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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. The dark area will be the embryo forming. You should also see the air sac, which will be clear and will grow as time goes on. That's the space the chick will use to get its head out from under the wing. Eggs with no dark area are infertile, but leave them a bit longer to be sure. What you are trying to avoid is bad eggs exploding and covering the area with bacteria. These eggs will begin to 'weep', which appears as small crusty blisters on the surface of the egg. Ideally they will have been removed before that, so at day 14 latest. I can't see veins either SS. A lot depends on the thickness of the shell and your eyesight.
  2. What they do here is to hatch in an incubator (the easy bit and more reliable) then transfer the day old chicks under their broody at night. Presumable they put pot eggs under her for a few days to get her to sit? Not a technique I have tried, but as rearing is the hard part it is a good idea. Unfortunately I couldn't discuss it much with the owner of a house we looked at because my French isn't up to it. The gentleman was very surprised when I told him that we use 'machines' for everything and when he asked why I said to avoid transferring 'diseases', which he accepted as a good reason. Actually I meant mycoplasma, lice and red mite. Not sure if I helped you there Mullethunter?
  3. We turned the heating off in February and had log fires in the evenings until April, so our oil bill this year will be pretty low fortunately, because the £ to € exchange rate is very bad for us. After all the rain we had nearly 2 weeks ago it turned very warm and dry with the veg needing watering for the last few days. The heavy rain forecast for today didn't arrive and we had a few millimetres at best. Now due to be warm and dry for at least a week, but the bad news is a hot dry summer is predicted; exactly what we don't want! Not shorts weather here Daphne, it's only 18C.
  4. I've seen some amazing pictures of clear skies now in major cities combined what they looked like before lockdown which was horrendous. Apparently the Himalayas have been seen for the first time in 30 years from one city in India. It is very quiet here with no air traffic aside from some occasional military flights. But there is a down side. Has anyone noticed their plant leaves getting burned, or perhaps your skin? We're having tomato plants badly affected and we need suncream on already. I can only put that down to the huge reduction in air pollution. We used to have a dozen flights over us every day throwing out exhaust fumes, but not at the moment.
  5. Clay Pigeon Shooting which they call Ball Trap here. The season is short, Feb to Sept, because it stops for hunting and is seen as practice for that, just as it used to be in England 30 years ago. After a lot of problems with paperwork, our attempts to get our shotguns here from England were thwarted by new export regulations and Brexit so we had to sell in England and buy in France. Only started last July after a 12 year break and discovered it is a very different sport here. Just before lockdown the penny dropped, a solid technique was evolved and scores began to rise rapidly. But now the distancing rules combined with a maximum of 10 on the ground at any time means a lot of waiting alone in the car, rather than chatting in the clubhouse in a group. Taken all the fun out of it for me and there is still the risk of infection anyway, so no shooting, perhaps until next year.
  6. I would avoid any candler that uses an LED as in my opinion they are far too bright. The first thing that forms are the very complex eyes and I'm not convinced that they won't be damaged. So a cheap one will be fine, but don't be surprised if you can't see much on day 10. I would think it safe to take her off more than once. The time will depend on the air temperature and that will be your judgement. I'm not a fan of ACS medicated crumb. It does inhibit growth but also treats against coccidiosis. Unmedicated crumb will be fine for broody and will build her strength up but I don't know about medicated as she will consume a lot. She will have developed natural immunity to coccidiosis and medicated crumb may upset that? Coccidiosis occurs naturally in the ground and chicks develop resistance to it after 6 weeks. Ideally they should be kept off the ground for the first few weeks and introduced to it for increasing periods afterwards. Not sure how practical that is for you. We kept our last hatch in a large trailer. Your broody is going to be very protective of her chicks and may not accept her friend near them. I think best keep them separated but in view of each other.
