Thursday, March 16, 2006

Guilt ridden at 7am

Eggs Total to Date: 304 Day:134

KoKKo 101 Personal best egg weight 86grms 29.11.2005
Adelaide 101 Personal best egg weight 80grms 26.02.2006
Ginger 102 Personal best egg weight 78grms 22.02.2006


I was awake at 2am and again at 4am, then at 5.45am, then awoke again at 6.55am.

You have never seen my aching bones move so quickly. I sprang out of bed like a 16 year on a love struck date!

And the reason? I slept through the alarm - an all time first for me. I have been so exhausted these past few days, mainly from mithering over my new additions.

You would have laughed if you had seen me. Racing through the bungalow sliding into flip flops as I went, grabbing keys, jug of warm water and mac as I dashed out the back door, pausing only for a moment to see if I could hear mayhem coming from the Eglu.

None, that was it then, I was too late. I went in and filled up their water containers and still no sound. By now I felt sick to the stomach. KoKKo, Adelaide and Ginger would usually be going crazy by now cooped up in daylight with the door closed - they are used to getting up and going out when they want to and not as late as 7am!

I returned with the feeders and hung them up and heard the 'open this door will you' clucking start.

I opened it quickly and there were a burst of bodies all rushing out the door at once, with their morning shriek! They all piled our together except Freckles.

Dilly and Pumpkin ran straight into the hedge squawking to avoid the crush! The big girls dashed straight out into the pen to run and stretch and flap and drink and eat.

There was an anxious wait whilst I plucked up the courage to go and look for the remains of Freckles little broken body - or even devoured body.

I was frozen to the spot - when out swaggered Freckles, without a care in the world. She did her slipper shuffle, stretched her wings and walked down and stood at the entrance to the run, looking like a lady standing at her back door and see what the day's weather was like. I laughed with relief and joy at the sight!

She did her funny little chook chook chook noise talking to herself or maybe she was calling Pumpkin and Dilly to see where they were!

Getting no immediate response, you could almost hear her thinking as she gave one little warble which sounded like the equivalent of 'suit yourself then' and went back in and got stuck into the serious task of having her breakfast and warm drink.

Dilly and Pumpkin came out of the hedge and did a bit of stretching and scratching at the ground and preening. And that is how I left them all.

I did check out the Eglu for signs of feathers or blood - but there was not a single feather or a tiny drop of blood - and no eggs either yet.

Phew. Well at least I know that they get on with each other in a small confined spaced without any fighting. I think that I will leave the Eglu and run doors open tonight to see if they all go to bed together. The worse case scenario would be that I have to search the hides for the banties, but my guess would be that they would roost on the broom handle as usual so I could peel them gently off there.

I think that I can tentively say that the girls are now used to each other. The keep to their own 'patches' at the moment, in their trios, and eat out of their 'own' feeders - and there hasn't been any fights - thank goodness for that.

Back later with an update.

If it doesn't rain or snow, I think that I deserve a trip up the allotment this morning to do some muck spreading. - What a glamorous life I lead!

Update
I never did get up to the allotment - freezing drizzle and sleet put paid to that. Pat told me not to go and to take it easy today. So reluctantly I did - and I feel a lot better for doing so.

Nice surprises in the post, a parcel from Omlet with some new roosting bars which I had ordered. I thought that I would get some so that I can change them over every week - one to wash and one to wear. They can be pressure washed and can dry out naturally then I also treated myself to a chef's type apron, I have always wanted one, it is black with a very tasteful chicken logo on it in white.

A letter from the hospital to confirm at long last my MRI scan next month - so pleased about that and a packet of seeds.

I left the chickens to their own devices all day, and there were no scenes whatsoever. Adelaide, KoKKo, and Ginger spent almost all day outside the run, using the feeders and water that I had hung outside. They did have a peek through the hedge, but just quietly and gently with curiosity, rather than with any malice, and they didn't interfere with Dilly, Freckles or Pumpkin at all.

I went back at dusk hoping that they might have gone in to either roost in the run or even gone in to the Eglu - no such luck - I have made them far to comfy. The Nofolk Lasses has of course, but the London Ladies were snuggled up in the flower pots in the straw - well Pumpkin was, and the other two were snuggled together in a pile of straw that they had made into a little nest.

