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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I'm not a great one for heat, and usually if the temperature is above 30 you will find me doing something inside...or nothing if it gets too bad!

Yesterday, however, with having to pick up Dave's new project chickens, I had no choice but to go out. Dave loves the heat, it doesn't seem to be able to get too hot for him. We took the scenic route to the place we were to collect the chickens. It really is very pretty here even though we are only at the foot of the mountains. There is plenty of green vegetation, a huge variety of trees along the roads, always with some fruiting and some flowering. Until winter sets in, of course, when it looks bleak with most trees being deciduous. But my, it was hot. When the car stopped I felt I was going to melt.

Ploughing has started with a vengeance, the tractors being followed by a huge cloud of dust which obliterates the road when they reach it. We have no seagulls to follow them, being a long way in land, but we do have something more exotic. Storks. There were eight following this tractor, an amazing sight, and we might have got better pictures if we could have parked up, instead of just idling at the side of the road.

By the time we reached our meeting point it was baking hot, and I was glad of a coffee in an air-conditioned garage. Another thing about BG, most garages have meeting and cafe facilities. You always meet people who you follow to your destination, and any deliveries stop in the village square and ring to be met and directed to the property. Unfortunately it feels even hotter when you go back outside. The temp gage on the car was reading 38. Anyway, the chap met us and we followed him back to his parents' place where the chooks are kept. It's rather higgledy piggledy, with a lot of birds in small spaces. Our three looked a bit bedraggled, and the chap explained that the rooster had been in a fight recently. The hens looked as if the rooster had been a bit amorous, with feathers missing on their backs. We were given fetching blue covers for our shoes, not sure if it was to keep them clean or stop us taking germs in.....

While Dave chatted (the chap speaks some English) I gradually wilted in the heat. Dave just doesn't feel it...but the Bulgarians did and I had to drag him away eventually. We were given a bunch of grapes by the man's 3 year old son, bless him. So cute.

 We thought it was going to be easy to find the main road again, but the sat-nav kept trying to send us up one way roads the wrong way, and we went round and round....for about half an hour. Eventually we gave up and took a track  which you wouldn't attempt if you didn't have a 4x4 as we could see it came out by the road...and we were off!

The temperature at home reached 42 and all our chooks were panting and holding their wings out, but they still ran to greet us. Bella was unwell and threw up a few times, and had (has) a runny bottom, but her signs are good so we figure it is a combination of heat, being left for four hours and her eating unmentionables if she can get her chops around them. The new chooks were cool enough, the car has air conditioning. It is hot again today.

They were dusted with louse powder and settled in to their new home, a five star palace after their last place. They looked a sorry lot after the indignities of the day, and especially as our resident chooks look so well. But they look better this morning.
 Girl one
 girl two
 Boy Sevi, named after the town he came from

Our girls were intrigued by the chooks sitting looking out of the window next to their run, Venus especially was acting like a tart! They were left to settle, with a ladder to the perch as it is a bit high for them, they came with clipped flight feathers. This morning Sevi has been letting the world know he is here, but luckily he has a fairly quiet crow. Everyone has been introduced, but only one hen will venture out of their shed. Sevi will not! But our girls have been in to see him and Venus has shown herself to be a real tart, crouching down to him. A sign which means she should be in lay very soon. There was a bit of a stand-off between head girl Cagney and one of the new hens, but it came to nothing. The new hens are smaller than the old ones but nearly a year older, so more worldly wise. Sevi is eight months old. We now await new feather (and weight) growth with their new home providing plenty of good food, fresh air and exercise....if we can get Sevi out! I'm sure my girls will help there, but he had better not get rough with them or I will split them up.


We have an announcement. We have had our first pearly white egg! It is not very big, but the new hens are small anyway (yes, it was a shumen egg) but with having so many hens potentially laying that is no bad thing. After a while Dave will set some in the incubator, but we don't think Sevi has been running with these particular girls so not sure who the daddy is. They are all out together now, even Sevi. And very happy he is at having another five good looking girls in his harem!

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