Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Baby animals everywhere I turn

29th April

The first of our goslings was born this morning. We deliberately took most of the eggs off the geese this year so when they started sitting they weren't on many eggs. Of course it's more complicated than that, as there are currently 4+ nests on the go and the white geese seem happy to share eggs and nests. Anyway, for a while yet entering the stables will be a rather tricky manoeuvre.

30th April
Victory to me!!!I managed to get all the lawns mowed. This Herculean task is most satisfying when it goes well, but at this time of year it'll need doing again in a few days time. Fortunately the geese help with some of it, though they do make a bit of a mess sometimes.
The turkey chicks have started to hatch right on time. We'll give it a day to allow all the chicks to escape their little calcium caccoons before moving mum and chicks to the safety of a stable. This will protect them from the mishaps (getting lost, falling into ponds, encounters with angry geese... the possible list goes on and on), the elements and the unwelcome attentions of predators.

Meanwhile the first Ixworth chicks we hatched are now two weeks old and doing well.

In the evening I meandered through the young woodland I planted when we moved here. I was searching for self-seeded hawthorns. These little plants are amazing, avoiding the ravages of rabbits and hares and refusing to be outcompeted by the swards of grass. They are filling in the spaces nicely. This is natural succession happening right here. In all I managed to find and mark over 60 saplings!

1st May
And so into May. Today we returned to the Green Back Yard in Peterborough for the first of a three day basket-making course. The weather was gorgeous and I could have got plenty done back on the farm but occasionally it is important to have a bit of time out so the farm work never becomes a chore. I'd forgotten everything I ever knew about basket weaving but fortunately some of it came back to me. Progress was slow as Renee's attention was richly in demand, but by the end of a few hours I had completed the base, put in the side rods and started coming up the sides. I brought some willow home with me to do some homework ready for next weekend.

When we got home we decided it was time to move the turkey hen and her new family. While I gently picked her up, Sue scooped up all the babies - 11 in all! One egg had been dislodged from the nest halfway through incubation and one egg hadn't yet hatched. Apart from that we had 100% success. (The unhatched egg chick never did make it out of he shell, but when I opened it up there was a fully grown chick inside). Such a shame that Terry was not around to cherish his new family.
All settled well into the stable I'd reserved for them.

Unfortunately for Rameses our bottle-fed lamb this meant that there was no longer to be a stable for him at night.
The two ewes had been letting him into the shed with them during the day so I was confident he would be warm and protected at night.

Continuing with the baby animals theme, the gosling had its first excursion outside. This single yellow ball of fluff had a security entourage of three white geese. The other two have stayed on their nests.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely reading about all your baby animals! Turkey chicks are very cute! Please post progress photos of your basket weaving too! Take care, Emma


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