Thursday, 26 October 2017

Tears before bedtime

My brother, who was babysitting his granddaughter,  brought her over to say hello on Tuesday.  AL was overjoyed to find that Small Person was here.  Small Person taught AL a ballet step some time ago,  and we had promised that SP would  teach her some more.

Before the learning though,  there was going out to see the chooks.  Not with me, but with SP. When they came back in, I said "oooh, I think I have a little present for you",  and I rushed upstairs to get it. 

When I was buying bedding for Small Person and the Twins, I'd seen some ballet bedding which I knew little AL would love. 

I handed it to her - and when she saw the design, she was so excited.  She read all the words, her eyes glowed, she showed her granddad.

I was pleased I'd bought it.

Small Person took her away to teach her some dance steps,  and later they performed for us.  Lovely.

We ate some cake, which had been baking in the oven when they arrived,  and then it was time to go.
AL wouldn't say goodbye and, at first, I thought she was doing that (annoying) child thing of 'going all shy'.

Then there were tears. Not angry, sulky, tears;  just tears.

I think AL had a lovely time, and didn't want it to end.

Bless her.

Forgotten to take pics

I actually did some sewing, and I forgot to take pics!

I made Small Person some leggings,  in a bigger size.   She picked the fabric from my stash.  They look quite good, although - as usual -  I'll be surprised if they last more than a couple of washes.  Mind you, the first wearable pair I made her some months ago are still going (she wore them yesterday in fact), just looking a little...short.

I don't like doing the encased elastic waistband, so next time I might try chopping the waist down and putting on some of the extra wide supersoft elastic I bought recently.  I used it on her circle skirt, and it worked well.  

I went to the extra effort of making a cardboard template this time.  Because these are a bit big for her (her choice!),  I know this pattern will last for a while - and cutting round tailor's card is a bit easier than laying out and cutting round tracing vellum.   Besides,  having a template hanging in my collection reminds me of an achievement.

I also managed to embroider a (bought) tee shirt for her.   She loves Game of Thrones,  and I did a Direwolf and the Stark motto.  Too late I realised she's probably more of a Targaryen.

I think I've made her 3 pairs of leggings now and 1 circle skirt.   I've also embroidered 2 (?) tops.

I don't think I've photographed any of the wearable stuff I've made her.

Sunday, 22 October 2017


Collected Small Person from her drama and singing class yesterday afternoon.    Got home, and we started on dinner - Gulasch with Spätzle.  I showed her how to peel and slice red onions, and she used a proper kitchen knife to do it.  I was using shin of beef, which required a long, slow cook, and I explained why.  I'm not sure she retained the info, but you never know.

Once the Gulasch was in the slow cooker, we started on the dough for the spätzle.  She asked if she could eat some raw (she has a thing about raw flour-milk-egg batter), and I said no.   After 15 minutes or so of the food mixer beating the dough,  it had changed to a very sticky and glossy mass of stuff. She ate a small piece. (shudder).

Last time we made spätzle, we used the bottom of a colander to make the noodles.  It was tedious, alhough the resulting noodles were delicious.  After last time,  I looked online to see what ricers could also be used for spätzle, and was a bit put off by the price. And the size.  It wouldn't be something I'd use for anything else.  In the end, I went for the cheap option of buying a metal plate thing, which fits over a saucepan lid.  The recipe I was following said that this would result in shorter stubbier noodles, but these were perfectly acceptable.

It took ages to make the noodles - mainly because I'd made such a large quantity of 'dough'.  Every few seconds, I'd stop spreading,  scoop out the cooked noodles into SP#' waiting colander.  Then I'd go back to spreading dough, and she dropped the cooked noodles into cold water.

SP wasn't impressed when I started to complain about getting cramp in my hand, so she decided to have a go herself.  I held the plate for her, and she worked the dough across it.  She quickly realised it was harder than it looked.

