Spring has sprung with chilly mornings and the days warming up. We have had two lambs, the turkeys have been laying for the last week, and the first goose egg yesterday….the ducks won’t be far behind! It has taken a long time to build up a nice flock of Australorps again after the last fox attack, but we now have a lovely group of girls who are laying beautifully, and Louie the Bluey who looks after them just as he should.
nice flock of Australorps-black, blue and splash (with a couple of guinea fowl hanging around!)
first lamb of 2019
Despite the damp weather over winter, the bees have been active and held their own, and now look busier with the sunny days.
We have had such a long, cool spring in Perth that everything grew, and grew so much that for most of November we have had to slash, burn, mow, rake and that isn’t just the firebreaks! Although we haven’t had to do much watering because of the cool, wet weather, it is certainly warming up now so all the sprinkler systems have also been put in order.
In between all of this, we have had goslings, ducklings, chicks…. and a late lamb! There has also been a pesky fox, brazen as anything, hanging around in the daytime as well as night time so it is a constant juggling act to keep the animals safe but let them get out of their pens to roam. There is never nothing to do at McCarthy Park.
Well, if it isn’t one predator it is another!
One morning at 7am after letting all the poultry out for the day, we saw a fox checking them out. It was daylight, though only just at this time of the year. Needless to say we were not happy.
Next day, there were two eagles perched in a tree overlooking the wandering poultry! Now they are a predator too, and we have certainly seen them take our poultry in the past….. but……. they are a native Australian bird, indigenous to this area…… and so majestic! So of course the camera comes out, and numerous photos taken.
A pair of eagles watching the poultry
Needless to say, in the last two weeks since seeing the fox and the eagles, we have lost two geese and two turkeys, and everyone now needs to stay locked up in their pens for their safety!
We have had a very busy spring this year, though we think we say that every year!
Sometimes it is nice to just make the garden look nice! Yes, the mulch will help with water retention as the hot summer comes, but…… it just looks so good!
Here’s a couple of before and after shots:
Of course more than mulch spreading has been happening:
Looks like a good crop of olives this year!
We had a great harvest of perch to stock up the freezer!
And some yabbies too!
And of course now the weather is warming up, the trout are harvested, smoked and vacuum packed for the coming year!
Well, most of Perth stayed indoors as much as possible today, with the temperature reaching 44.4C…….that is 112F for those overseas! We knew some heat was coming (plus it is summer after all and we do what we can to prepare for the heat…and bushfire season. We had put up shade cloth over the aquaponics grow beds, and the duck pen, and thank goodness we did that before today.
Shade cloth covering the veggies in the aquaponics
Late yesterday we gave everything a good deep watering in anticipation of the 41C forecast for today. As the temperature soared we turned on some sprinklers to give the birds some relief, and freshened up the water baths (check out the handy hints page) we have around the place.
Splish splash I was takin’ a bath…..on a 44 degree day!
We also put on the ‘overhead’ sprinklers. We have these on the house in case of a bushfire, but it also helps to cool down the house (we have a tin roof); and we also have them on the rabbit house, again for both reasons. The rabbits had their two litre bottles of ice (also mentioned in handy hints) this morning, and then a new one at 3.00 to help them out some more.
The poor turkeys are hot, as they recently had young and they are too small to let out along with the ducks, geese and poultry. We turned on the sprinkler for them too, and this helped cool them down.
Well, after having no geese for a couple of years, we decided we really needed them…..even with the ducks! Ducks go where they like and tend to rummage for bugs and weeds rather than graze. The geese are grazers, and so eat the pasture in the paddocks, and since we haven’t had them any more we have had to mow in the orchard….there is NO WAY we are putting our Wiltshire sheep in the orchard to eat the grass, there would be no leaves left on the trees!
So, we decided we would get a small number of geese only for the orchard….we bought an incubator (something we had been considering for a while) and 8 fertile eggs. Of course after ordering and paying for the eggs she also offered us a goose and a gander (we had been unable to buy them previously, hence the eggs!!). So we now have an adult goose sitting on a few eggs she laid since being here, plus we have had four of the eight eggs hatch into cute little goslings!
We were so lucky to be photographing the first two hatchlings when the third egg hatched right before our eyes!
Starting to open
There are now four, and all doing well in a homemade brooder box!