|Bella checking out a new fall of snow, luckily wet stuff which helped to thaw the rest|
|Then back in for a warm|
The best news is that the boarding chickens have departed to their new home at last! There was a delay because of the weather but we can now move on. The ducks have now been given their own sleeping quarters, where the visiting chickens were, much to the relief of our lot. We had let the ducks sleep with the hens as that is where they seemed to want to be, but since they arrived they have slimmed down a bit and become fitter and more confident. This has caused problems in the morning as they got frustrated waiting to go out aand ended up chasing the chooks around the room, causing a kerfuffle and upsetting the less confident. It's difficult to explain to a duck that they can't go out till light because of the pine marten.
So the hens only have Sevi to avoid in the mornings now. He's feeling a bit frisky of a morning now so as soon as the door opens, rather than being the last to get up in the morning, he stations himself outside by the door and jumps on the hens as they come through the door. I have to feel a little sorry for the girls, you can see them gearing up to try to shoot past him.
|Sevi and one of his Shumen wives|
|And with favourite Chubba|
Egg production has gone up, Chubba is back laying like a good 'un, but even after a break over winter her eggs are still too fragile to resist her clumsy feet. We have had a few fragile eggs, so we are back to roasting shells to feed back to them and greens (which we have to buy!) to help with absorbing the calcium, and a vitamin supplement just in case. Someone is laying a very pale egg but we are not sure if it's Cagney or one of the Shumens. We are still not sure if the ducks are girls, but we have had no eggs yet, they are still shedding feathers.
The weather has been lovely, but cool, the last few days. We are still getting a sharp frost every night, enough to give a good sheet of ice on the pond, but the days are all blue sky and sunshine. It seems shepherds around about are predicting heavy snow next week, but till then we are enjoying the bright weather.
|Ermmmm is someone going to get rid of the ice?|
|Only a couple of cms now|
Things are happening in the garden. The brassicas are more or less dead after the very low temperatures, but now the snow has gone we are finding little signs that spring is not too far away. We have tiny snowdrops appearing and daffs poking through. There are California poppy seedlings which seem to have survived. Unfortunately the pot of mini iris (and whatever else might be on there) have a touch of frost burn, but hopefully that won't affect the flowers.
And in my little plastic boxes things are happening. The lettuce are well and truly up, land cress is just poking through and the onions are starting to germinate. Dave went and bought the plastic for the new cold frame yesterday. You never know what will happen when you buy things in the village shops. Some things are sold by weight (screws), some by each (nails). A sealed pack of dog 100 chews must be opened and counted. The polythene was measured and then weighed.....5 metres for less than two quid. Can't complain at that! I can feel some nice big closhes coming on.....
And Dave has done another commission, this time a Buff Orpington cockerel ca;led Goliath. A very good looking lad and Dave did a great job of his portrait. His owners are thrilled and the painting has pride of place on the wall. Because of this I have told Dave there is no excuse for him not to do a new one of Sevi, so that is his next job when the weather changes. At the moment he is outside knocking in posts and re-arranging fences and whatever else he can do outside. It makes him happy!
|The lovely Goliath|
|Back in the t-shirt|
|Teenager....he needs a hoodie!|
|Enjoying the sun, a real outdoor boy|