Thursday, 30 October 2008

I don't think I can take much more!

Lily is sitting on another egg! Luckily I had ordered some nest felts from eBay so I have popped one in under the lovely warm egg and hope that she does not mind too much my rearranging her living accommodation. I am still not convinced that this egg will hatch, it is November in a few days but the breeder seems to think it is still fine and he is the expert and me the mere novice. I have just watched Huffy eyeing the new nesting arrangements with great suspicion, it took him half a dozen goes before he would enter the cote but hopefully he will appreciate the new upgraded bedding. So now I have another 20 days of waiting and watching to see if we are to have babies this year or not. A second egg should be laid within a day or two and the countdown begins at that point.

Luckily the weather although cold is very dry and not overly windy so that should be a plus. On a negative note is the fact that a Peregrine Falcon has been lurking in the area and was seen yesterday swooping through the garden and right past the doo cote. Also a Buzzard had the audacity to perch on our fence post ignoring all of our neighbours suggestions that it leave!

We could yet have baby doos in residence for Christmas!

Saturday, 25 October 2008


If you have not already done so can I ask all my friends to take a look at the Gurkha website and sign the petition PLEASE

Many thanks Jill xx

Friday, 24 October 2008

No baby doos.

A few days ago the doves stopped sitting on the eggs and today Sam has removed the eggs and done a 'post mortem'. Both eggs had perfectly formed but very dead chicks in them so am not sure what went wrong or when. It is nice to see two doves out and about together again as after Hindoo left whoever was not babysitting was quite lonely. No more sightings of the bloody hawk so maybe, just maybe, Lily and Huffy will make it through the winter and have another go at making babies in the spring now we know they are fertile and seem to know what to do. We have had some wild weather and really cold nights so perhaps the doos knew that it was far too late in the season to be bringing up youngsters.

Everything else in the garden is rosy and the new girls continue to entertain at every opportunity. They are all laying every day, not very big eggs yet but lovely dark shelled orange yolked beauties. They seem convinced that Sam and I are roosters as every time we go into the run they crouch awaiting our attentions!

More gales expected tonight so I really have to get out and harvest the apples before they all fall off and get wasted. Just seen the weather for tomorrow and it appears it will be marginally worse than today, Oh Joy! The clocks change on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I wonder if anyone will tell the chickens

Monday, 20 October 2008

Doom and gloom and Bloody awful weather

Well, the eggs have not hatched although Lily and Huffy are still taking turns at sitting on them. I will give it till the end of the week and then remove the eggs before they rot. On a sadder note, it looks like Hindoo may also have gone the way of Bully, the hawk has been in the area for the past few days and now Hindoo is not around. Perhaps she has just gone away and got a bit disorientated in the very high winds and squally showers we are having but I think not. I suppose it was always a risk getting white doves while living in the countryside as we do. So no baby doos and no Hindoo.

The hens are coming along great though which is good news. Only got four of the eight laying regularly but pretty soon will be getting enough eggs to start selling, I am never going to make a profit but it is nice to get a few quid to go towards the feed.

If anyone wants to get me a really useful Christmas present I will be accepting 'Doo Vouchers' very gratefully, they are Blue/Purple in colour and are worth about £20! I will wait until the spring and after I persuade Herb to either build me a mini loft in a shed or a Fort Knox Mark 2 to home them in I will restock my flock.

I have actually started my Christmas shopping, trouble is the last time I did it so early I had either eaten, worn or played with all the presents and had to repeat the whole thing over at great cost!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

No news

I was hoping to be adding pictures of newly hatched baby doves but so far nothing at all. Lily is still on the nest and Huffy is taking his turn but it looks like they may be on infertile eggs, I have been trying to get a good look in but Lily remains firmly stuck over the top of the eggs.

I had the great fortune to win on the Lottery last week, not the main draw but on an online game and for a few days had £500 burning a hole in my pocket, I have bought a small HD camcorder with some of the cash and if and when we get baby doos I will attempt to add in a video of them.

I have yet to start picking the apples , they look great though and I think the Bramleys in particular are going to store very well. Not been foraging much of late either so no more blackberries or elderberries picked as yet. The weather has turned very autumnal with chilly mornings but nice bright skies, lots of berries on all the shrubs for the birds and if a harsh winter is hailed because of holly berries then batten down the hatches for the harshest of the harsh as the tree is laden.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Apples, chickens and Sparrows

No change here, the doves are still doing a text book incubation and changing over at 10 and 4.30. I think Lily gets to do the long night shift. Hindoo is still grey but getting gradually lighter as the days go by. No sign of Bully despite me walking the fields and putting up notices for the neighbours to keep an eye open for feathers. I spoke to the dove breeder who thinks that the doos should hatch no bother at all and he does not anticipate any problems at all. Any time after the 12th is our best estimate for hatching so fingers crossed.

We had our first ground frost of the year two days ago, I need to find some cloche covers to put over the Charlotte Potatoes I put in so that we can have new spuds at Christmas. I have also sown perpetual spinach and and about to plant some garlics that should be ready around June next year. Time to harvest the apples, the Bramleys are brilliant this year, about double the quantity we had last year and all good sizes and nearly blemish free. I cooked up an Apple Crumble to see if they were good and they were great!

The new hen integration has been a total success with no blood drawn and everyone very contented. Getting only two eggs a day at the moment so they are all being wormed for a week to try and up the production rate. Big Vera is moulting quite dramatically though which may account for her lack of eggs. The new girls are not yet laying, I think they may have bee younger than the farmer said they were. they are comical and fearless though and act like teenagers! Climbing on to the hen house roof, flying off and chasing butterflies and sparrows. The other day the three of them saw a sparrow swoop into the run so they ran after it heads looking upwards and all three ran right into the wire fence and ended up in a heap, it would have made a brilliant You've Been Framed Video and well worth £250.