My favourite chicken, Bluey, appears to have gone off the lay. We were averaging 2-3 eggs from the 3 girls up until last week, however this has dropped down to 1-2 eggs (which is still more than enough for my household). I suspect that it is Bluey as she is the only one that I haven’t seen disappear for a period of time.
I have checked under the wings and legs for any blemishes and signs of lice/red mite, her comb (and the rest of the combs in the flock) appear to be unchanged and look healthy, they are getting fed pellets twice per day plus any kitchen scraps that we have and they are free ranging for more than 4-5 hours in our backyard. Everything looks to be similar to the initial conditions that they experienced, and it is puzzling.
Has anybody out there got any ideas? Might there be anything that I am overlooking?
It has been about 2-3 months since my last post. I cite that being too “busy” has been the main factor, although no doubt laziness has been more of a contributing factor to not posting.
The new addition(s) to our growing zoo are 3 Leghorn X Australorp chickens (at least that is what they were sold as). We are currently getting 2-3 eggs per day which is brilliant, and they are funny little characters to have hovering around the back garden.
To fit the new sand box into Harley’s area, a piece of temporary fencing had to be altered. This piece was protecting a passionfruit vine for the past 12 months, and we believed that it had sufficient thickness and lack of appeal to evade the feisty labrador bite…
I was wrong. Dog-1 vine/humans-0
She looks quite proud of herself (and annoyingly cute) after I had cut the plant off the wire.
Well to try and ensure that boredom doesn’t get the better of Harley when one or both of us are at work, we decided that a sandpit would be a wise choice.
She loves it, and unlike the plastic splash pools that she routinely destroys, hopefully this one survives longer than a few weeks.
Fingers crossed she doesn’t manage to chew a hole through the wood. Harley being Harley though, this possibility definitely wouldn’t surprise me.
While out on one of my favourite walks, it is common to come across various wildlife – both native and introduced. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are very common, and unfortunately Harley does believe that they just want to play. Fortunately, she is nowhere near quick enough to be able to catch up to them.
Foxes and rabbits are also common to come across, although Harley hasn’t quite figured out whether to chase the fox (which I do encourage) and is definitely too slow to twig onto what the rabbits are doing. In the area that I consistently walk in, I have seen what I believe to be 3 different foxes in no more than a 3-4 km stretch along the creek. This is bad news for the local critters, and unfortunately the fox will always present a problem on mainland Australia, and most likely Tasmania too.
A wary customer is the swamp wallaby. You need to be very quiet to sneak up on them, and hope that they don’t get a sniff of the dog or me. I consistently view them in groups of 2-5, although it appears that they are predominantly a solitary animal. If we do get too close, I am amazed by the power in its legs. It makes a loud thumping sound as it beats through the bush to hop away from the perceived danger that we pose.
I believe this bird to be a Tawny Frogmouth. Harley managed to spook it while she was running through the undergrowth, and it perched up on the tree. As you can see from the first picture (although it is not a very good photo), the camouflage that this bird possesses is extraordinary. I hadn’t seen one “in the wild” before this, and my nana, who is an avid bird watcher, would be pleased at this find.
Finally, a pair of wood ducks that were swimming in the creek were also found by the dog before me. Male is on the right, female on the left. Dogs can be both helpful and a hindrance on a walk, although I probably wouldn’t be walking or exploring as much without her. For now, she can tag along.
When she’s not typically labrador crazy, she is actually quite relaxing to have around.