It’s been an interesting week, I have been out and about with my neighbour who was looking for a particular hen. First we went to Evesham only to find that the person we were going to meet had got their times mixed up which meant we had to meet him at the poultry auction later in the week. Now I always get a bit excited about going to the auction, you never know what you will find, as it is the school holidays it was very busy, which always pushes up the prices, however we did manage to come home with the hen that was being sought as well as a duck and some baby Cayuga ducklings. The hen and the duck are my neighbours and the ducklings we are sharing although she is looking after them at hers, the reason being that she wants her ducks to be friendly. If you get ducks when they are older they have a tendency to think you are some kind of alien and run away flapping and quacking from you, the younger you get them the tamer you can make them. If you hatch out ducklings and they are the first thing you see, they will imprint on you and you become Mum, this has it’s ups and downs though as they tend to follow you everywhere and if you go out of sight they make a complete racket!
I am hoping that my poultry order will arrive tomorrow, this includes more ducklings lol we will have so many ducks we won’t know what to do with them. A third of the order of hens will be going straight out to a new home and judging by the enquiries I have had the rest won’t be far behind, a quick turnover this month I think.
Our laying flock is in the front paddock and the horses have been in the field next door trimming the grass for me, I decided to let them through and help trim the edges in the paddock the hens are in……..big mistake. The first thing they did despite having plenty of grass to nibble on, was to jump the electric fencing and start eating the chicken food, I then spent a good half an hour trying to coax them out whilst trying to keep the hens in. This was also a bit of a disaster and approx 9 hens spent the day roaming the farm, consequently the egg count was down and no matter how hard I looked I never found any that might have been laid outside the enclosure, I won’t be doing that again.
Hubby managed to get the rotavator started yesterday after two evenings of trying, he has now churned over the patch that the potatoes are going in, he is going to dig in some manure and then it will be ready to plant into, just in time for Good Friday which is traditionally the day that it is done. Meanwhile, the beans, peas and garlic in the tunnel are still growing strongly and hopefully it won’t be long before we start getting a crop from them. The onions and garlic outside are doing just as well and I seem to have gone a bit overboard on the ordering of onion sets as more arrived in the post this week, so plenty to sell at the end of the season hopefully. I have started putting out rhubarb for sale which sells very quickly, I thought most people had a bit of rhubarb growing in their garden and that I would not be able to sell it but that does not seem to be the case.
We have plenty of seedlings growing away in the greenhouse and soon it will be time to get busy planting them, as we are well ahead we seem to have had a bit of a lull lately which is good because family life has been very busy of late, with the wedding and birthdays and family visiting from Australia, everything seems well under control for the time being!
I hatched out another batch of bantam chicks this week, one of them was small and weak and so we spent the day trying to rally it round, unfortunately it was all in vain and it died later on in the evening, it is always worth trying as I have had success before but not this time. The Norfolk Greys I hatched out five weeks ago are doing well and have now been moved outside, mainly because I needed the room for the next lot. Norfolk Greys are on the rare breed list and I was chuffed to hatch seven out of twelve eggs, although I think I have got four cockerels and three hens. I had a stroke of luck during a conversation on Facebook though and someone with an unrelated cockerel is moving just half an hour down the road in the summer so we will be able to exchange birds and get some different bloodlines underway which is great news for the breed. When I lost my other birds to the fox during the storm I wanted a change and it was a good opportunity to do something with rare breeds which is what I have always wanted to do.
We have a full moon this week on the 15th, and a Blood Moon at that, not only that but a Lunar eclipse as well, we have four Lunar Eclipses coming up over the next year, a phenomenon if ever there was one. The rise of a full moon definitely has a affect on the animals and they say on plants too but I have never given the planting to moon phases a go, I can see how it would probably work though, the same as the ebb and flow of the rivers and seas, as plants are nearly all water it makes sense.
Have a good week and watch for that Moon