You can never have too many hens. We went to a local market on Sunday and brought a pair of young Silkie bantams to improve our home hatching rates. Since we lost Ginger, the Buff Orpington, one of our first hens, her daughters have been trying and mostly failing to hatch chicks. They seem to be absent minded (or Dim as Tim calls them) and they get confused over which nest box is theirs and climb on top of a single new laid egg instead of their half brooded batch. The boxes are clean and vermin free and copiously dusted with diatomaceous earth so I think it truly is a mistake on their part. Also hens lay new eggs in the nest of existing half brooded batches meaning that I have to mark eggs so I can tell new from old and check them every day.
Yesterday we also killed and prepared our two young cockerels from the last batch of chicks. They had started crowing and shagging so they had to go before the existing cockerel killed or maimed them. The kittens are doing well mixing with the existing dogs but the Senior Cat is not very happy, he is not keen on the upstarts with no manners and is definitely not offering them his Werthers Originals. The weather is still good, getting colder but bright and the fire in the woodburner is now lit most evenings. There is nothing like a real fire.
Thursday, 29 September 2016
We rather unexpectedly adopted two kittens yesterday. Our good friends had offered a home to an unwanted cat which produced kittens. They are both girls, the black one is Bramble and the tabby one is Dinah. We could do with some new blood as our 10 year old tabby Nosher is healthy but semi retired. The girls will hopefully keep us rodent free once they grow a bit and settle in.
Sam the terrier is frightened of them which is great and we will leave it a few days before they meet the big dog.
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
The weather is cooler which is wonderful. Work has picked up on the land as I sort out the rampant tomatoes and get some brassica seedlings planted in the polytunnel. Last night we ate the first parasol mushrooms of the year and we have been eating blackberries for some time now.