The tray thing actually worked quite well. It was similar to the colander, but the holes were bigger and there were more of them.  The edge is also shaped so it sits securely on top of a saucepan of water.    I'd be tempted to get a ricer-type thing now, but I'd need to see one in action to assure myself that it would be easier overall.

When all the spätzle were cooked and cooled,  I drained them and rolled them in some butter. The bowl then went in the fridge until we were ready.

Rice Krispy cakes next.

When the Gulasch was ready,  I fried the spätzle in butter to heat them upk adding a good grinding of pepper.      They were lovely!  We ate loads.  There was no Gulasch left but I froze the gravy to use another day with toad in the hole.  I also laid most of the remaining noodles on a tray and froze them,  popping them into a bag when done.  I can then just hoik a few out when we fancy them.    I also kept some unfrozen in the fridge to use in the next few days.

This is the spätzle recipe I followed,  I found the pictures really helpful in making sure my dough was beaten propely

Friday, 20 October 2017


We've been busy trying to get the summerhouse ready to be a suitable sleeping place for 2 of the grandchildren for 1 night next week.  Their parents are staying too and, because they will use the guest bedroom (my sewing room), this means the kids get to sleep in the summerhouse.  

Following their last overnight stay, we've been trying to make it better for them. We'd already bought a much better heater,  and we'd put up a curtain pole.

I hadn't actually got round to getting curtains to put on the pole  mainly because I don't really want curtains in the summerhouse.    However, now that they are definitely coming, I went to Ikea to buy some inexpensive, ring top,  curtains.  DH hung them up today so I could measure and mark for adjusting.  I adjusted the length straight away, a quick and dirty turn up job.

I bought 2 pairs, but I decided to only use 1.  They cover the windows perfectly well, and it's not as if they are in our living room and need a double-width drape.   They look fine, and will do the job.   And they will be easy to remove and put away afterwards.  

I'd also already bought some "gro" blinds, which they can stick on the other window. I really don't want to have to put a curtain pole up on the second side as well

I also bought them each their own personal duvet cover, hopefully with designs they will each like.  I've washed them ready.

DH has emptied a load of stuff out of the summerhouse (some folding chairs,  the pumpkins,  that sort of thing) and I'll give it another look over after the weekend to see if we can make some more space, and make it cosy.

They don't like the noise the fridge freezer makes.  I can't move that, unfortunately... but I though I'd fill it with drinks and snacks for them.  If they can see a use for it,  they might not mind too much.

While I was shopping for suitable duvet covers for them,  I saw a great horsey one for Small Person.  I was surprised to find that it comes in a king sized version, so I bought that.  That is also washed, and is on the guest bed now, ready for SP's overnighter tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my sewing table (aka our kitchen table) is piled high with stuff.  I've got some stuff to Ebay (have to pay for the duvet covers somehow, lol!),  and some stuff to sort.

My lovely DIL keeps her home immaculate. 

I'm going to need to have a major clean and tidy before they get here.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Fingers crossed

DH has gone to see his Mum.  It'll be a bit stressful for his poor arm, but needs must.

I took the opportunity to go to Ikea.   Needed some curtains for the summerhouse before next week.

Also taking the opportuniy to air the house.  Windows open in all rooms,  it's flipping cold, but it needs it.    DH really feels the cold, so it's easier to do it when he's not around.

DH range me late afternoon.  He'd found his mum in a bit of distress when her arrived.   He sorted her out, took her shopping to get some essentials, and she's feeling much happier now.

He took her a new phone.  She doesn't use the contacts or redial button on hers, always keying phone numbers in manually.  As she often loses (puts them in a drawer and can't remember which one) the large cards I sent her with numbers on,  she sometimes can't phone when she wants to.   This new one, by Doro, has 4 clearly labelled buttons on and nothing else.   We're hoping she'll find it easier (although it does mean she can only phone the 4 numbers that we have programmed,  which is both a good and a bad thing). 

