Our first Easter happening is that Cagney's eggs hatched, four out of six.....she gave up on the other two even though they were not due to hatch until today. We have put them in the incubator but I think we were too late. Apart from that Cagney is a very attentive mother, though she has been chunnering away to herself as every time she settles down for a dust bath all the chicks pile in and one time got flung away as she bathed, accidentally of course. The chicks are very tiny being Shumens, Cagney is quite a large chicken. She is so funny though, so busy and attentive but expecting the little scraps to climb mountains (step) and telling us off if we try to help. All the neighbours have been in for a look and Venka has been handing out kisses to them, she adores baby animals. The other hens are, in the main, being respectful of the chicks, possibly due to Cagney being head hen. Darcy took a swipe but not in a nasty way.
|Wait for us Mum.....|
|Oh heck, how do you get up there?|
|One of the older Shumen chicks having a look at babies|
My chicken run is looking very full of chickens now. The ex-commercials have joined the others and the bullying has been sorted out amicably enough. Molly was first to put them in their place and Mandy has kept reminding them that they are the newbies and should show respect to the other residents. They take the telling off in good part and even bully is happier. Once we moved them over we realised how pathetic they were next to the Ms, who are a picture of health now. Apart from the feathers the Ts are very pale. It was good to see them tentatively dust bathing and trying to scratch, but not really sure why. But they are a bit bolder that the Ms were and only hid in the back of the shed for a short while. They came out under their own steam when the door was opened this morning, one had even perched on the high perch and was sitting next to Chubba, albeit looking a litte worried!
|Even the big chicks are out|
|Mandy has taken on the role of disciplinarian to the new girls|
|Milly hunting snails|
I got a piece of Dave's precious beef out for a nice roast dinner which, with the ground being too wet to work, we decided to have at lunch time. It was a poor decision and it turned out to be a frantic morning, but in a good way. Easter is the most important religious time in BG, bigger than Christmas. There are traditions concerned with handing out dyed and painted eggs and bread. We were going to decorate some eggs but were not sure if it was appropriate with being incomers, so we decided, for this year, to see what happened and then we will know for next year.
The first ring on the doorbell was our neighbour from behind. They handed us a plate of three eggs, bread and sweeties. Baba Gimcha (sp) chattered away to us and we gathered we were invited for 'cafe' which could mean coffee but could mean a feast washed down with rakia. But as she talks so fast and took no notice when we said we couldn't understand her, we are not sure. She talks very differently to Venka, who uses more mime to get things accross.
Next Baba Danka from accross the road came over with yet more eggs and sweet bread. She also had a tour of chicken city, she has not seen the Shumens before and was impressed with Sevi. She marvelled over the chicks and had a tour of the veggie patch.
Then Venka came over with even more eggs and bread! She came to see Cagney and gave one of her babies some kisses (she so loves the babies)
So although we had made Easter cards (sorry, Tanya, missed you out) and we had the anemones to give, we decided to make a carrot and walnut cake and decorate it UK style, so while I was trying to save dinner (Yorkies and beef were cold by now) I was also making a huge cake to cut into four. Dinner was cold and soggy, but hey, it was for a good cause.The cake turned out fine but it was quite thickand took ages to cool. Made butter icing...the butter was not the nicest but needs must...and Dave made some paste chicks and the cakes were decorated with these and sugar flowers.
|Cagney and her first chick made a lovely subject for an Easter card|
We tried Baba Danka first, but she wasn't in, what a let down. Tanya was delighted with hers, as was our rear neighbour, Angel. Came in for Vanka's bit and she was talking to Angel's wife, Baba Gimcha. Next moment Dave was told to get some shoes on as we were going round for 'cafe'.
So lots of gossip, meats and bread, fruit juice and of course rakia. They still can't gather that we can't yet speak Bulgarian, they have no idea what a hard language it is to learn, especially when you spend so little time speaking to them, what you do learn tends to be forgotten by the time you get to use it again. But with Venka's help we managed
Easter continues for another couple of days yet. The sun is shining and I hope it continues as we need to get our tomatoes in, we are well behind every one else.
A couple of apologies. It seems some people see a blank screen where the nightingale should be on a previous post so we have a new one on YouTube here
And those who might have read this post when I inadvertantly posted it instead of saving it to continue today, I do apologise for poor spelling and gobbledegook. I can't see the keyboard very well at night due to poor lighting so usually spend a lot of time checking before posting.