We have been waiting some time for the frog love in, and Saturday it finally arrived, the pond was a-chirping, it was actually warm and frogpawn appeared.
And then, of course, once again, winter snapped back – we had a blizzard Sunday night, the world was white on Monday, and the pond became a huge frogspawn ice lolly.
This spring has been hard like that – every time spring sprung, the cold came back even harder. The chickens have been slow to get going with their egg laying – we have lots of eggs, but nothing like as many per bird at this time last year (I know because the book-keeper in me can’t help myself keeping records…), mind you I swear they picked up their laying in the last couple of days – there was a sudden increase in eggs at the exact same time as the blizzard turned up – they probably thought time in a nice cosy nest box was a good choice….
The ducks, poor things, have had several false starts. We had a warm spell back in January, and they both laid a clutch – then the freezing temperatures came in, and we were sure the eggs would not make it as the ducks were not sitting, so we collected them up – and duck eggs appeared on the menu for a while. This happened again, and then we cracked and decided it was time to improve the duck housing.
They have a big shelter – but they prefer to perch all night instead ; muscovy ducks are pretty tough, but as we found in the poor weather last year, ducklings are not so hardy, and eggs are susceptible to cold and wet too – so we made duck nest paradise.. OK I admit, it doesn’t look much – but this is what any self respecting mother duck wants; somewhere dark, and enclosed, to settle a nest in. We cut a hole in the back of the old boar pen, made it cat proof and offered a box and straw. Two days later a duck was laying there – last count she had eighteen eggs. And the other duck has started laying in the outside box too. All in time for this current cold snap – we have -4 C over night – but both ducks were keeping their eggs warm over night – and the indoor ones stand a greater chance – so fingers crossed.
Meanwhile things don’t look so good for the frogspawn – but good news, perhaps for the later comers to the frog party – hopefully there are some – as it will be their offspring that might make it.