Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Chickies Have Landed

We took a trip out to the western edge of Sydney today and came back with some new friends for our remaining chook, Lizzie. Annie, our White Leghorn, had been in declining health for some time and finally died two weeks ago.

These chicks are about five days old, and you can see their feathers are already growing in. Three are Rhode Island Reds; the others are Australorps. The latter are a distinct breed descended from the Black Orpington and other breeds, sturdy backyard birds known as great layers (250 eggs per year). The Rhode Island Red lays about 200 eggs per year and is also a hardy bird.

A the moment, they like to spend a fair bit of time in the feed bowl. One of the Rhodies seems very dominant, pecking all the others.

The Sprig is thrilled about the chicks and has taken charge of them. The Twig is on crutches after a soccer injury and can't do much at the moment.

Now for a moan abut the weather. This has been the Year Without a Summer as far as we are concerned, with only one beach trip taken during the entire summer holidays. We have had rain, rain, and more rain, including a thunderstorm today. Even though the kids are back at school, normally a precise sign of sunny days, only one day could be called swimming weather, and gardening has been near impossible on my waterlogged clay soil. Corn and bean seeds have just rotted, and I haven't had a single tomato! Woe is me!

Month Mean Rainfall Actual Rainfall Mean Rain Days Actual Rain Days
December 2011 68.2 133.2 7.2 12
January 2012 90.8 159.2 8.2 12
February 2012 106.4 83.4 (so far)
8.1 7 (so far)

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