The ducks are still only laying one or two eggs a day. The chickens maybe six on a good day. This is quite natural. The winter is their time for rest.

Of course you and I were not sure if the ducks took a break – all the material I read told me that Khaki Campbell’s laid all year round but maybe that was in warmer areas. The cold definitely affects the laying.

The chickens all gather at the door at lunchtime waiting to go out. But once faced with the snow – they decide to stay inside and watch the outside instead.

Our days are a lot milder when you compare them to the nasty week last month when the polar vortex temperatures crept overhead just wintry now but with these odd spikes in temperature.

In ONE day I file my last assignment for my certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

In TWO days I am attending an organic grain growers conference – actually I have been asked to sign on one of the discussion panels to discuss the management of the land.

In FOUR days I take the train up to Chicago for a meeting.

And in EIGHT days I fly home to New Zealand.

But today I will bring Molly out from the boar across the way and take Poppy over there. Manu will have a wife swap. I hope Molly is pregnant because it is time for her to come home.

Molly will hang out with Sheila until I get back from New Zealand. I will put fresh straw into the root cellar in case she chooses to sleep in there. Molly and Sheila are not as friendly with each other as Poppy and Sheila.

Do you remember?

Poppy and Sheila go way back. These two pictures are from when Poppy was a baby. I bought her as a very sick unwanted runt in April 2014. Once she was well Aunty Sheila took over her care. Do you remember?

It was very rare to have a big gilt who has never had piglets take on a little piggie.

They were so sweet together.

I hope you have a good day!


28 Comments on “LAYERS

  1. 2014? I have been here that long? I remember the day of her arrival on the blog. Time is flying past.

  2. Hmm, I think I was directed to your blog in 2014, and it immediately became a part of each day. But somehow I always thought of Molly and Poppy as sisters, not sure why. You really have a busy schedule ahead.. but best is to complete your course for teaching ESL, Is there an exam to be written?

  3. Good luck with the exam and presentation. I’m glad to some time afterwards to get ready for NZ.

    • My little bag is already open on the floor. Waiting for me to throw stuff at it- then the day before I leave I take everything back from the bag and whittle it down to the necessities.

  4. I switched egg farmers at the market recently. My lovely Polish egg lady went home after a row with her farmer over time off for a wedding, so I no longer feel any loyalty to that stall. I noticed the free range sausage stall selling huge free range chicken eggs at a lower price and they all turned out to be double yolkers (and consistently so over the last month). He says he’s got a thousand chicken but only 100 are laying, so far this year. I’ve had this before, from a different chicken farmer, but sadly he retired about 10 years ago.

    • Yes – it is the time on year for the fowl to rest. 10% laying sounds about right.
      But so many double yolkers. Hmm. I have always thought it was the extra protein when I start them up again. Why does your farmer think there are so many double yolkers. I guess you are closer to spring over there?

      • Apparently it’s supposed to be common in young chicken coming in to lay, though I suspect some chicken may be genetically predisposed to double yolks. I just noticed that M&S sell guaranteed free range double yolkers – at a much higher price than the farmer!

            • Double yolkers are usually pretty easy to pick out from the rest, but as you said they’re part of the early egg-laying cycle, and balancing out; but, as Celi pointed out, not normal at all. Breeding for double production would obviously wear out the hens at twice their normal reproductive lifetime. Once again, just because “we” can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Greed, pure and simple:/

              • That should’ve said *twice the rate of their norm…* as in cut their usefulness in half (at the very least). It can’t be comfortable for a hen to pass these eggs – the shells are often wrinkled from the strain of their passing – I would consider breeding for this trait as pure cruelty.

  5. When my cousin and her husband were going on vacation, she’d lay the open suitcase on the floor just like you. Her Doberman would quick get her toys and drop them in the suitcase. Broke my heart to hear it because the dog wasn’t going with.

  6. I remember you used to call Charlotte and Sheila the Shush Sisters. I am not sure why but the picture of all the chickens hanging out together sort of reminds me of the orphanage scene in Oliver Twist. The chickens are likely both fatter and happier. Good luck for your last assignment and enjoy the rest. Laura

  7. Hi, Ceci! We’re sifting through the chicken catalogues now to put in our order for the March/April chicks. Always an exciting time! Love my baby chicks and love to watch their personalities develop so I can name them. Ours are for eggs only – us, our daughters, a few neighbors and friends.. We in turn, are given lovely fresh veggies – organically grown – and fresh baked breads, pastries, etc. Always give a dozen as a ‘housewarming’ gift to newcomers to the road. Good friendship starter!

    Have an enjoyably exciting week and trip to New Zealand! Be safe, be happy!

    • Now that is a perfect demonstration of what “neighbourliness” really means; and – to me at least – a perfect example of how Miss C’s description of the future would work… (Everything old is new again; )

  8. My suitcase is on the floor too, but to be unpacked after a brilliant long weekend away in Melbourne. I haven’t been since I saw you there in 2016! I’d never seen the baby photos of Hop & Pop Poppy, I only recall her as a rambunctious teenager.

  9. Dear Cecilia, I am so amazed to read that you are doing a TEFL course–so am I! It’s part of my next step (Tom and I got jobs together teaching in Europe), and after I did some snooping to read about your reasons for doing one, I think it’s just amazing–you’re inspiring me to use my qualification similarly! Hoping you are keeping well and keeping warm! Sending lots of love, Abby (and Tom!).

  10. Dear Cecilia, I was so excited to read that you are doing a TEFL course–so am I! It’s part of my next step with Tom (we have both found jobs teaching in Europe) and after doing some snooping as to why you are pursuing that qualification, you’ve inspired me to use my certification similarly, even before I leave to start this teaching job. Hoping you are well, staying warm, and sending lots of love! Abby (and Tom!)

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