Thursday, December 22, 2011

Menagerie update

Our little chicken flock was depleted about a month ago by two chooks, thanks to a fox. We then had a hen that decided she was feeling clucky (yes, I know it's a bad punn) and started sitting on her eggs. We swapped her eggs for some fertile eggs from our neighbour. She has been sitting on eggs now for what seems like forever. We have had a number of storms in the past few weeks and the story is that eggs can go off when there is a storm. We don't know if this is the cause, but most of the eggs that "Stew" has been sitting on have either dissappeared or exploded. Yes, exploded! And let me tell you, the smell of an exploded rotten egg is vile! It really does smell like that stink bomb my brother and I stomped on when we were kids! We have given her a second batch of eggs to sit on, but there has been no success. In fact, yesterday Frans found her sitting on the plastic eggs that are put into the brood boxes to discourage the hens from pecking at their own eggs. So it seems that we will have to force the hen from her nesting box and cool her down. Hopefully she will forget about the eggs and start laying again.

In the meantime, we have purchased another five pullets. When you want to buy chickens here in the country, you have to keep your eyes on the local paper. When the notice goes in the 'for sale' column, then you have to act swiftly. The chicken man pulled up outside the cattle sale yards one Tuesday a couple of weeks ago in a big truck. We were surprised to find a queue of eager chicken enthusiasts waiting with their boxes and home made chicken transport contraptions. So we joined the queue with our cardboard box.

Waiting... .waiting....

Then it was our turn. Five chickens shoved unceremoniously into the box. "That will be $70 thanks mate".

Back in the chook palace, the girls were set free to explore their new home.

And then we have the ongoing duck saga. We have three ducks. Well, our neighbour Graham says they're all drakes. So there is not much point in keeping three boy ducks. We could eat them I suppose.... However, Graham has come up with a plan. He has taken one of our drakes and given us THREE Moscovie female ducks in exchange. The idea is that we will hopefully have a crossbreed of Moscovie/Pekin ducklings soon. So now we have two drakes chasing the ducks around with wild agression! I think we may just knock these rambuncious boys on the head after all! They are mean and horrible to the girls. The poor things are pecked and featherless in places. We've had to separate them.

Graham taking a drake home with him.

And some cow news..... We have a temporary visitor. He's BIG. A load of bull you could say. It's time for our cows to be covered again. If we can get them to fall pregnant now, then we will have spring calves next year. The bull belongs to our neighbour. He's a good bloke. Always helping out and keeping an eye on our stock.

Here's looking at you...

And all the signs are good..... We have some luuurrrvvveee action happening in the top paddock!

Stay tuned.....

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