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Monday, November 23, 2009

A Tiny Thing

Teeny Tiny Egg
Teeny Tiny Egg

This is the tiniest egg I have ever seen. I can lay it sideways in the egg carton and it still sits on the bottom. I am looking forward to cracking it open and seeing if it has a yolk or not.

I admit that we just came out of a fortnight worth of hot weather and the girls didn't eat as much as usual. Elsie laid this little egg and she also has the excuse of being approximately a month younger than the other girls.

Now that it is cool again I hope we'll get a bit bigger eggs again. There isn't as much green about the yard either so we've bought them some sunflower, oats and linseed to suppliment their diet. What spoilt chickens!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heat Wave Over!

Waiting... for food?
No, you can't come inside!

The weather has finally subsided into Spring again and we have had light rain. What a relief!

I just walked into the laundry to grab the vaccum cleaner and there were all six girls sitting or standing on the steps. I had to grab the camera. I think they are so used to an afternoon siesta after 2 weeks of extreme heat that they don't know what to do with themselves today. Hazel is completely asleep... Gladys and Elsie are sitting and the other three are wandering back and forth.

Apricot Lily
Apricot Lily

We also have a beautiful lily flower that appeared in the pond this morning. There is another bud sticking up and a massive production of leaves so it is doing really well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Too Hot for Chickens!

Swimming in a Heat Wave
Swimming Time!

Spring time heat waves are not fun. I hope this means it will be a mild Summer because I am ready to head into Autumn right now! We're up to day 6 or 7 with temperatures up to 40°C with at least another week to go.

Hazel doesn't mind getting her feet wet and is standing in the bird bath water. They haven't worked out how to bath like the magpies, but a couple of the girls will get their feet wet on occassion, while they are spending most of the time burrowing into the dirt around the orange tree.

Their egg laying has dropped off to between 4 eggs on average and they are smaller as well. I would love to bring them all into the house where they could be in the cool airconditioning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stacks ON!

Stacks ON!
Stacks ON in the Nest Box

This is another photo from earlier in September. I went out one Saturday morning to check on the girls and discovered a line up into the nest box. As one hen finished laying the next would hop in, push the first out and settle in to lay. We had 6 eggs laid within about 20 minutes, and no-one had a chance to sit and admire her work afterwards.

I wanted to post this photo because I hear about a lot of people making extra nesting boxes and finding their girls still only use one or two of them. Usually I will come home and find all of the eggs in one box. The girls only seem to use the second box when the first one is already occupied. You don't need a box per hen because they share quite happily.

Usually our girls lay one at a time throughout the day so two nest boxes is more than enough, but provides choice and a second spot if needed. In the photo above, the girl at the bottom left is hurrying up the one at the top left who has just laid.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hot Chicks!

Hot Chick
Doris Panting

Poor darlings! I wish I could bring them all into the airconditioning. It is currently approaching 35°C but they have the freedom of the backyard and have been going from garden bed to garden bed as the sun moves across the yard. There is a lot of dust bathing going on today. I think it must help cool them down, or it is cooler in their little dirt holes.

At least they don't seem too worried so far, and this is just the beginning of our Summer heat. Their little wings are spread and their mouths are open, but they are moving around happily, come running when I go out to check on them and have plenty of water around the place.

Gladys stealing the best spot

Gladys looks like she is having an afternoon siesta. Look at those eyes closing in contentment! I agree darling. I am tired of Summer already too... bring on Autumn!