Saturday, 19 May 2012

Little Bills and Feet

Four ducklings have hatched now, rather than the 5 I had deduced from the number of eggshells I thought I'd counted! They've been out in the run today but haven't eaten anything yet. I'm finding ducks very different to hens and I wasn't sure whether I should take John out in case he picked on the babes but scouring the internet, the consensus seems to be that it should be fine, so I've kept him in with the family. I hope Jean knows what she's doing :-/ ducks seem a bit thick compared to hens. Or perhaps I'm worrying too wouldn't be the first time. They have dabbled around in the mud and been shown the water:

As you can see, they are all different colours ranging from blonde to dark, so I'm not sure what colours they'll end up. Both their parents are mallards which is the dominant colour, but depending on their parentage, who knows! I moved the run yesterday to give them fresh ground, and the local dunnock population have been recycling the downy feathers that Jean plucked out to line her nest to go and line theirs with - I keep seeing them flying round with beakfuls of tiny white feathers.

Hooray, the sun's out! I must check my bees this week to see if all the queens are laying. One of the hives is very small now and the poor weather has not helped, so I need to check they're all ok. The swarm I brought back from Ann's looks good from all the activity at the hive entrance, and they are bringing in pollen which is what they use to feed the baby bees so I'm hopeful that they have started to build up the colony. I did get stung yesterday when I lent on a bee who'd chosen to sit on the broody coop as I was moving it - it's the first time this year and unfortunately it's my knitting hand! Help! I am about a third of the way through the second sock so I need to keep up the momentum. I bought some fabric tape with "Made by Me" embroidered on it so I can put one in the back of my Owl Jumper as I keep having to look for the back decreases to find out which way to put it on!

I've been busy in the garden trying to hold back the couch grass from taking over my borders. I have to do it when the chickens aren't looking though as they come along and scuff up my neatly cut edges and send precious soil all over the lawn. The girls spent yesterday afternoon banging away at wood in the carport and have built a large square structure which appears to need to live in my study. Amber is going to tidy her room today so she can have it in her room, which presumably will happen at the same time as the squadron of pigs fly over, or Hell gets chilly ;-)

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