Today is the first day we've had sunshine for a week - typical spring weather, wild and windy! I now have 10 little Blue Andalusian chicks. Some are black and some grey/blue, but their colours may change. Here are 3 of Snowball's hatching, they are still in the guinea pig hutch.
The bantam chicks are about the same size although a week older - see their wing feathers?
Last night when I was feeding the chooks I found a beautiful blue surprise in the nesting box. I forgot that my hens hatch their young from 19 days, not 21! So here you have it the first of the Blue Andalusians. Next, I needed housing for them and hadn't been that organised. Derrick arrived home early and built a teepee shaped hutch, braced and all, from a desk top. This we manoeuvred into the enclosure and I filled it with hay. Two mums, 1 chick and 3 eggs later, all safely under cover and out of the rain. Plenty of hay to keep them warm.
This morning, more chicks, but it's raining really heavily so I'll look at shifting them later today.
This morning when I checked on the chickens the other 3 unhatched eggs had been tossed out of the nest - I have noticed that the mother's 'chest', which has no feathers over the incubation stage, is not so hot now. The chickens are doing fine and their wings feathers are starting to show and mum clucks around giving them food. The weather is not very warm so I don't think that they have been outside either. Fortunately there has been no sign of the rat, and I have laid another trap outside and under some wood (quite an ingenious trap too, I thought!). Another few more days before I can expect some action from the other clucky mums and their 'foreign' eggs - these are Blue Andulsian which I bought from TradeMe and are supposed to be fertile.
Yesterday I got to see my first chickens for the year. One of my younger black Bantam hens has been such a good mum and hatched 3 little bundles of down. There are still 3 eggs, so I'll have to wait another day to see if they are going to hatch. Unfortunately I've been battling with an unwelcome guest. Arat has been digging under the maternity unit and helping itself to the food. That is why this mother has been so good - she's had to contend with this blighter of a pest. I have carefully laid poison and traps, but to no avail. So today I tried another tact by jambing in stones and surrounding the unit with large pieces of wood - perhaps having it's holes unavailable may just divert it. I still have a trap and cake of poison out there and the other chooks can't get to it. One of these roosters is the father (father and son, here) and the chicken with the dark markings will look like one of these hens.
Today the All Blacks lost by 2 points to France in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal. There will be lots of stuff said in the media, just to rub salt into the wound, but from my point of view (biased I know), this team is THE BEST we have had for a long time. A few hours earlier Australia lost to England by 2 points - not that I would have liked England to win 'cause Australia is always our biggest rival. But the Aussies didn't even look like they had a game plan to stick to. No rolling mauls, poor passes and catches. And the English team has some very old players with of course Johnny Wilkinson, who anyone would think had made great inroads in the game - he's just a kicker and in this game he missed some 'easy' shots. He also takes the easiest option by kicking dropped goals instead of keeping the ball in play or kicking it towards the 5 metre line for a lineout. So France and England meet next weekend - go France! Tomorrow morning South Africa plays Fiji - my money's on South Africa (but I've been wrong twice already this weekend!), and then Argentina plays Scotland (Argentina for that game). This doesn't mean these are the teams I want winning. I'd be so happy if Fiji did win. So on with the rest of the day. I've shed a few tears and things have to be done now.
I've had the 'flu for over a week now and I'm exhausted from the coughing, sore diaphragm and lack of sleep - that's no fun when it's not the weekend. At least then I could prop myself up in the lounge, have the TV on and watch the Rugby World Cup! Yesterday I went to the Doctor because I thought I had an ear infection, but it's worse than that, I have a perforated eardrum - for goodness sakes! So today it's wet and cool outside, there'll be no catching vitamin D from spring sunshine. I'll make an effort to get dressed and do some work in the sewing room - well, there is more than enough to keep me busy for 6 months in there, and that's without starting new projects. I think that with the head full of mush it will just be little things that don't require too much thinking! Let's make this a better day and achieve something :-)