground under the veg, so although I'd hoped not to water I did. There is more rain forecast for tomorrow afternoon through to Sunday but I'm not holding my breath.
A bit short on eggs this week -
Chickens - 18
Ducks - 16
 Don't mind me, I wasn't going to sit down anyway!
 Here are some of our chicks, just over 9 weeks old, making themselves comfortable in the orchard.

The Ducks love drilling, even when the ground is rock hard.
 Mars and one of his lady's. Considering what a tiny wimp he was when we had him in January, he has certainly filled out and grown himself a respectable set of horns.
 The ducks gave up drilling and headed back to the pond.

Poor old Dusty, she's still brooding in the nest box except when I lock her out after all the hens have laid. She runs around all puffed up like she's lost something and has to find it and get back to somewhere.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pruned Marigold

Marigold had not shed all her wool and in this excessive heat we wanted to help her

Well wanting and doing are two different things entirely ........
It was a fair chase but!

Here is a pruned Marigold.

Rooster number 1

Short Post

This little chap was making a pretty good attempt at crowing this morning
He is is the first one I have actually seen (and heard) doing so

Friday, 19 July 2013

Runaround chicks

Firstly a very overdue egg count -
Chickens - 57
Ducks - 62
I wish I could say that was one week output but its not. I have been getting three eggs from the chickens and three from the ducks for quite a while now, two of the hens have been broody and so not laying and two of the ducks are in a full moult, ( along with the geese).
It looks like the geese have been having a pillow fight out there.
One of the hens has given up being broody today, but Dusty, the Maran, is still sitting tight. A week ago her sister Maran died, I found her flat out on the grass in the early morning just after I had let them all out. Keith and the boys were down in Kent for his Mum's birthday so they didn't see her. She had had funny turns before so she may well have had a health problem.
The ducks are finding more difficult places to lay their eggs, and I really do get dragged through the bushes backwards in my attempts to get the eggs. Did have four chicken eggs today which was a surprise but very useful as its baking day tomorrow and I'm planning to make carrot cake in my new mixer which I bought as my other one has only one speed now and the motor keeps cutting out. Also, the new one has a bigger bowl as my cakes seem to getting bigger. I may also try something with some of the frozen eggs and see if they come out OK.
This will depend on the weather. As we are now a Level 3 heatwave I might not do too much. Last night the temperature went down to 15C and the daytime was a whopping 34.5C. The weathermen might not agree with those temperatures but I have a digital thermometer that's on the window sill out of direct sunlight and while the window itself might be getting hot and radiating the heat, it's still VERY HOT and humid. Tomorrow is supposed to be less hot but next week the forecast is for more humid heat, thunderstorms and heavy downpours. That would explain why there are so many tractors, combine harvesters and trailers full of bales of hay on the roads at the moment. The tractors were still going past at 10-o-clock last night.
 The chicks have been out of the 'tractor' the last few evenings for a run about and this morning, here's two of the Wyandottes in the sheep's trough. They are all very fond of the sugar beet mixture.
These are some of our Aracanas and the black cross breed Orpington/Wyandottes. There's lots of challenges when they are out in the orchard, ruffs are up and intense staring competitions. The girls seem to ignore all this mostly but there is the occasional rumpus, presumably over who is going to be top hen. Just wait until they really meet the top hen, I don't think Pecky will stand for these little upstarts. The interesting bit will be to who is going to be top Cockerel, one of the Splash Orpingtons, Legless, who is huge already? or Godzilla? or one of the Wyandottes who seems to be in that position already among the babies?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

One Crowed!

Not yet 7 weeks old but yesterday morning there was a distinct crow from one of the Chicks!
But which one, there are some likely candidates

Could it be Peanut

 Or the Shadow

Or one of the Wyandottes

Or Bent Beak

Or Mr T