Last weekend saw our second blue marans hatch – this time twelve. Little disappointed as we set twenty four eggs – never had such a low rate – but we were breeding from a particular breeding group and eggs were limited, and we did set some eggs that were on the old side… maybe that was the reason? The fertility was high, but they didn’t pip. We also invested in a turning cradle, as turning the eggs five times a day is a bit of a commitment and makes going out for the day difficult.. so maybe it was that? Dunno yet.. but twelve is still a good crowd.
Thankfully, we had a broody hen (well three - like buses they call come at the same time), and we slipped the twelve chicks under our tried and tested broody who accepted them as her own – once again she sat on a plastic egg for a week and hatched 12 offspring and is sure she is very clever!
I do like seeing chicks being raised by a hen, she is so careful with them, taking them inside when it rains, and scratching the ground for worms, with a well practised routine she steps forward, the chicks rush away, she scratches the ground, finds some worms, they all rush in an scoff… and repeat. These chicks are on a high protein diet thanks to her.
Meanwhile the first hatch are looking good and like mini chickens at at seven weeks, and very happy in their large grassy run. In this hatch we have two gold tops, which we are naming Enid and Edna as this year is E and we plan to keep them. The reason we have these is for broody hen futures, my old broodies are knocking on and I am told a Goldtop – which is a gold silkie x light sussex is a good bet for a broody – The silkies are notorious for their brooding, but crossed with a larger hen, are a more sensible size with more sensible feathers etc…
I’ve never seen the attraction of silkies – I like ‘proper looking chickens’ – but actually these goldtops are great looking, and very friendly, so I might be a convert.
With so much more going on for us this year, we decided on just one hatch, so obviously the second hatch is a figment of our imaginations. As is the third in the incubator, the duckling situation, and the meat bird chicks on order. Obviously….
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Only when we recently went to foreign parts (well Somerset) did I realise that the primroses so abundant here are not all over.
Here, in South Devon, they are amazing right now. Every lane, verge, hedge and hill is with primrose. We have them popping up in the lawn (I carefully move them before they get beheaded by son with his push mower), and our green lane is lined with them
The verges of the A38 are smothered in their yellowness and are a joy to look at, making any journey an uplifting one.
I don’t know why primroses like this area so much, but I am glad.
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I’m feeling quite unnerved…. it is a bank holiday.. and it was hot and sunny… that can’t be right can it?
We even had a barbecue.The blankie came out.. the lounger went under the pergola in the shade – and both were used in between bouts of activity – we are barn building at the mo – and have chicks hatching, and lots and lots of seed sowing. The cats, who like to take on a supervisory role including lying on newly sown seeds or climbing on newly erected barns, got a bit too hot and lay about in languid heaps.
So cheering to have good weather. It would be nice if it could rain at night though, and the grass could grow and the plants self water…
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We’ve spent a day in that London, over the weekend.
We went to the museum of London, ate dim sums for lunch, walked around St Pauls and across the millennium bridge.
We had cocktails in the Oxo tower bar (son had been practising drinking with his little finger stuck out for some time now..), had a quick look around Covent Garden, walked to China town, and bought some nice bowls, then walked to Trafalgar Square, and popped into the National Gallery to make sure my Renoir is still ok.
Then bought a picnic to have on the train home.
Safe to say, we did too much – I nearly broke my son, and himself and I found we had set into a fixed shape by the end of the train journey. Perhaps we need to learn how to have time off without filling it with something else exhausting..
But it was good. And we agreed we would do it all again.
Maybe after a rest.
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Last week and this week we have seen a lot of loving going on in the pond, and now there are ribbons of toadspawn all over.
The toads were late to arrive at the party, but they might have had it right, as the frogspawn got frozen solid, snowed on, and went manky – and I think frog numbers could be down, but the newts and toads chose their time more wisely – and at the moment the sun is hot, the newts are sunbathing, the toads are lower down in the cooler water, the party is over… and the pond is toad-pole and newt pole (what do you call baby newts?) nursery to be.
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Nice weather at last, and conveniently placed on a day we were all free, we had a jolly and went to Glastonbury to walk up the tor.
Driving from Devon , we get to see the tor for miles before we actually get there, and we have passed it often, by moonlight, early morning sun, or rising out of mist, but today we chose cool but sunny weather. It is only half an hour of uphill, and that is if you choose the long way, but you really don’t want to be doing that in the rain, and a clear day is needed for that view. Lovely.
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