Friday, 16 June 2017

The Turkeys go Free-Range

The Rector rambles up our old hay-barn wall.
He may only manage one flush of flowers
but he certainly pulls all the stops out to do it.
In the previous post, I apologised for possible poor service and English while borrowing Liz's laptop because my PC was in the doctor's. I can no longer use that excuse. The offending machine is back, delivered today by my new friend Patrick in company of his good lady Lara (no mean techie herself) and ball of energy and fun Tyler (2 and a half)

Red currants doing well despite losing many leaves to the rapacious
gooseberry saw-fly larvae. 
Patrick has done me proud, completely wiping all traces of the old Windows Vista system and installing an official, certificated (and legal, obviously) copy of Windows 7, MS Office etc while saving all our 'documents' (pictures, spreadsheets etc) and moving them across too. We are also right up to date on anti virus/spyware/malware. It all seems to be working; I have been in this afternoon making things happen as normal on email, Twitter, Facebook, spreadsheets and now this blog.

Liz's rose garden with the row of Lady's Mantle doing well.
The roses are just getting there. 
The clean-up has also got rid of numerous programmes which were all set to fire up on a boot-up for equally numerous historic reasons. This box is 10 years old and has seen no end of systems come and go, such as Spotify for music which leave bizarre bits of, for example, Apple software sitting there, firing up at every boot-up and asking for updates.

Our shiny motorway sculpture is now the go-to
poster-boy of dances and other adverts
It also kept telling me that Google Chrome would no longer be updated as Vista is now out of support. We should probably bite the bullet and buy me a new laptop but such moves are so far down the shopping list (Kitchen, chicken house roof etc) that this clean-up and upgrade will have to do for a few years yet.

The turkey poults go free range and, as usual, the Guinea Fowl
lads adopt them and volunteer to mind them. 
Meanwhile, as Summer advances, the young turkeys are released to full free-range having now found their feet in the familiarisation rabbit run. Even while they were so confined, the Guinea Fowl boys were quite attentive and we remember last year how the youngsters were adopted by the Guineas and minded by them.

The Hubbards at 10 days old get to feel the grass under foot
 and the sun on their backs.
I let them out on Wednesday which was a bit showery but that proved to be very beneficial come evening. Turkeys normally get a week or so of being allowed to free range but coming back to their familiar bedroom in the rabbit run. These guys, approaching evening lock up time were relaxing near the coop door when a sudden rain shower drove everyone indoors. No rounding up or shepherding required - I locked them all away and Bingo! Youngsters released AND moved into adult quarters all in the same day.

That proved to be very handy. I needed to put the Hubbard chicks somewhere while I cleaned out their brood-box. Hubbards are huge eaters and fearsome producers of poo, so a week in a small crate can easily have them trampling around in half an inch of the stuff. We started with 13 but one sadly died on the 2nd night (we have no idea why). The remaining 12 are thriving and seem to have doubled in size. White feathers sprout from their wings and tails.

These are not puny weaklings who need constant heat and Infra-Red lamps, they are thugs who can run around arguing about morsels of food and shrug off the breezes of a Roscommon June. As long as you keep them dry and out of the wind, they love being outdoors where there is space to stretch their legs, flap their wings and zoom about like little clockwork toys. So with it now having turned warm and dry, they are out in the rabbit run from morning till evening and then get rounded up back their crate overnight.

It seemed a good choice for a hot, thirsty,
pig-keeping gardener who had been mowing
for a good few hours in the hot sun. 
Only 2 other bits of news occur to me. Mrs C is in the UK for a long weekend meeting the 'girls' for a good session of gossip, gin and eating. The gang refer to it as their AGM. These annual meets which rotate around various European centres have been going for a decade at least and when they started most of those attending had 'serious' jobs in the City and needed a good excuse to not be able to 'just nip in' at weekends. They did not want to get caught slipping up with mentions of anything as frivolous as drinking or restauranting, so they called it the AGM. That way anyone over-hearing the planning talks on phones would assume they were talking business. Clever, huh? The name stuck.

Stumpy's turn to go broody. Probably nice to take the
weight off that poorly foot.
I delivered Liz to Knock Airport this morning for her Ryan Air flight to Bristol. There she'd be scooped up by our good friends Mazy Lou and Airy Fox and taken to Cardiff where this year's host lives and this year's AGM is to be held. Last I heard she had arrived safely and been 'handed on to the next responsible adult'. She's back on about Wednesday.

Good progress by the stone mason on the curved wall about
which more soon. 
Finally, in the warm weather, if it stays dry, I have picked up a bit more sheep shearing. This for a lady who is a friend of a Facebook contact. We are hoping to complete this job, which is only for 3 ewes on either Sunday or Monday, dry weather permitting. More on that when it has happened.

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