Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring will be here soon

To keep the condensation down on the inside of the windows, The Man of the Place left them open a crack last night. This meant that the dawn chorus was what we woke to. Our own addition to the morning birdsong melee was the distinctive cackle of a hen who has just laid an egg. That means that my hens, after months of enjoying their egg-free status, have started production again. You know they still EAT even though they don't lay eggs.

As I was feeding all God's creatures this morning, dog, chickens and rabbit, I was thinking that we've gotten off pretty lightly this winter. There have been very few days when I've had to scrape frost off the car and we've only had one dusting of snow. That's it. Now that the forsythia is in full bloom, I suspect that the late winter snow storm threat has passed. I went out to fill the bird feeders and as I was walking through the front lawn that really should be mowed sometime soon (got to get the lawnmower in for a service) I heard the geese. George and I saw a big V of them flying north yesterday and today, I've heard another bunch of them. The barnacle geese that overwinter here in this part of Scotland are making their move north and east to the breeding grounds in Greenland. Good luck with the goslings! See ya!


Jay said...

No, I didn't know that hens still eat even though they aren't laying eggs. Because I didn't know that they stopped laying eggs for periods of time! LOL

I always learn something new when I visit your blog.

Peggy said...

Jay - Yup - hens go through a laying cycle. This cycle can be extended by using electric lights (light effects their teeny little brains into thinking that they must lay eggs). A hen will lay the most eggs during her first laying cycle. In the next cycle she will lay 10% fewer eggs BUT the eggs will be bigger. Stick around you may learn so much that you can go on to keep your own small flock. I'm glad I am of some use. :-)

sally said...

If you haven't already, you must see Winged Migration, a great documentary about the migration of birds all throughout the world. The film makers have even followed some birds so closely that what you eventually get is their own birdie narrative. There isn't a great deal of voice over, but when there is the narrator has a French accent! Fantastic stuff!

Our birds are singing up a storm here too.

claude said...

Feels like spring IS here! Except that there might still be cold weather! But if geese are going North, then they probably know better!

Alan G said...

Spring is on the prowl here also Peggy. Pretty soon we will have 'yellow' tree pollen all over the place. But it is a beautiful time of the year.

Ex-Shammickite said...

Have you ever hypnotised one of your chickens?
Just lay a broom handle on the ground and hold the chicken with its head down so it's looking at the end of the broom handle. Hold it there for a minute or two, gradually let go, and it will stay there until the hypnosis of looking at the handle wears off.
It's creepy!

Xtreme English said...

HYPNOTIZE a chicken?? have ye got cabin fever up there, ex-shammickite??

it does sound like fun, though. i wonder if it would work on our boss??

Patsy said...

well how about that! I learned something new. I didn't know that chickens stopped laying in the winter or is it because the rooster is falling down on the job! You have the most interesting blog. I really love it!

Crafty Gardener ... said...

Hello from my Canadian garden. I can't wait to hear and see all the Canada Geese as they return north. I did see a small group of about 10 the other day. I see you loved the Secret Garden as well ... that was my favourite book as a child and I have several copies of it now.

Peggy said...

Sally - Haven't seen Winged Migration yet, but I intend to.

Claude - I do trust the birds. They're good indicators.

Alan - Thankfully I'm not allergic to pine pollen because there seems to be quite a bit of it!

Ex - I've never done that! Never even heard of it! I'm going to have to try it now. I hope nobody is watching when I do.

Xtreme - You can always try it ;-)

Patsy - You don't need a rooster for hens to lay eggs. You just need a rooster if you want to HATCH the eggs into little chicks.

Crafty - Thanks for visiting! The call of the Canada Goose was one of the first bird calls I learned to recognise.