coop’s diary update

The girls are lovely. Who would have thought that our hens would be talking to us? Because they do! They have a way of rubbing their beaks on our legs and there is no mistaking that, they are saying what have you got for me? And they are insisting like a young child would. If no treats appear, off they go looking for the next blade of grass or insect.

Or they are grooming us, picking on tiny seeds glued to our trousers and socks, hoping we’d get the message that they want to be mates with us. Sweet….

Nadette has been sitting on a bunch of eggs for 21 days now:  6 from the guineas and 2 from a neighbour’s hens. As we don’t know yet if there is a male among the guineas, we added some eggs from Dani’s coop. He has a large flock with a cockerel so the chances are they will produce some chicks…. I didn’t have the heart to let our little mate sit on sterile eggs for over 21 days. She is likely to stay on them longer as the guineas eggs take 27 days to hatch…if they do hatch that is!

I feed her in the morning in a jar lid that I squeeze in her nesting box and while she pecks at the seeds quite contentedly I stand completely still watching half a dozen of tiny mice come and check if there will be some left overs. I have never seen such minute little things and they are fascinating.

As for Queenie, she stayed on her 2 eggs for one day facing Nadette on the other side of the coop….and gave up the next morning.  Alison-Louise and Cinders didn’t even bother trying.

The guineas have settled in and not freaking out anymore when we feed them. They have been consistent with their couple of daily eggs, which makes us hope the 3rd guinea is a bloke and a few little ones will come out from under Nadette at the beginning of July. Their eggs are really weird though ( see picture): small with big differences in shapes and to the touch, with shells so hard to break, they must be made from the stone walls they are pecking at in their shed….It also happens that from time to time they make shelless ones so soft, we can hardly handle them safely without breaking them. They feel like deflated footballs.

Their house is nearly complete next to the chicken coop. The hens have been visiting it regularly for little chats sitting on the workmate or looking for food around our feet as we were working.

We should be able to move the guineas in their new gaff within a week and that’s exciting.

The fujia is in full flower and so are the spineless blackberry bushes! Our sea buckthorn berries are changing color, from pale yellow to bright orange, so early in the season, but always welcomed in our salads…. But the goji bushes are struggling. I don’t think they like our terrain and they are not doing well…

But with the amount of rain we’ve had lately everything is luscious and green and thriving. My lawn mower won’t be waiting much longer as for next week I am officially retired and ready to fully embrace what needs to be done here. The grass everywhere comes up to my shoulder and I don’t intend on cutting it all but just to maintain the paths would be good.

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