Time seems to be flying by at the moment. Woolfest seemed a long way away this time last week, but the van is now packed, and first thing tomorrow we head north.
It doesn't help that the chicks seem to be growing by the hour, these photos are from yesterday, and Cav in particular look different again today, he's even got a tail.
The pekin chicks have finally developed wing feathers, and I can already tell that one is going to be a frizzle variety, so is going to look like it's been attacked with a crimping iron, I think the other one will be plain though.
Taking photos of them is becoming an awful lot harder, they move so quickly, and aren't so keen on humans anymore. If I appear they usually head for cover, which is just the right instinct to develop given the amount of crows and buzzards in our valley.
This is about the best close up I could get of Cav, those long legs mean he moves incredibly fast. You can already get a sense of the adult patterning he's going to have, but he's not quite reached that awkward teenager stage.
This the best shot I got of the others, their wings are just starting to come through.
And get to close, and they're off!
The observant of you will notice there's only 3 chicks in this picture. Unfortunately 1 of the chicks died 2 days ago. It's unfortunate, but not unexpected, it's not often an entire clutch of eggs grows to adulthood. I'm concentrating on the 3 I have, and trying not to dwell on the 1 who didn't make it.
I leave for Woolfest tomorrow so there will be a bit of a gap in blog posts. Meanwhile head over to the Ravelry group, the Win It thread closes at midnight on Sunday. Just post a picture of the yarn you've spun using Hilltopcloud fibre and you could win yourself a prize.
The Tour de Fleece also starts on Saturday, there is a HilltopCloud team, and it's not too late to join us.
The chicks are growing up fast!
These are from a few days ago when then got their first outing in to the wide world. They're growing more brave by the hour, but quel surprise it's Cav who seems to wander off most. He/She is also getting adult feathers quickest, his/her wings are already fully feathered, gone is the cute fluffy down :(
Their Mum spends most of her time finding seeds, bugs and other lovelies for them. When she gets going the soil flies everywhere!
It's amazing what they can fit in to such a little beak. This worm didn't stand a chance.
They spend a lot of time hiding out in the strawberry bed, which is good as last year we were plagued with slugs eating the strawberries.
The summer raspberry canes are just outside my window, and I walk past them when I go to the chicken house. At this time of year it's covered with bees, so hopes are high for a good raspberry crop.
Meanwhile, to wet my appetite I just finished knitting this.
The pattern is Out of Darkness by Boo Knits. Knitted in my Superwash BFL/Ramie blend. I had to leave off the picot edging as I did an extra repeat of one of the charts and then nearly ran out of yarn.
I love the feel of this blend, it's almost crisp feeling, without being scratchy or harsh. Very different to a BFL/Silk blend.
Despite being in my usual tonal dyeing style I made the decision to fractally spin the yarn. You split the braid in half down the middle, spin one half as it is, then split the other half in half again. The idea is that one ply changes colours twice as fast as the other. It's a great effect for toning down brightly coloured braids, but can also work for more subtle colours if you want to jumble things up in a slightly more ordered way.
This picture shows the stripes quite clearly.
The chicks seem to be rather popular (understandably so!), and lots of people want to see more pictures. They're out in a run in the garden now, and have just started to venture out.
This is one of the Pekins, complete with fluffy feet!
This is the first to hatch, remember how I said he/she was going to be trouble? Well turns out there was a mix up in the eggs I'd ordered, and this little chick is actual a Polish rather than a Pekin...
Unfortunately the poor dear is going to continue getting even funnier looking, pictures of adults here.
Gwen loves the new additions. When we first got the chickens she was obsessed with them, and sat lookng at their cage for hours. Even now she still has to come and help collect the eggs.
Here she is with Cav
She spends most of the day by the cage, watching, and no it's not that she wants to eat them, though I won't trust her unsupervised with free rnage chicks for a while.
After 3 long weeks the chicks are finally hatching. Six eggs went under a chicken, and 4 look to be fertile. Today was D-Day but even then this little one took us by surprise. She/He must have hatch out in the early hours of this morning
I tok until after lunchtime for a brother/sister to manage to join the party. Here's a freshly hatched picture.
Meanwhile the speedy chicken, now affectionately nicknamed Cav after cyclist Mark Cavendish, was already showing off!
All fluffed up, and ready for fun, I think this one is going to be trouble!
That's definitely the look of a worn out Mum!
More pictures of all the chicks when they hatch, probably won't be until tomorrow morning.
By Thursday we should have some new arrivals in the household. My chickens arrived last year and have become very loved additions to the meagerie. However, only 5 really isn't very many, particularly if they go broody as often as bantams do, at the moment we get 1 egg a day...
They'll also start getting old and laying less, and eventually go to the big chicken shed in the sky so I decided we ought to work on some replacements.
This chicken has spent the last 3 weeks sitting on 6 eggs. I bought them in from an online seller as my cockerel is related to all my hens, and I fancied getting a new colour in the flock. Four of the six look to be fertile, and they're due to hatch on Wednesday. I think their Mum will be glad to escape from her cardboard box in the utility room/back passage and see green grass and sunlight again.
So check back in a few days for some chick pictures... fingers crossed!