He put her Sim in the new phone last night and tested it,  and he'll be giving her the new phone today.  I hope it works OK.

Monday, 16 October 2017

It's been a domesticated day so far.

I put the oven gloves  in to a much needed Biotex soak.  We have  Coolskin gloves and gauntlets,   superb oven gloves, but they get really mucky really quickly.   One pair is black and just looks tatty; the other, newer actually, pair is a cream colour and they look... well, they look disgusting.      They were so bad I was going to throw them away.

Instead, I dumped all four goves into some biotex, and now they are in the washing machine.   I'll see how they come out before deciding what to do with them. I don't hold out much hope for the cream coloured pair.

I had a new pair,   a cheap knock-off version, stuffed in a drawer, so I got those out.  I sewed some hang up loops (chuckling to myself as I sews the loops - properly folded to the centre and then folded again) and attached them with Kam snaps.       These knock-off versions have studs on both sides, which is great as it doesn't matter whether you're left or right handed.    

I made some bread.  That's not unusual, we make bread several times a week.  I made a millet loaf, which I haven't done for a while,  and I'm looking forward to eating it.  The cheap gloves worked on that.

I picked apples.  We have several apple trees.  This particular one has had large delicious looking fruit on for ages,  but each time I test them to see if they're ready for picking, they've not wanted to come off the tree.  Today one did, and it was lovely.   Fearing we'd lose them in the promised storm, I picked all the ones that wanted to come off.   

Fruit juice was my immediate intention,  as I munched through a second apple.  And then I fancied something else.  Maybe a cake?  Ot a tart?   DH will only eat cooked apples if they are mushy,  and dessert apples don't really work that way.   I'm sure I used to make a fab apple cake recipe, but I can't find it.    I've been through loads of cookbooks.

I also dug out the small maslin pan,  bought a couple of years ago but never used. Quince jelly.    I cleared and cleaned the kitchen,   and then started to cut the quinces.  Rotten. All of them.   That will teach me to leave it so late.  The maslin pan is still sitting on the hob.  I'm vaguely considering going to see if the local crabapple tree has any fruit.......

We also put some stuff in the loft,  which enabled me us to clear some of the stuff in the kitchen.  It's still looking a mess,  I just hope I can get it respectable enough before DDIL comes to visit.  Her house is always immaculate.

The daylight is looking very strange at the moment, as if someone has put an arty film type filter over the lens.   It's like someone has taken the sky away,  the grey-whiteness is so uniform that it looks like an absence of sky.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Gnashing of teeth

My Dentist asked me if I ground my teeth.   I told her I didn't grind them in my sleep, but I did grit them a lot.   She suggested I try and stop - I've started to cause cracks in the enamel of my teeth.

I've since been very aware of just how much I do grit them.  When I'm cross. Frustrated.  Irritated.  Stopping myself saying things. 

Gritting has been an effective way of me manageing and releasing emtional pressure.  It's like the release valve on a pressure cooker.

I know this, because not being able to grit them means it's much harder for me to let things go, to let them pass over my head.     Today I found myself mentally screaming.  

[For clarity, I wasn't actually screaming.  I was screaming in my head.]

Despite making no sound, it was deafening.  I felt like I was a child having a tantrum.

My husband, who had inadvertently caused me to start screaming,  had no idea.  He carried on talking to me,  and the screaming got louder.

Later, when I'd got myself under control, I found my jaw was aching.  I've had it ache occasionally when I've had to grit my teeth for an extended period,  but this is the first time I've had it ache from me trying so hard not to grit them.

I need to find another way to manage.

Hot Air

Windy weather is forecast for the next couple of days.  Looking out of the window, with the kitchen door wide open to air the house,  it seems unbelievable.

It's warm, pleasant, sunny.

I've cleaned out the coops, including scrubbing the roosting bars,  and topped up the feeders.    I've cast any eye round the garden and I can see lots of items that have been put down 'temporarily' and have been left there for ages.   I can see lots of things that are going to get blown around if the wind does come.

