Tuesday 21st June - Quail diary (and tortoise update)
Again, slacking on the quail news. So, what news. All is very happy in the quailarium at the moment. We are getting between 8 and 11 eggs daily, there doesn't seem to be any bullying from the chaps, the girls all look very prim and proper with hardly any neck feathers missing and they are all in tip top health. This batch of birdies, unlike the lot that the fox set free over winter, just adore lettuce leaves, which is great as I do have quite an abundance of lettuce on the allotment as I am hoping to grow a constant supply to supplement the tortoises hunger and the guinea pigs taste buds. I throw in a few leaves in the morning and they descend on them like a pack of hungry wolves. I just wish the kids were as keen on their greens. We have had one cull so far, so from 16 birds in the quailarium to 15. It was a chap, a very, very noisy chap. The neighbours don't really complain about the noise, but the lady next door but one did mention that she could hear one even when her windows weren't open. Of course, when I suggested that hubby do the business and make the noisy bugger oven ready, there was shock and consternation. Welcome to the world of animal husbandry. As I keep explaining to people, I adore my birds, but they aren't pets, and thus I personally don't name them. The gals provide lovely eggs, and the boys are delicious gently roasted with some allotment veg.
As for our hatchery department, today is day 0 on the incubator and these are our own 7 eggs from our own gals, not bought in eggs, or given eggs. Fingers crossed. The Bobwhites were a failure. Just one chick and it is THE most skittish, insane, mad and crazy chick in the world, ever. But you don't know these things until you try. Just gotta hope it's a girl.
The fox proofing seems to have done the trick and the furry tailed fiend hasn't been seen for a couple of weeks. Mind you, the people round the corner have hens now so maybe he has bigger fish to fry....
Tortoise news for those who know. Tom and Bertha are doing great. Tom badgers and shags poor old Bertha regularly. However, we have dotted around various obstacles and there are lots of mature shrubs that she gets in and he can't find her so she can have a peaceful sleep. Travis, our tropical boy (or girl, the vet has never been sure) lives happily with the couple and they all put themselves to bed every night, all cuddled up in their wooden penthouse. They have a feeding board so they can all clearly see the fresh food which is out in the full sun so they can eat and bask and generally behave like teenagers and sleep, eat and shit just where they stand. The three of them are eating me out of house and home and I come home most days from work with a bucket full of mixed weeds from peoples gardens. I also gather lots from the allotment for them. In the autumn, the apples will fall from the trees...I wonder if they will scoff them? Tom is still a toe biter, and Bertha drew blood on number one son's finger when he was hand feeding her. But they are great and I love them all. I am such an old hippy at heart. :)