Thursday, 28 June 2018

Dozens of Ducklings.

Saturday 23rd June 2018
A big day today. 170 Ducklings arriving!

Before that, the lambs needed worming and moving down to the main paddocks, where they disappeared in the long grass.
One benefit of the constant dry weather is that mowing the lawns becomes a much less onerous task. It only took a couple of hours today to do the whole lot. Job done.

Still the day passed quickly and at 3pm the ducklings arrived in three poultry crates in the back of a car. Making the arrangements to get them here had been a bit tricky, especially when we had to delay everything because of the winter bird flu restrictions.

The plan was that we would be keeping 16 for ourselves, mostly for meat but maybe keeping a couple of females to join us more permanently and bolster our duck egg production. The rest were to be picked up by other smallholders from Fenland Smallholders Club. I was making no profit from these, just organising it for the benefit of the club.

It was novel having 170 ducklings in the stable for a while. They were completely comical.  They were hungry and thirsty!

It was lovely to welcome a string of other smallholders to the smallholding too.
Once all the ducklings had been picked up, we actually had 20  left. I expect you had already counted that there were 174 and not 170!

With all the excitement over, we headed over into Northamptonshire for a bat and moth night. We got to use bat detectors for the first time, which brought glimpses of bats to life. Then we headed along the dark tracks of the woodland to meet up with some mothers (pronounced with an "o" and not an "u"). Unbelievably it was the first time I had seen a moth trap in action. The moths were intriguing and I could have spent much longer here but I did not know my way out of the woods! I can definitely see myself doing more of this in the future.
A big bonus was finding lots of glow-worms. I had completely forgotten they had been mentioned as a possibility when I spotted a faint glow from deep within the vegetation by the path. Everybody else had walked past it. About 30 yards further on I found another, then other people started finding them. The best was one which just sat on the path affording the opportunity to see the creature itself and not just the glow from its bum (technical entomological term). They look like a giant ladybird larva.

We were back on the farm at about 1am. I poked my head in on the ducks which were all huddled together in a pile.

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