I'm planning to go out and clear loads of them up. In a minute. Or two.

I took some quick photos of the chooks to send to Small Person.  She messages me most days asking about each chook in turn.

Sasha is moulting a bit at a time.  Her new neck feather shafts are through, and she'll have new feathers shortly

Poppy's bald head is starting to look a little spiky

Fleur went for the all-at-once moult.  Her new feathers are coming through, but she's still looking scrappy.  She's looking better every day

 Bertie's curly middle  tail feather is definitely coming through:


The wool mattress topper promises many things.
These sumptuous wool mattress toppers are the best in helping achive a great nights sleep as they add approximately 4cm of added comfort to your bed and many people find this very comfortable.  Whilst our wool mattress toppers cannot take the place of a good mattress, they will certainly give an added softness to a firm mattress and relieve pressure points.  
These wool mattress toppers have also shown to be succesful in dispersing the heat that some mattresses can radiate back up to the body as the topper spreads the heat before it penetrates a heat reflecting mattress.
Each topper is individually handcrafted by our seamstresses in England using natural materials to create a high quality product.
The wool mattress topper is filled with our sustainable, platinum British wool (approx 1000gsm) and encased in 100% soft cotton.  This cotton casing is woven especially for Devon Duvets to support the breathability of the dense wool and is brushed on both sides to create a soft feel and a higher resistance to sliding on the mattress.
Broad elastic straps are fastened to each corner of the wool mattress topper, providing a flexibility for differing depths of mattress.
The unique natural properties of wool resist dust mites and can help to relieve the symptoms of allergies or asthma.  Wool is also naturally breathable, helping to keep warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer and is therefore perfect for all seasons.
Our Toppers are easy to care for, turn regularly on the bed and use both sides.  To keep fresh, simply hang outside to air.
It was pretty much what I was expecting.   A bit like a duvet, with straps on the corners.  It felt soft and fluffy, smelt wonderfully of the lavender that was included with it.  The craftswomanship is evident.

We looked at it, and tried to work out exactly how to do this.   Should we take off the superking cover that held the mattresses together?  Probably not.  How would the mattresses stay together if we did that?

OK, so we put it on top of the mattress cover. And then put a fitted sheet on top.   There had been a promo code for half price bedding with the purchase of the cover, and I'd bought a 400 count Egyptian Cotton sheet.   We put that on.

To me, it looked horribly untitdy.  It looked like my worst nightmare of what a mattress topper would be like.   It looked like we had  some crappy mattress with a bit of padding stuffed under the sheet.  To be fair, I suppose that's what it is.

I suspect that it's a homely look that many would find comforting and charming.  I don't.  I think it reminds me of a particularly horrible old bed I had as a child, and that might be why I have such a strong anti reaction to it.

DH usually hates it if the fitted sheet gets wrinkled and isn't taut,  so I could see this was going to be a disaster. 

We went to bed.

DH loves it.  In fact, he's slept really well since we put it on, and he's commented a few times on just how comfortable it is.

It was comfortable to sleep on and, more importantly,  I couldn't hear the mattress crinkling.  At all.  Bliss!

I've slept reasonably well, but I'm aching a little bit. I don't know if that I'm not getting the 'benefit' of sleeping on the gel now, or maybe its just coincidence and I've been a bit squished up using my tablet while sitting on the sofa.

The topper has stayed in place.  The the new sheet has moulded itself to to the contours of the lengthwise quilting lines on the topper.   Without the duvet on,  the bed looks like a really badly made sandwich.

It may be that it'll work better with my not-so-expensive John Lewis fitted sheet, and I'll try that in a couple of days and see.    f that fails, I expect I can run something under the mattess to pull he middle of the sheet more taut.

I am wondering if I should have got the extra wide topper. I didn't get that because I could not imagine how the corner straps would work in that case. 

