Spring is around the corner, my friends! I know this because my hens have announced it. They are very clever that way. This is their announcement:
This little girl has been sitting on 8 guinea fowl eggs for the last week. She sits in a box in the donkey’s pen, which might not be the best place for little fluffbutts to be running around in. In my experience, it is very hard to move the nest of a broody hen, so I will just wait until the keets hatch and them move everyone to a safer location. How cute, the first chicks of the year are on the way!
Although these ones might hatch before the guinea keets:
Another little quail hen has made a nest and sits on 10 eggs. Bless!! The eggs take only 17 days to hatch to 28 days for the guinea fowl, so they will probably be the first! 💚💚💚
I have no idea what the ducks are up to. They seem to be so very frightened of the donkey that all egg-laying has ceased. Some of the muscovy girls have returned, but not all. I was so grateful to see Katya, our oldest muscovy female, back again, but she flies in and out as she pleases now and I am worried she is nesting somewhere outside. We have tried to find the nesting site but have not succeeded…
Tiltan is still adorable and feisty. I have figured her out now – it’s really very simple: she will go wherever you want, as long as you are in possession of the most desirable food. If there is better food somewhere else, then forget it. We might have to accept that this is how her mind works! 🙂
But if the food is all finished, then sure, she’ll walk with me wherever I want, stop when I ask, turn around… I have started grooming her, which she shrank away from at first but now minds less, and I am trying to teach her to stand tied to a tree. This does not work as well as I had hoped yet. When I tie her, she starts pulling with all her weight until the halter slips off. Darn it. The only way I can make her stand still long enough to be tied and groomed, is to give her a bowl of rabbit food, which she LOVES.
I have also started trying to lift her feet and pick her hooves. Extreme caution is necessary because understandably, she does NOT like people touching her legs – in the past, people have tied her feet together with straw twine, which left four neat scars circling each sensitive ankle.
The first time I touched her front leg, she struck out with her hind leg, but didn’t touch me. It was a warning. The left leg seemed more sensitive than the right, so I tried again with the right. I was able to lift that foot and then gave it right back to her. In time, she accepted lifting the left foot as well. I can now lift and pick both front hooves. They are so light and small! Not like a big horse’s hoof! 🙂
The hind feet are harder, and I am kind of wary. When I touch one of her hind legs, she strikes out. Not forward, but backward, which tells me she isn’t trying to hit me, only warn me. Caution and patience, I guess!! And swallowing my discomfort! What’s the worst thing she can do to me? Oh, that’s right – fracture my kneecaps. Oh well.
She’s a sweetie anyway! 😀