Just five days to go until hatching!
We have been absolutely flat out working in the garden. We levelled and prepared the left hand side and it’s near enough complete now. The veg plot is in place and just needs filling with soil, we made a long planting box to separate the two parts of garden and we’ve laid slate chippings on the walkway parts.
The planting box is made so that plastic boxes slot into it, our vision is that these will be loaded with colourful flowers. It’s nice that all the wooden stuff we’re building has been 100% recycled from the deck, including the screws.
When I ordered the slate chippings I also got a pallet of 72 aggregate blocks to build the new chicken coop and run with. There will be two courses of bricks and then timber and weldmesh for the rest. I’ve also bought a used cement mixer that I found locally.
Belle is broody!
Something I never imagined has happened. Belle is broody! She’s been behaving differently for a while and this explains it! She manages to pull the eggs up in the roll-away nest box and sit on them. We’re occasionally finding broken eggs still and I think this is because she’s dropping them are accidentally breaking them when trying to pull them up.
I’ve been moving her out of the nest box every opportunity, which is quite difficult due to the current setup. Tonight I made her a nest in a plastic box inside the coop, complete with rubber eggs, ideally we want the main nest box free for Star and Zazu to lay their eggs and stop Belle messing with them.
I blocked off the roll-away nest box and put her in the plastic box but she got straight back out and went in the run. When I checked back 10 minutes later, the plastic box was tipped over and she was sat on the floor in the coop on the rubber eggs!
So instead I just poured the wood shavings out of the plastic box and made her a nest in the corner of the coop and put her on top of the eggs, she seems to be staying there. I’ve removed the perch that’s normally there to give her some room.
Working in darkness I unblocked the roll-away nest box so that Zazu can get in to lay her egg in the morning, she’s always the first.
Snowy the Silkie hen and the duckling eggs
Meanwhile, Snowy is doing a great job on her real duckling eggs in the other coop, I candled them tonight and they all look good and there’s visible movement! Only 5 more days to wait to see what happens!
In readiness I have ordered some duckling crumbs feed, I called Allen & Page to check on the Niacin (B3) content as it wasn’t listed in the ingredients on their website, the helpful lady confirmed the amounts per KG and it was exactly what I was looking for. This is the vitamin that ducklings need more of and last time we had to supplement the feed with Brewers Yeast and I later added Nettex Vit Boost+ to the water – to resolve the weak leg issues we spotted. That was because we were feeding them chick crumbs which have less Niacin in them.
I also filled the coop and run with loads of wood shavings so there’s no slippy floors with gaps that the ducklings would struggle with.
I also put a piece of wood against the step up to the coop and covered that with wood shavings so there’s now a ramp leading in and out of the coop. It’s all duckling ready!
Our nestbox that I put up in one of the trees in the front garden also seems to have residents! We noticed a pair of Great Tits seemingly building a nest in there a month or so ago but then it went quiet. On Saturday I noticed they were in and out bringing food back so I suspect there’s little chicks in there!
It’s non stop here at the moment with so many plans, but I can’t help but feel it might be the calm before the storm?!Comments 4 comments