I might email them and ask them.  Just out of interest.


3 years ago we bought a new mattress to replace our 8 year old support mattress bought from a specialist back shop.   We went back to the same shop, and tried all their mattresses.  The Tempur and other memory foam type ones are hopeless for me,  too hot, too difficult to get out of. 

They used their little device to scan to see which mattress gave our spines the best support,  and suggested 2.

We picked a gel mattress from a company called Technogel.   It was marketed as being cool (great,  I was bound to be going through the menopause at some stage), and it felt supportive and comfortable. It was a lot of money,  but it was guaranteed for 20 years, we assumed we'd keep it for 10, and the price per day wasn't so scary.

When it arrived I was surprised to find they sent two single mattresses with a superking zip up cover to keep them together.  I queried this with the shop and they told me that was how the superking mattresses came for this brand.  I was dubious, fearing an unncomfortable ridge down the middle.

It was fine.  It was really comfortable.  It was cool when I got in to bed each night,  but that didn't last. SOme nights I was very very warm.   I realised that the gel might well take a bit of heat away, but at some point the gel would warm up,  so the cooling claims were a bit rubbish really.     It was still comfortable. All was well for probably a year, maybe  18 months.

And then.

I realised that I could hear 'crinkling' in parts of the mattress.   The area that 'crinkled' graduallygrew and, from a noise perspective, it sounded like I was sleeping with crumpled polythene underneath my sheet.   Eventually, it covered a large part of the mattress. 

When I realised just how far it had spread,  I contacted the company I bought it from. I sent a video so they could see and hear the crinkling.   There was correspondence between them and the manufacturer, and me and them.  They sent someone from whoever-theindpendent-body is, to inspect the mattress. He turned up on a Saturday morning, with instructions to 'cut the mattress'.

I was horrified. Cut the mattress?  Wouldn't the gel leak out?

He examined the mattresses.  He said he assumed they meant cut the stockingette cover off the mattress.  The problem with that is that once the cover was cut, it couldn't be put back on.  There wasn't a seam which we could cut and then re-sew.  Once it was cut, it was cut.

How would that work then? If they said there wasn't a problem with the mattress,  I'd have lost one layer of protection between me and the gel.   He tried phoning the manufacturer for advice.  It was a Saturday. so he didn't have any luck getting hold of anyone.

The inspector said I could refuse to have it done, and he'd understand that.  So that's what I did.

I waited a few weeks for them to work out what to do.    Then DH had his accident, and everything slipped by.    The mattress got noisier,  and the whole of the surface was now affected.   When I got into bed, all I could hear was the rustling and the crinkling.  If I turned over,  the sound - in the silence of the night - was disturbin. 

When normality started to return, and DH stopped having restless nights,  I realised that the noise was waking me up when I turned over.   I contacted the shop again to ask what was happening.  . They checked with the manufacturer and came  back to say it was customer misuse, and the warranty had been voided.  I asked for an explanation,  and it turned out that on the other side of the bed there was a stain,  and any stain (water, tea, bodily fluids, didn't matter what) was classed as misuse and therefore invalidated the warranty.

I asked how that worked when we actually had 2 mattresses,  and the problem was on my mattress, which wasn't stained.  The shop have gone back to the manufacturer,  so we'll see what they say.

I've read up a lot about mattress guarantees, and I now know just how worthless they are.

DH said we should just buy a new one (although obviously we wouldn't touch TECHNOGEL with a barge pole now).  I'm reluctant to do that though,  because it's just so difficult to be sure that the mattress we get will actually be comfortable.   I've seen the ads for the relatively cheap 'try for 100 days' mattressess,  but I've also read just how those guarantees aren't quite what they seem.

Maybe we should go for a cheap mattress and replace it every 18 months.

In an attempt to do something to help in the short term,  I bought a wool mattress topper from Devon Duvets.     I already have a wool duvet (soooo much better than feather or synthetic),  so I read about their toppers and decided to give one a try.