  7. We used to sell our eggs from a coolbox by the door with a sign on the footpath; that paid for the feed. We only had one case of theft and one of short payment, but it all stopped when someone complained that the sign was an obstruction. Fortunately that coincided with our move to France where we are not allowed to sell eggs without being a registered business. So we then used what we could, gave the rest away and also negotiated to supply eggs in exchange for sharing the satellite TV link with our neighbour.
  8. On the news this morning was that some of the beaches opened here last week have already been closed again because there were too many people on them. The Police are out in force from today because it's a Bank Holiday weekend and Parisians will try to break the 100Km travel rule to get to the Normandy beaches. They are easy to spot though as the number plates show where the car was first registered.
  9. They have to check with the DVLC in France as well Daphne, because you can't exchange your licence if you have any penalty points on it. You also have to chose if you want to take a medical to keep commercial categories. The towing limit is very low here at just 300Kg total I think? We used to tow a 2000Kg box trailer, which would now need a yearly medical to do; just as well we sold it. The figures in England are pretty awful and don't seem to be improving significantly. Having said that France isn't great either. They are now finding companies that have a large percentage of infected staff; 25 'centres of infection' last week.
  10. The run is a bit small for 4 large fowl I think. I recommend a minimum of 2m2 each. Temperaments can be 'luck of the draw' and similar colours group up against an odd-one-out, so there is an element of luck in a happy flock, but certainly the more space you give them the better. Double up on feeders and drinks as well.
  11. Our licence exchanges were being dealt with by a centre in Nantes Daphne. After waiting 14 months one came back processed and a few weeks later the other not; they're overloaded because of Brexit. If licences are not exchanged by then you will have to retake the test and as my French probably isn't up to it, that may be a problem. The big problem though is the cost, which is set by the government. If I remember correctly the minimum number of lessons you must have added to the admin fees comes to €600. I needed to go to our admin centre for a residency permit, which I eventually got. Our first visit I was given a number and went into the office to find a queue about 3 hours long, so I took my ticket back on the way out. Best to arrive before they open in the morning. Things are slowly opening here, the big events being hairdressers and some beaches. We're watching the hospitalised numbers. We've been stage 1 unlocked for a week and the daily reduction in hospital admissions is tailing off, down from several hundred to just 60, which means the infection rate is rising. See what tomorrow brings? Mortality numbers are pretty meaningless here due to delays in reporting. We had 80, 70, 250 and then 450 because the retirement homes were slow. But intensive care numbers are better at 2050, down from 7200 at the peak.
  12. It got worse Soapdragon. Rang the tip for an appointment only to get an answer machine message telling me to phone another number, so rang that and got a message saying that number didn't exist. So I phoned someone else and they gave me the same number! Then the phone rang but I missed the call. Checked the number and it was the tip, so phoned back and finally got an appointment for 1520 today; don't do afternoons normally because of leaving the chickens out, but can't afford to wait any longer as we've run out of sacks, the van is full and getting rather smelly. I get to try out our face masks for the first time though.
  13. Yes we watched it. Some real classics and some really awful songs. Lockdown here was eased slightly on 11th, but it seems people around here are still not confident going out and are staying home. We went out to a supermarket to collect our face masks and called in at the tip close by with a full van load for composting. The place was deserted, except for the attendant who told us our stuff can't be unloaded without an appointment; one for Ester Ranston to give a 'jobsworth hat' to I think. So now we've got to ring up, make an appointment and drive all the way back!
  14. Sounds like 'star gazing' to me as well. Problem is they get very disorientated and panic and can injure themselves, so keep the lights very dim, almost dark, and treat as DM advises. We've had an Orpington with this, so perhaps there is a genetic issue. Unfortunately the internet wasn't then what it is now, so she was PTS before serious injury.
  15. Whilst others may disagree, for us it has always been a sign of worms and certainly not normal. However the other time we have seen them is due to excitement, so perhaps it's due to the cock doing his 'Spring thing"'?
