Sunday, October 14, 2012

Plumpets second brood 2012

Well Plumpet has had her second brood,

Last Monday actually and I thought I had better get her photos up as Crumpet will be hatching her brood tomorrow.
So Plumpet sat on 6 eggs like last time and like last time one didn't hatch, infertile most likely.
I got the 6 from a man round the corner who breeds rare chooks.
4 silver Campine and 2 Lavender Aracaunas.

So one of the campines didn't hatch. But then we had an accident. All my fault and I feel bad about it. A small gap was left in the Aframe house where plumpet was sitting. Between the nesting box and the run. One of the aracaunas fell into it and couldn't get out and died of exposure.
I had a brick against it last time but this time I forgot to check it. We worked so hard making sure it was mouse proof as last time we had some burrowing in under the edges to pinch the food and poop in everything. Not good for baby chooks!

So Plumpet has 4 babes and she is very proud and happy and looks more at ease and pleased than last time. Perhaps last time was her first time and now she is a veteran at chick rearing. Anyway she is very good at it.

So we clipped small holed avery mesh around the outside edges of the Aframe and banged it into the ground with tent pegs, it extend some 20cm out so creatures can't dig under.
Mind you she is also in the larger chook run with 1.8m high boundary fences to keep foxes out too. And like last time the older chooks can walk nearby and see the new babes and get used to them.
This is the Aframe house she is in. I won't recommend it as a regular chook house but for rearing little chicks it is quite good. Cost us $500 in 2005.
Being metal it doesn't harbour pests and can be hosed out when vacated. I have grown grass in there this time for Plumpet to share with her chicks. It doesn't come with perches so big chooks will sleep in the nesting box and shit over any eggs -not good! We made perches for it but the chooks didn't like them and still sat on the eggs. Chooks do most of their pooping at night and then lay in the morning on top of it.
No where to hang food hoppers and water bottles easily.
When we move it M and I get inside, one at each end, him at the heavy end and we push up with our shoulders and walk along with it on our backs. Must look hilarious, we always crack up when we move it cause we crash into stuff and look funny all hunched over. Anyway hopefully it will stay where it is for all time now as it is pegged to the ground.
Well the sun is shining and M wants to walk up the back in the sun, mind you the wind is blowing a gale, I hate wind!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Foxes don't kill chooks, complacency does!

Well you win some and you lose some. We have 4 new baby chicks to delight in, but the fox came last week and killed 2 of our older girls. Meggs and Amy Pond. (Coincidence that Amy Pond left Dr Who nearly the same day?!)
Yes we got complacent and went out to lunch and left the chooks behind a temporary fence on a grassy patch. They had happily been there for months and nothing happened, but I was always here. We left them alone and it came and killed two of our girls. It is amazing it didn't kill the rest but we must have come home and scared it off.
Funny, we went up to check on them and collect eggs about 2.30pm not long after we got home.
The 3 boss chooks came running to us and gathered round and chatted to us looking up, they were clearly agitated. We looked around for the rest and they were hiding under some bushes. Looking round further we discovered a grizzly body and then another in the garden. Heads gone and guts eaten.
So we have lost 5 hens to foxes in a year and gained 3 new hens from a March hatching and 4 tiny babies hatched on Monday and more coming on Tuesday.
So we keep the girls in the higher pen with 1.8m tall fences all round. They have access to lots of greens.
We have seen the fox running through the paddock next door, all this during the day! Trotting along, healthy red brown, with tail in the air on its way for some other unsuspecting chook.
When we see a fox or have an attack we ring our neighbour to warn her the fox is about, she texts other neighbours and we are all alerted. I just wish some one would shoot it.

There laying dropped of for a few days too, they were really upset.
Anyway here are some nice pictures to cheer us up. Some Azaleas from our garden being gorgeous.

I also have an amazing yellow evergreen Azalea which is not quite open yet. Give me a week or two. It is going to be amazing!

cheers for now