It arrived a few days ago.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Good intentions

Pong has dtsrted to escape the paddock, and follow Bertie around the garden.   The Big Girls are up in wings that the young upstart female is free when they are not.

So, we decided to replace the netting.  For chicks we use inexpensive black netting, with 1 inch squares - too small for a chick to get through.  The dosnside of it is that it doesn't behave very well. and the bottom tends to curl.   Now that Pong is actively seeking escape routes, this netting just isn't working.

DH toolk down all the netting and strimmed everywhere.   I attempted to move the mega-long house and run (it's about 4m),   I wanted to turn it 90 degrees as well, so it was a bit like trying to turn an oil tanker in a space that's only a bit wider than the oil tanker.  Not that I've ever turned an oil tanker.

Eventually I resorted to brute force and lifted the back up and moved it, and then I went and hefted the front round too.    I raked the ground to remove tale food,  dead bits of grass, and goodness knows what else. 

They now have an enlarged area,  which encompasses an additional bed. Theyre having a whale of a time excavating it.

Later in the day, the new cover I'd ordered arrived.  It's clear plastic, designed for use on a market stall.   I wanted to be able to cover the top and one whole side of the mega run.    It was packed tightly, and I'd lost the will to undo it all after abpit 5 minutes.  

I got there in the end, it fitted well... and then I realised my mistake.   If I cover one side completely, I can't open the door.    I should, of course, have gone for smaller covers to enable me to fold up different parts.

Oh well.  Coulda Woulda Shoulda.

I might have a go at cutting a door opening, sewing some sort of edge on to stop it tearing. In my minds eye I can see the little bit rolled up like an awning......  

I expect I'll be glad that I bought it, when we get some more horrible weather.

I've rinsed the two green shades I'd previously had a long the top.  I'll put them away when they are dry.


Monday, 9 October 2017

Crazy babies

I was whiling away some time on my laptop when I heard a kerfuffle and a lot of squealing. 

I dashed outside to find that Pong was in the Big Girls' paddock and was being pecked soundly by Fleur.

I leant over the netting and managed to grab her and get her out. She lay quietly in my arms, no struggling.  I stroked her, offered her some sunflower seeds (which she ignored), and then I put her in the Baby paddock. 

 I was a bit confused as to how she had managed to get in to the big paddock (BGP). Nothing was open.  She might have managed to go under somewhere,  but why would she even try?  I decided to see if the CCTV had caught what happened.

It had.

She climbed on to the back of the bench, facing the opposite way to the BGP.   Then she took off,  turning 180 degrees as she did so, and flew out of the baby paddock, across the path, and landed in the middle of the BGP. 

Impressive.  And stupid.

Hopefully she won't be doing that again.

Later I heard Wash trying - and failing - to get in through the cat flap.  Fearing that the batteries might have died, I went to let  him in.

It wasn't Wash..

It was Bertie.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Through the Ringer

I've given in and put rings on the two Dorking girls.   I can't tell them apart, even when they are standing next to each other.

I know that one is very dominant, and will not let the other eat at the same time.

I know one likes to shadow Bertie, but I don't know if it is the dominant girl or the shy girl.

I know one is more squawky than the other, but I don't know whether she is the dominant girl or the shy girl.

 I'll know soon enough.

I put a ring on Bertie as well.  He doesn't need one, but I know that rings sometimes attract interest and peckiness,  so I thought it might be a good idea for them all to have one.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Alzheimer confusion

My darling Mother In Law (DMIL) is gradually losing vocab, in addition to getting confused.

We had the incident of her needing apparatus to do the number puzzles we had sent. I had sent her another large format word search book (Not a number book),  and two boxes of pencils, wich had erasers on the top.  [   I'm not sure whether the missing apparatus was the pencils or whether she hadn't realised that the oencils have erasers on the top.  She'd asked for erasers because she'd got into the habit of obliterating the letters completely when she found a word...which meant she couldn't see those letters any more when searching for other words.

