Monday, October 29, 2018

Dust bathing

The chooks dig holes in the dirt anywhere they find a nice dry spot to bathe in. They writhe and wriggle around, it's quite comical to watch. Chickens use a dust bath to absorb excess oil and moisture and prevent parasites such as lice and mites from taking hold in their feathers and legs. This pair found the remnants of a bonfire in our front paddock and thought the ashes would do very nicely as a dust bath, thank you.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Warming the bones

The flannelette sheets are gone from the bed. We're wearing fewer layers of clothing - no more "double pants", as we call it when you wear tights or thermals under your trousers. No more puffy jackets. The sunny days have been perfect for getting outdoors. We've had to start watering in the garden again, which I kind of enjoy doing in the longer evenings after dinner. Yesterday, we were able to tick a job off the list that required a dry and sunny weekend: staining the chook shed to protect the wood from the elements.

Every single one of our young fruit trees has flowered this year: the quince, the medlar, the plums, the peach, the cherries, apples, pears and even the apricot tree that we've had no luck at all with so far.

 And best of all - the warmer weather is perfect for a beer in the garden with the dogs at the end of a day of getting stuff done. Hard to beat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Oktoberfest 2018

Another Oktober, another fest at our place. Cases of German beer, pretzels from the Brezel Backerei in Sandy Bay, bratwurst and weisswurst from Ziggy's, home made cucumber salad, braised red cabbage and apricot streuselkuchen with cream, of course. Friends brought delicious potato salad and sauerkraut, and gorgeous individual apple strudels. So many of my favourite things in one day! This year, we were blessed with perfect spring weather. We invited everyone to get into the spirit with Bavarian costumes and it was brilliant to see the effort people went to. Too much fun! And even the preparation and clean up was fun, thanks to friends from Sydney who stayed the weekend and helped with everything. When you can't be at the real thing in Munich, this sure comes a close second.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Fairy egg

One morning last week I checked the nest box in the chook shed when I went to let the girls out for the day, and found a teeny tiny little egg in the straw. It looks like a classic brown speckled Barnevelder egg, only smaller than a quail egg! Turned to Google and discovered it's a common occurrence called a "fairy egg", or its less attractive name, a "fart egg". When young pullets first start laying, their first few eggs are often small, but not this small... apparently, it's due to some kind of disturbance in the hen's reproductive system, disruption to their normal routine or stress.