Thursday, 29 July 2010

Chicken shed

That title reminds me of the film called Chicken Run where all the hens are trying to escape! I am hoping that our new chicken shed and runs are going to be escape-proof so that I don't have to keep chasing chickens around the garden. The new shed is nearly finished so I will plan to take some photos tomorrow - I am really pleased with it. The FH has been working really hard on it lately and it is all coming together at last. I had to do some digging today in one of the new runs, and it was hard work, but it will be worth it when all the hens are moving in and I can enjoy watching them scratching and dust bathing in the dirt that I have dug for them.

This afternoon we headed over to the big city and saw our old neighbour, her son and her mother, in the new flat they have moved to. We miss them dreadfully here, and it was lovely to go to see the new place that they are renting now. Her mother is over from Cyprus for a couple of weeks in the summer holiday, and she kindly brought the FH a real sponge from Cyprus to use for his art. He was thrilled that she had remembered! The girls spent some time with the little boy, playing on his Wii, whilst the adults were chatting. It was good to know that they are safe and well, and living in a secure place.

I am being tormented tonight by the sound of cheeping still coming from the white incubator - there really shouldn't still be anything viable in there, but I left it on for a couple of days after the last hatch as I usually do, just in case! The cheeping started this afternoon, just after we got back, and so perhaps there will be another chick in the morning. I reset the blue incubator with another 25 eggs last night.

Before I set the eggs, I tried to dowse them! I had never done it before on eggs - the FH can successfully dowse for water, but it was a new thing to us to try it on eggs. I held my wedding ring suspended from a piece of cotton, over each egg in turn. Some made the ring go around and around, and some made it swing back and forth. Apparently, the first are male and the second are female, so we have marked each egg with the sex we believe that the chick could be, and when they hatch, we will have to try to get them so that we know which chick came out of which egg so that we can put different coloured rings on their legs, and then when the sex is distinguishable, we will know whether it works!! The YFG had a go at some of them and mostly got the same sexes that I had achieved, so she was excited, too. This could be very important for us in the long run if it turns out to be reliable, as it will save us hatching too many cockerels. I read about it on the internet from someone who had had 88% right one year when he tried it. That is pretty good going, I thought!

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