She now refers to the home as "Work" or "the Office".    So, she'll tell us about things that happened at work today,   or that the office has been rearranged.      It doesn't matter, we know what she means. 

We don't correct her, there's no point.

She gets upset that her daughter doesn't visit.  Except, of course,  my SIL does visit.     In today's phone call,  DH was explaining that his sister had been to visit at the weekend. This was strongly denied.   "She brought you a television",  DH continued.     

DMIL was adamant that she doesn't have a television.

She does, of course.  SIL and her hubby installed it at the weekend.


Yesterday I was out and about in a tee shirt.

I was thinking, as I walked down to the Allotment, that it was very Indian Summer-ish.   I stopped walking and stood with mu face turned towards the sun for a moment or two,. Then I restarted walking, feeling a bit foolish.

Only two eggs out of 12 hens,  and almost everyone at some stage of moult or other.  Some of the girls looked really dishevelled and tatty,  and there was a bit of squabbling going on

I mucked out the shed,  fed the Girls their extras, and walked back to the car.

At home, I spent sometime getting Ping and Pong to stand on the treadle and open the feeder.  Bertie kept bargin in to steal the treats.

Later, without the sunshine, I needed a jumper.

This morning was also balmy.  Amd ow, this afternoon,  it's cold. Really quite cold.  So cold that I think I might have to light a fire. Or put the heating on.  Or both.

It's also a bit windy. Bertie,  who has escaped yet again,  is wandering around with his feathers billowing out.      Ping and Pong are squabbling,  one of them is definitely dominating the other - I saw access to the feeder being refused today.   I'll keep an eye on it and put a second feeder in if necessary,  but I hope it isn't needed.

I moved the extraordinarily long run today.   Although there are only 3 birds, they have created some weaknesses in the lawn and are busy exploiting those weaknesses.   Parts of the lawn are looking very sad, and I suspect that it'll be a mess until next Spring now.   Not much I can do about it, apart from moving the 3 youngsters down to the allotment.   I'm reluctant to do that just  yet, partly because I've ony just forked out for run extensions!

At least I can go out occasionally and not feel guilty for locking them in their run. 

Well, not too guilty.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Moulting madness

Around 10 of the Allotmenteers are moulting.  They are all looking very dishevelled and very sorry for themselves.  I've been giving them extra protein each time I go down to see them.     The egg laying is down 1 or 2 eggs a day, not surprising given just how man of them are busy losing their feathers or growing new ones.

At home,  3 of the 5 are moulting.  Fleur, who decided to drop most of her feathers at once, is at last showing regrowth.    Poppy, who I thought had finished,  has suddently started moulting on the top of her head.   Sasha has just started moulting, and is losing her tail feathers and her saddle feathers.     Gloria and Fay are currently not moulting - as far as I can tell.

Today Fleur astounded me by trying to jump on my arm.  Well, she wasn't really trying to jump on my arm... what she was actually trying to do was imitate the three girls who fly up (landing on my outstretched arm) and get rewarded with a treat.  I've tried to train Fleur to do it, but she just doesn't understand.  If I try and stand her on my arm (which is how I taught Sasha),  she panics.

But today,  her feet left the ground and her wings flapped, as she jumped in the air.  She had no concept of actually aiming for my arm, she had no idea what she was doing really.   I gave her a treat each time she did it.     Whenher feathers are through, and she's not feeling so uncomfortable, I might try training her again.

The Youngsters are having none of it. Ping just about comes and eats out of my hand,  but that's it.     Even Bertie has stopped flying up when asked,  although I'm hoping this is because he's got some new feather growth coming through.    

I've started adding layers pellets to their feed today.  Not a huge amount, I'm not in a rush to get them switched over.  I emptied out their feeder and replaced it with fresh feed, and thought I@d just mix in some layers while I was at it.