Thursday, 27 December 2007

Christmas 2007

After weeks of hectic activity in the garden and house preparing for an influx of house guests and visitors, Christmas has come and gone, and things can get back to normal. It was a wonderful day with fourteen family members and friends sitting down to a lunch that ended after 6 pm. We all ate and drank our fill, shared great company and simple gifts, laughed at the contents of huge red crackers made by my daughter, and had a thoroughly splendid time. The cooking was shared between three of us, and two others were responsible for the special decorations which made my big room look like a dining room at the Windsor!

One of my gifts was this gorgeous little chicken, a Rhode Island Red cross, who came from Vic Market on Christmas Eve in a shoe box - constantly chirping its little heart out. Already named Delores by friends of my daughter, she was gently tucked under her new mother Dorothea, the broody chicken on the page below, at night, and seemed to know exactly what to do despite having been hatched in an incubator. The plaster egg and golf balls were removed from the nest, and by the next morning Dorothea was behaving like a proud and protective mother, clucking at her new baby and anyone else that comes near. They have had a couple of days in the nest box, but today ventured out into the main run. Most of the chickens are not interested, but one is a bit aggressive and might harm the little one. I have installed an upended wire crate a few inches off the ground as a haven for the chick, and have seen her rush under it if she is frightened, so fingers crossed that she will survive this new big and scary world. Mother chook is staying very close, shepherding her around the pen, showing her what to eat and ruffling her feathers if she feels the baby is threatened. I shall keep you posted on her progress...

1 comment:

livebird said...

Muchos huevos por favor, bonita Delores! Si, si!