In Which The Little Fluffballs Arrive

The chicks have finished hatching and, as I expected, 8 out of the 9 hatched. The first one was a little fasty. It pipped at the wrong end of the the egg but made it out by itself towards the end of Day 20. Most of the chicks hatched later on Day 21 or on Day 22. Then there was the slow one. One of the Tiggywinkle chicks was very slow after pipping and finally came out on Day 23, but with curled toes. I’m learning that if it gets to Day 23 they’re really not going to be good quality chicks, which means they’re not going to make good quality breeding or laying adults. I know how to fix a chick with curled toes, but a slow and curly-toed chick is not one that I want to use for breeding or grow on to sell to someone else. So, I did what I hate to do and now we have 7 chicks: 5 Frodo babies and 2 Tiggywinkle babies. Two of Frodo’s are blue and the other chicks are black. They’re all getting on well in the brooder and we get to watch them grow. Having cute wee fluffballs to look at and hold is a beautiful thing.

Hatch day also marked three weeks since Andrew, the black rooster, was taken out of the pen for culling. One week after that, it is highly likely that the hens will have gotten all aspects of Andrew out of their bodies. In two or three weeks all reproductive evidence of Timmy Tiptoes should be gone. Then I can collect eggs to hatch from blue Chippee Hackee.

Chippee Hackee knows he’s a handsome boy.

A sudden development was the discovery that the blue Jemima girl isn’t actually a girl. He has rooster feathers coming through on his back and neck. He had me fooled for a while there! So no blue girl from that lot then. Ah well, I suppose he can be Chippee Hackee’s understudy. It will be interesting to compare them actually, as Chippee Hackee is Darrington’s son out of Jemima and this one is Andrew’s son out of Jemima. I would expect Andrew’s son to turn out better, unless he has Andrew’s high tail.

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The ‘new’ blue Jemima boy, 11 weeks old.

I am excited to report the presence of little apricot fruits on the apricot tree. The tree has really been thriving since I planted it two years ago. Now, I wonder if the chickens will keep the birds away from the fruit when it ripens? We also have little plums and peaches growing and flowers on the apple and pear trees.

The old dwarf pear tree is in bloom.

Before all the sickness, I did some clearing out and organising, starting in The Little Fulla’s room after he went on a frisky rampage, pulling out all manner of things from drawers and strewing them around the room. Little pieces of Lego were dotted all through baby clothes, blankets, books and storage boxes. He wasn’t laughing anymore when he had to help clean up every last piece. But it did make me hurry up and get those stored baby clothes out of his room. Now he has toys in the underbed drawers and the baby clothes are in storage containers in the Craft Room, which is the catch-all in the midst of my decluttering. I also sorted out part of the linen cupboard.

I was doing well with the progression of my spice shelf on the kitchen wall. I did a coat of primer, then bought a tin of my chosen paint colour. I did one coat on the spice shelf and wall behind it, since we’ll paint the whole wall that colour. Once it dried it looked darker and more yellowish than I had expected. I was feeling a bit annoyed with myself for my apparent gap in judgement between the testpot patches I had painted around the house and this result. While I pondered what to do for a few days, I suddenly looked at the testpot and realised I had bought the wrong colour. The testpot for the wall was Eighth Canterbury Clay and the one for the trim work was Quarter Villa White. These apparently got merged in my head and I bought a 2L tin of Quarter Canterbury Clay. Oops! Well, at least my judgement is still intact. I think.

Anyway, there were some imperfections in the wall that really needed to be filled in, so I did that. And then things got a bit busy and sickly so it has sat there waiting to be sanded for a little while. We bought a new tin of the correct paint colour, so after the patches have been sanded back we can test out my judgement again…


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