When I talked to them they answered me so that I could find them, in the dark and I lifted them out and put them into the Eglu where they snuggled up to the others.

I have left the door ajar, but the run locked, so they can all let themselves out into the run first thing. No food or water in there for them to argue about - just in case - and I will be up early to let them out of the run to feed and drink. It was bitterly cold and starting to snow when I came in.

Today I made some body cream - well you can use it for your face as well as all over - as lip balm - even as hair wax.

I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. I used shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, in equal proportions, some aromatherapy oils, geranium, clary sage, and lavender, and then I added a little bit of virgin olive oil.

It is wonderful - I used it on my face and poor hardworking hands and they are as soft as silk. Really impressive - and no chemicals. I am going to make some as presents, and I have found some other nice recipes to try too.

I made a rissotto for lunch, nice and easy, and amongst other things I used my dried mushrooms -yummy.

It is amazing how quickly the day has flown by. Pat made me sit down and relax after lunch to watch Jimmy's Farm - he recorded it as it was on the same time as West Ham's match last night. I don't think that I have ever sat down and watched something in the afternoon.

Three more eggs today - all in the right place - from KoKKo, Adelaide and Ginger, but none from Freckles, Dilly or Pumpkin, but I do not expect many, if any.

For Science Week, Omlet have issued forms to do a study to see how many eggs are laid by each chicken a week in an Eglu - so I am doing my bit and filling it out.

Till tomorrow then.

8 comments:

  1. i am sure the two groups of chickens will get along fine.

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  2. They might choose to roost in the hedge!!!! Being Bantams. Hope not fior your sake!

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  3. denise t-usa11:00 pm

    how many eggs did the former owners get per week from the 3 city girls? how old are they? i wonder if that cream u made is what they describe as "body butter"... i would love to test some...hint,hint,hint....i wonder what i can trade you...hmmmmmmm i will think on this a bit...

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  4. Thanks for that Patsy - I hope so too. It would be nice if they interacted, but two little happy groups will do for me. I just hope that they can eat together and share everything together without taking much notice!

    Lilymarlene - they did roost in amongst the hedge - but when I spoke to them, the called back and let me know where they were, which was lucky.

    Denise, I could let you have the link to where I got the recipe - that I changed a bit. You can email me direct from my profile and we can talk about it.

    Thanks for all you lovely comments, I am off to bed soon

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  5. Me and my sisters all see things different I think grandpa did what he thought was right. He and my father didn't see eye to eye about anything and if he had tried to give mother money or material things i am sure daddy would have resented it and perhaps not allowed it.All so he never cause trouble for daddy or critized him and the way of life daddy choose.

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  6. you banties will lay but then they will set, start trying to set. you should get some fertile eggs and let them set. it so much fun watching the babies grow but i don't know what you would do with the increase unless you sold them since you said you could never eat them.

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  7. trying to answer your questions, no idea how this blogging thing works. Freckles was the best if not only layer but wouldn't lay if it was windy! They always loved Layers Mash but it's difficult to get round here, so I had to give them pellets - not their first choice. Freckles needs the most TLC and Miriam aka Pumpkin was always haughty...

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  8. Thanks Lesley - they are just adorable and have lots of fans who log on every day to read all about them - I know becaause I get over 100 hits a day and lots of emails. I got over 200 hits on Sunday!

    I judged their characters to the T then. They all get cuddles - even Pumpkin doesn't mind being tickled under her chin!

    Freckles definitely soaks up the attention from me, which is fine by me - I have got lots to give and our three oldest grandchildren will love them.

    The seem to eat most things, and just throw out the pellets on the floor - which the big girls go in and clean up, and eat the layers mash. I am very lucky as one thing we do have a lot of in the countryside is small towns with small shops that sell lots of things for 'country' animals so each 'pet shop' type shop has lots of chicken food. I also have a farm supplier in the next village, so can get it there too. I am going to see if I can buy layers mash in small bags just for the banties.

    Glad you take a look to see what they are up too.

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