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?

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