Easter at Twiglet Homestead

Belated Happy Easter to one and all! Things have been all go here at Twiglet Homestead. Easter was a flurry of family time and catching up on housework, tasks and projects that had fallen behind in order to get the big Cedar Chicken Pen project completed; all wrapped up in a bundle of soggy ground. I managed to make hot cross buns. The first batch were what I like to call rock cross buns thanks to an overheated proving session in the oven, but the second batch were large and tasty. Somehow I even managed to make my own Easter eggs for the first time. They weren’t perfect specimens but they were tasty.

The hot cross buns didn’t last long around here.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on around here. It rained A LOT. Ground got very soggy. The Father and The Little Brother-in-law helped out with outdoor tasks. Lots of family visits. I’ve been doing small projects and bits all around garden: weeding, cleaning up vege garden, pruning, selective mowing… Ground is still soggy in places but sun is shining. The Husband hurt his back again. I finally cut my hair after 4 months. Mr Bingley got sour crop. I was about to help Mr Bingley throw up when The Husband arrived home and threw up on lawn. Weirdness level: high. I’m not sure if PB, purebred chick, is a boy or girl now. His/her nutheaded hatch mate, Mr Collins, is surely a boy. Mary, daughter of Mr Bingley and the late Legolas, started laying. Even more of a difficult layer than Jane. Laid first egg in woodshed after sneaking around wire. Repeated attempts to fence/block off woodshed resulted in much hoo-ha and grand finale of Mary on garage roof. Mary finally went in coop to lay. Drama queen Lydia started singing egg song VERY loudly outside and inside coop in Mary’s face until she was removed from the scene. Must make compost bins so The Little Fulla stops pilfering rotten feijoas from the compost heap. Knitting slippers for The Little Fulla. Need to harvest more feijoas, figs and walnuts. Need to make Vege Plan for next season. Need to finish pruning fruit trees while sun is shining. Need to properly close off woodshed from chicken access. Need to write comprehensive list of all things that need doing…

DSCF0688 ed
Mary is shy, subordinate and agile – all signs point to a nutty layer.
Mr Collins (left) is a boy, or I’ll eat my hat, But PB doesn’t look as boyish anymore. What are you going to be, PB?

Also, The Husband got curious and bought some scales. My giant pumpkin weighed 42kg!

9 thoughts on “Easter at Twiglet Homestead

  1. Oh man! You weren’t joking about PB! I can’t tell you, one way or the other. I raised 6 Australorps last spring and of them, two were roosters. One was Black Jack, whose wattles and comb were HUGE from 5 weeks on. The other one, though, had much smaller comb/wattles for a very long time. He had all the attitude of a little cockerel, so I never doubted him, but some of my Australorp girls had bigger combs/wattles than he did! This breed is just tricky.

    I can sympathize with your nutty layer girls. Two of my Australorps and two of my Orps are neurotic weirdos when it comes to laying eggs. They go to the coop to the right place, but they make such a fuss about it. Checking out every nest. Complaining about something in every one of them. Even if they are empty and ready for use! I think it is a breed thing with them, being cousins and all.

    So Mr. Bingley and your husband were sick on the same day? That is weird!

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    1. Haha yes, I’m starting to feel like I might have a ‘Max’ situation on my hands. Oh, the waiting! I suppose at least it might be helpful for future figurings.

      Yup, Australorps are weirdo layers! Laying is very dramatic. One must make loud noises when getting ready to lay. If someone else is already in the coop, one must pace around outside making loud exclamations. One MUST NOT settle for a nestbox other than the one that the other hen is in, unless one has been pacing and exclaiming for a long time and things are getting dire. It is fully acceptable to search for alternative laying locations to the coop if there is another hen in there. If other hen who has ‘your’ nestbox does not listen to your exclamations you may enter the coop and make loud exclamations in front of them to make them hurry up. It is important to rearrange the bedding in the coop and in the nestboxes, especially with regards to cleanliness. When you get your nestbox, you may glare at and scold any other hen who comes into the coop. They must not have your nestbox. When you have finished laying you must announce your achievement loudly, with more pacing between the coop and the pen.
      That is fairly standard for most of my hens, although Lydia is usually the only one who will go into the coop to shout in other hens’ faces haha. Thankfully, Mary has settled into laying in the coop now, but she was an absolute nutter for a few days because she was too scared to go in the coop and lay, even when no-one else was in there and I had a couple of fake eggs in there. I was worried I was going to lose her when she got up on the roofs.

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      1. And you wonder to yourself why they do crazy stuff like that!!!

        Here, I will share this, as the keeper of Australoprs you will appreciate this picture:

        When you click the link, you will notice that there is a little black head peaking out from under that Rhode Island Red. No, Amy did NOT hatch a full grown child! That would be Cinderella, my second biggest hen. She decided that she NEEDED thebox Amy was already in, and forced her way UNDERNEATH Amy, so that when I peeked in to see what the squawking was about, they were BOTH trying to still sit there.

        I moved Amy and gave her a new spot. Fun times with neurotic Australorp hens!

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        1. Haha that is so extreme! I don’t think any of mine would attempt that. If things have gotten to the ‘dire’ stage of laying the second hen will settle for a nestbox two or three boxes away from the other hen. It’s like people using a public toilet – if someone else is in a cubicle you choose one that puts you at least one empty cubicle away from the other person, if possible. 😉

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          1. Mine don’t seem to have that concept. They have certain nests they prefer and if another hen is there, it takes an act of God to get them to choose a different nest. That is to say, I will remove the 2nd hen by force and show her a new nest. Cinderella? Well. I’ve never actually had one go under the existing hen. Usually they try to crowd them out by sitting on top of side by side. Cindy is just extreme! The crazy thing is – over half my nest boxes were empty! She didn’t need to be so weird about it!

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          2. Haha that’s funny. Your Australorps are very tenacious. Mine have privacy issues. Although, mine are starting to realise they have to compromise with so many laying now. One day, three of them managed to lay at the same time, all in a different nestbox. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. There was a lot of noise and dramatics before that. Today, Kitty laid her first wee egg! 🙂

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          3. Congrats to Kitty on the egg! I actually have lost 2 layers in the last week… because two have decided to go broody. I’m getting ready to make a post about it, but I’ll tell you, it’s Pavelle and Rapunzel. Rapunzel is one of my Buff Orps. And Pav is well, Pav. 😉

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