Sunday, 29 May 2011

On The Move Again!

I went to the clinic in St Brieuc last week and had a steroid injection into my spine, it didn't hurt a bit and the results are amazing!  I can move again!  I've been out walking with Nigel and the dogs every day since, I am aching a bit but that is just the muscles I haven't used for so long.  This morning it was quite damp and I did notice my hips hurting a bit but I'm going back to the clinic again on Tuesday for a CT scan on my hips and then back to the consultant in a couple of weeks time to discuss the results.  I'm feeling really positive about it all, it is just so wonderful not to be in such constant pain and to be able to move about fairly freely.

Goslings

Here are what looks like to be "This year's goslings".  The female is still sitting on the nest but nothing has hatched so it seems it will be the same as last year in that she will sit and sit until all the eggs under her are broken or gone bad and then she will just get up and leave them, so next year we will definitely incubate all our goose eggs ourselves and not leave them for the geese to sit on.  You definitely learn from experience.  These two are gorgeous though and we are going to rear them ourselves and not give them to the adult geese to look after.  Difficult to tell at the moment but they both look as if they might have grey feathers, which could mean they are females, we are hoping for males though as they are for the table and need to be bigger.

Other Duck News


On a brighter note, after losing the ducks on Friday, we do have 4 ducklings in the brooders in the barn.  This chappy on the left is the little one I fell in love with before, he/she is no longer little, in fact he/she has grown huge and is almost as big as a gosling so it is obviously more Rouen Clair than Appleyard Saxony, lets hope it turns out to be a female!   He/she is in the big brooder along with another little duckling which is about half its size and our two new goslings. 

In the small brooder are the two little ducklings below, they are very small so they are obviously Appleyard Saxonys, they are also very nervous for some reason and on the journey up to the barn they tried to jump out of the bag I was carrying them in. 
 
We also have 20 duck eggs in the incubator so we are keeping
everything crossed we get a good hatch rate out of them, we need a new male duck to replace Fred.

SAD NEWS

This Friday just gone was definitely not a good Friday, it was a very sad, bad Friday, we got FOXED!  That is to say we had a fox attack and lost a chicken, Fred the big male duck and two of the female ducks and one of the other ducks is injured and we are not sure if it will make it.  That leaves us with just three female ducks (thankfully Wilma the big Rouen Clair is safe).  Its just heartbreaking to lose so many birds in one swoop.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

New Little Duckling

Here's our newest hatchling, it hatched a couple of days early so its been all on its own.  We have another duckling and a gosling hatching at the moment in the incubator so it shouldn't be alone for too much longer.  This one is such a cutey though, Nigel keeps telling me not to get too attached but you can't help it, it's the eyes, they seem to look right into you.  I haven't given it a name though and once it goes up to the brooder in the barn it will just be another duck to be fattened up.  It will be interesting to see how big it grows, its father is obviously Fred who is a huge Rouen Clair duck and from its colouring it looks as if its mother was Sylvie, one of the Appleyard Saxony ducks.

Monday, 9 May 2011

NEW BLOG

I've started a new blog called www.totalhilaritycrafting.blogspot.com which as the title suggests is going to be about crafting.  It will mainly be about my designing and cardmaking for Craftsuprint.com but I will also post about my other craft hobbies on their as well which will leave this blog for posts about our day to day lives (Nigel's, mine and the animals') in Brittany.  Please don't forget I still need your clicks on my Craftsuprint button!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Ducks Move Up To Barn

  The ducks have moved up to live in the barn, albeit temporarily until we get the bottom field fenced in so they can roam the whole field (they had eaten everything in their fenced off pen down there).  They seem to be so happy and dont seem to be missing the pond at all (they have these two kiddies pools to bathe in anyway).  They have so much greenery to eat, so much space to roam around in and a lovely big pen to go into at night (they go in on their own good as gold).  They must be happy as all the females are now laying eggs regularly.  We have 10 duck eggs in the incubator which are due to start hatching towards the end of this week (fingers crossed!) and I've been using them to make cakes.  If we get a        decent hatch rate we could even start advertising fertile duck eggs for sale.

Its really amusing to see their little "runs" up in the top field where they move about and flatten the grass down.  They have even ventured out of the field, down the bank and steps into the bottom field.  It was so funny the other day, Pataud was out in the garden barking his head off, he was so insistent as if there was someone there that I went out to see and he was just letting us know the ducks were down.  They go back up into the field on their own good as gold when given a little shoo.  I think they know where they are well off and wont go far but it does go to show we need to fence the bottom field in properly or they could go venturing off onto the road.

Very Sad News About Goslings

Sadly the three little goslings didn't survive being looked after by the adult geese, nature can be very cruel sometimes.  We have decided to move the brooder out of the geese's compound and we are going to raise the next batch of goslings (which hopefully should start hatching in the incubator later this week) until they are old enough and strong enough to fend for themselves.  There seems to be increased activity around the goose's nest at the moment and this morning both female geese seemed to be sitting together (they normally take it in turns), we dont know if this was just a "handover" session or if they have eggs about to hatch, the timing would indeed be right if that was the case.  Nigel is getting ready to slip his hand in through the fence (risky, very risky!) and pinch any goslings that hatch out from under them.  This of course will depend on the hatch rate from the eggs in the incubator, if we get a good batch of gozzies out of the incubator the adult geese can keep their hatchlings to try and raise themselves, but if we dont get many we dont feel we can take this risk again.  So hopefully before long we should have some more photos of goslings.  Got to keep trying, these goslings are going to be raised and fattened up for Christmas Goose!