Tuesday, 4 August 2009

On tenterhooks

It's 20 days since the first eggs were put in the incubator which means, if we're lucky, they should be hatching tomorrow!

We stopped those 4 turning on Sunday, and the other 4 yesterday. I bought a special brooder - looks like a diving bell - which will be their home for their first two weeks, and we've got it all ready. Everything was moved from the kitchen table to my study, as we'll need to keep the cats away from the hatchlings and can't see how else to safely do it.

I miss having the incubator on the kitchen table, but I don't miss the hourly chimes as it turned the eggs.

I've got a 20 kilo sack of chick crumbs under the stairs. I don't know what possessed me to ask Graham at Paws 'n' Claws (http://www.pawsandclawsonline.co.uk/) to deliver a 20kg sack od chick food when a 5kg sack would have been more than ample. Never mind. The Garden Girls - and the Dorkings for that matter - can have some as a porridgey treat. For the next few months. Or so. I have a vacuum sealer, I might vacuum pack some to help it keep fresh.

I also have a 20kg sack of Growers pellets under the stairs, but they will get eaten. And a 20kg sack of Organic Mixed Corn. And the Ash Pan where I store wood ash to make the dust baths. And two mountain bikes. It's a big space, which is just as well under the circumstances.

Now that the Garden Girls have started moulting, I've been giving them poultry spice each day, in some yoghurt. They love yoghurt. They get it everywhere, all over their beaks, their combs, their wattles. If I'm passing, they shale their yoghurty heads and get it over me as well.

If I leave the empty bowls down, when I go past they rush to the bowls and start pecking frantically. I guess it's the chickeny equivalent of a cat staring at it's empty dish. It's a bit disconcerting, to be honest.

Well, that's all for now. I'll let you know as soon as the chicks start hatching!

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