Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Maternity Ward.

The white hen is sitting tight on 6 "silky" eggs which are due to hatch at the end of next week. She is in a rearing house close up by our house to reduce the risk if fox attack.

One brown hen has been settled in another rearing house and I have just given her 6 Call duck eggs.

Both of these clutches were purchased on E Bay and have travelled through the post so fertility is a gamble. The first 6 miniature call duck eggs I purchased this year spent 4 weeks in the incubator but only one reached hatching stage and died before breaking out of the shell. Probably just as well as it had a deformed beak.

Meanwhile 2 other brown hens are in reserve sitting on snooker balls in the hen house and our only duck (a female duck is confusingly a duck whilst a male duck is a drake!) has 2 eggs left in her nest. I removed something like 50 eggs this spring as I cannot allow the duck flock to grow. These ducks were a mistake as I purchased "Appleyards" in stead of Call ducks. They look the same but Appleyards are twice the size and are reluctant to fly so are easily caught by the foxes.

Random placing of the automatic camera shows that the foxes go everywhere around and in the garden at any time of the day or night.

I played a BBC (Tweet of the day) recording of a Garden Warbler to our visiting bird and he seemed very interested but it was not a scientific test and he might have been just as interested in the narrator!

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