New arrivals

The hatching of the ducklings has been a rather drawn out affair, probably due to us trying to hatch smaller call duck eggs alongside the larger Indian runner and Appleyard eggs. However, we now have 10 bouncing, heavily water consuming and splashing ducklings from 19 eggs, plenty to restore the level of quacking at Boscrowan. We are now lending the incuabtor and more eggs to a neighbour as we have 2 broody hens also sitting on duck eggs – we could have more than we can cope with and have to find alternative homes for, never a problem it seems – always waiting customers!

Not to mention the 2 piglets which we are going to collect on tuesday, from Constantine. A new venture for us, but should be quite fun! They will live outdoors in the daytime in the grass field alongside the poultry houses and bee hives and close to the veg growing area from which no doubt they will be able to receive additional treats. At night they will come into a building which was originally a pigsty and sleep on a deep bed of straw. What a life!!

Ducklings hatching

An incubator full of call duck, Indian runner duck and White appleyard eggs has been quietly buzzing away in our house. The incubation period for duck eggs is 28 days so we were expecting hatching to commence on monday – 3 days time but we have some early arrivals – 2 call ducks so far and hopefully some more on the way today – such time wasters – we love watching them in the incubator (now on the table as Jess takes more than a passing interest in the whole event!)

If the Indian runner ducks hatch then we are going to have an eventual problem – they won’t fit through the doors of any of our current collection of chicken houses!

Excitement in the garden

Great excitement as 2 of our Puya Chilensis plants which we have grown from seed brought back from Tresco on the Isles of Scilly about 9 years ago are showing signs of flowering for the first time. One is planted in the centre flowerbed of Peace and Plenty garden, the other in the bed opposite the entrance gates to Boscrowan.

The flowerheads reach a height of 2-3m and grow rapidly from the bud stage to then pushing out antennae like branches upon which iridescent green flowers form, bursting with nectar, upon which ants and bees feed continuously. Sadly the ants will probably have the somewhat untimely end of being consumed by the Greater Spotted Woodpecker – could this be a winning photo in the Boscrowan category of our annual photography competition I wonder?