Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tina the Chicken

Tina has been sitting on 2 geese eggs for the last 10 days, after she went psychopathically broody and we had nothing else to put her on. However, after candling there was nothing doing so we have bought some hatching chicken eggs for her to sit on instead. We bought 6 buff Orpington and 4 rhodebar. She was not in the least bit bothered by the swap so fingers crossed.

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Goose Egg Incubation Goes Scientific

We are getting bored/frustrated/sad by the number of attempts we’ve had over the last year with hatching eggs that have been unsuccessful. But, having done a fair amount of research, we have concluded that is indeed highly likely to the user rather than the tools that is the problem. Chicken eggs appear to be relatively straightforward, especially with a auto turning incubator, but goose eggs need a bit more care than just sticking them in and hoping for the best.

For example, there is a bit of an issue with temperature in that because the eggs are big, the temperature can vary more across the eggs than with chicken eggs. We’ve got one thermometer at the top of the incubator, but we’ve now got another at the bottom, which is also a humidity meter. There are varying reports about exactly what these should all read but we’ve decided to try the following:

Top thermometer 38.4c
Bottom thermometer 37.2c
Humidity 30-40% until day 18 (needs more research though) when it will go up to 65%

We have 6 goose eggs and we have weighed them all and cleaned them best we can without getting them too wet, as this apparently can increase bacterial infections.

We are expecting the eggs to evenly lose 14-17% in weight evenly across the incubation period, s we’ll weight them daily and see how it goes.

The incubator will be turned 3 times a day with the eggs being fully turned by hand once a day until day 25ish.

We’ll also record the following every day:

Temperature of both thermometers and the humidity meter in the morning and evening
The weight of each egg in the evening before the manual turn.

Ok so it’s not mega scientific but a bit better hopefully than chucking them in and hoping for the best, which clearly doesn’t work…


Snakes on a Plane (or in a compost heap)

Excellent news, the grass snakes that live in our compost heaps are back! We have no idea if they lived there all winter or not (2 of the 4 have been completely left all winter) but there they were in a pile basking in the sun today on top of a heap. 3 of them in all. And even better, our 8yr old niece and 6yr old nephew were here to see them. I think they were impressed 🙂


Soay super snaps

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A few nights ago a man with a very large camera knocked on our door. He turned out to be a friend of Paul’s who pops by periodically to keep an eye on the little owls on our plot. Adey stayed for a few hours and got a feel for the patterns of our little featured friends, but popped back at the weekend when the light was better. He took these fantastic shots of our Soays as well. I love the fact that these pictures show off such a lot of details on our beautiful boys.

He also got this great owl shot which really shows what striking little beasts these owls are.

Thanks Adey for the shots! It’s so great to be able to host these fab birds and fantastic photographers.

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Pallet Shed Finale

The pallet shed is almost complete. I have finished the windows and doors. It took about 30 mins to ‘move in’ and as you can see from the pictures it is very popular. We plan to use it as a summer house and a place to store all of our outdoor cooking stuff. This will mean that on sunny days we can pottle out onto the plot for the day, and in winter we can duck in for a cup of tea.

🙂

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Weather June

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We have been lucky enough to have two fantastic weekends of weather since we got back from holiday. It is early June and the day looks set to be perfect. It makes its so much easier to keep on top of things when the weather plays ball according to the seasons. There is no doubt that small holding in the winter is hard work, and a labour of love; we need the summer to be resonable or it can seem like an endurance test. Yesterday the day was beautiful and hot, and today looks set to be even better. Becs is having to mow the grass each weekend, but from memory that slows down by mid June.