  16. It became worse! Rain and strong winds overnight did see another 2" and we've had 1 ½" today. It hasn't stopped raining, no sun and (to us) it's cold. Extensive flooding yet again down in this Region, which seems to have become the norm. Water coming off the top field and the barn means the store rooms (old pig styes) have water running through them and the garage has a wet floor. Constructing a land drain, which will be a rather complicated arrangement, has now moved to nearly the top of the 'to do' list. But getting priorities right, the first thing is to finish the new chicken enclosure (which is 80% complete) and then get some chickens to fill it.
  17. We'll give the tree a chance Mullethunter, but it was only a week after we noticed all the leaves were curled (walk past it twice a day) that they had turned brown and fallen off. What's left looks like a dead twig. There are about 4 nectarine fruit on it, but they are all mis-shapen. Can't spray it because it is within the chicken enclosure.
  18. Our nectarine has terrible leaf curl Daphne and we think it is dead; cost €45 last year and we had 4 fruit from it. Same disease as peaches apparently and needs a lot of chemical spraying to control, so we'll take it out. Cherries were rather small this morning but after the rain today have doubled in size: the tree needs pruning before it is so big it gets blown over. Figs have been pruned and the hens have fertilised them so they are doing great. French beans all up. Leeks very slow to germinate and perhaps the weeds will overwhelm them?
  19. That's serious!. Her crop needs emptying as it's sour and poisoning her. She has a digestive impaction which will be an internal problem which could be very difficult to resolve. You could try just giving her water after her crop is empty but in my opinion If you can't get her to a vet immediately the kindest thing is to pts.
  20. Two inches of rain this morning followed by dry for a few minutes then rain again which looks like it will be with us overnight, so perhaps 4" in all. I do wish it would spread over the year a bit more evenly like the UK. 10C colder but not so bad as it was 26C yesterday and certainly no chance of a frost, fortunately as our veggies would be wrecked. They plant sunflowers here after the 5th May because they are killed by frost if planted earlier. Haven't seen more that a few seconds of sun all day.
  21. Lifted some Agata first early potatoes yesterday, just 51 days after planting. Nice size, very thin skins and very tasty; one for next year. Didn't need any watering either. However the heavy rain we are getting at the moment may be a problem because, despite being earthed up, the potatoes are growing deep and may rot in the ground? We took your advice last year Valkyrie and took cuttings off the tomato plants we bought to give us an extra 8 plants. They took about a month to be ready for planting out though, so they went in the ground 1st July and they had just enough time to ripen before the first frosts. Been advised to grow from seed in future though, because of some disease that is in France which kills the plants and stays in the soil.
  22. I know of a few people who have had chickens for a while and decided not to get more. They do make a mess, can be noisy, are a constant worry, take a lot of time and can be difficult when they get older or get sick. For us there is little point in living in the countryside and not having some livestock, the place would just feel empty. For a gardener chicken poo compost produces great crops and the eggs are a bonus. I'd miss them too much I think; they are all 'little people' after all. Take a break Sparkysmum, but don't sell your equipment yet.
  23. Nothing happened? But today we are on orange alert for rain with flooding and yellow alert for thunderstorms with hail. Just had a light shower but it's very dark, so something is going to happen soon. Put the roof and doors back onto a refurbished coop just in time and as a precaution have anchored it down to steel stakes in the ground.
  24. i think you have what we call a 'silent broody', which is a broody hen without the squarks and ruffled feathers. Just keep her out of the nest box as she will stop laying and just sit there. Have you seen her pick up grass or twigs and throw them onto her back? Does she wriggle her underbelly on the floor? Has she plucked out any underbelly feathers?
  25. it's getting very dark here. Radar shows some absolutely horrendous storms heading this way and I hope we don't get them. Just taken some pictures of the clouds and the radar says they are 100 miles away, so very high indeed. Held back on planting tomatoes out as they would need debris netting immediately. Just hope the rest don't get shredded with hail as they did last year.

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