Thursday, 9 October 2008

Chickens again

I spent a bit of time yesterday watching the chickens. They are loving it being crane fly season and every so often dash madly across the grass in hot pursuit. The two broody ones have now given up sitting and one of the four has started laying again so I’m back in eggs at least for me.

The Sussex Three are now happily established, while they do still keep a look out for Mr L they generally just mill around on the edge of his group. Cheep Cheep is still cheeping but being the smallest he keeps himself well out of the way of the others. He’ll still let me stroke him when he comes out of the house but won’t come to call any more.

I caught Sick Chick yesterday and checked her out. The hole beneath the vent was looking much smaller and the skin quite normal. This morning she was roosting up against the Sussex Three who quite happily cooed their way past me to go down the ladder to the outside and left me able to catch Sick Chick again - much to her consternation.

The maggots are back! Only very small at the moment so once I’ve got breakfast down me it’s back to the hot iodine bath and tweezers. I’m just hoping that as the weather starts to get a bit colder, – it hit 25°C yesterday, that the flies will go and maybe she will heal properly.

I’m really not sure what to do about her, sometimes she looks really well but her tail is never up, she eats but is very picky about what she eats, preferring bread and layers mix to maize and wheat and she has diarrhoea. When I try to catch her she usually outruns me – unless the maggots are there and on the whole doesn’t appear to be in any discomfort it’s just that every three weeks or so she gets another infestation of maggots.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Two Steps Forward, One And Three Quarters Back

I should expect it since nothing ever seems to be straightforward. I’ve been ploughing, then ploughing and then ploughing some more. G and I managed to get about a third to half the field done before he left and I’ve been trying to get the remainder done. The field is about 5.5 hectares and is outlined in the picture below. My tractor is the tiny dot at the top of the field indicated by the arrow and probably not visible unless you enlarge the picture.

The reason my tractor is there while I am somewhere else is simple. There I am in my own little world, trundling up and down the field when I allow myself the little thought that I am nearly finished. That was the big mistake I made. Never expect to finish anything easily. I glanced up to see how close to the end of the field I was and noticed that the radiator was boiling even though the temperature gauge wasn’t in the red.

A few choice words went through my head sort of on the lines of ‘bother’ as it was late and I wouldn’t have time to get to the shops for suitable coolant and it would be dark before the tractor would be cool enough to open the radiator cap.

This morning I looked into the radiator and it was empty so having bought the recommended stuff I refilled it. So far so good, no fluid gushing out so I set off back down the field. Having got everything warm and pressurised by the time I got to the end I could see the coolant dripping out the bottom of the radiator. A trip to the repairman was in order but having got there I found out that he’s away today so poor old MF is now abandoned at the back of the house awaiting repair.

I’m beginning to think that the field will never be finished.