Friday 7 June 2013

Too Early !

I had a bit of a surprise this morning on the early morning 'ward round' when I found Padfoot's 4 babies all out of the 'bedroom' and on the dew-soaked grass. At only a week old they are fully furred up but they are still blind and are still wriggling along like tiny pups rather than hopping like baby bunnies. They made their way along the front of the 'bedroom' bit and huddled together in a corner of the run. We are having a heat wave here so there was no danger of them chilling but they should not have been out and 'Mum' was not doing anything about it. I cut a shallow tray out of the bottom of a box and risked handling the babies to move them into the box which I put in the 'bedroom' to contain them. Padfoot never batted an eyelid, wandered in to 'count' them and wandered out again.

No such problems with Ginny, whose babies are at the 'far end' of the bedroom bit and don't even look like trying to escape. It is possible than in the heat the nest chamber is a bit hot, so we have moved everything about to give them some shade. I was also asking Charlotte what to do about Goldie's imminent kindling as the design of the ex-Silverwood hutch is such that there is only one small 'bedroom, that being in the upper storey of the hutch and which Goldie uses as her toilet! I had been thinking of a 'basement flat' underneath but Charlotte suggested blanking off the mesh on half the downstairs, providing a lip to stop babies crawling out too soon and filling with hay.

Every now and then the chooks crank out an enormous egg but today's just about took the biscuit. The big egg on the left in this picture weighed in at 130 g, almost twice the size ( at 68 g ) of one of our normal, X-Large eggs. We think these are laid by the 'hin' formerly known as Broody Betty. Fair play to her and possibly another piece of evidence that the new (Pedigree Foods, Organic Layers Pellets) diet is streets ahead of the old cheapo one.

There is a standing joke or myth in Ireland that the sun comes out and a heat wave starts as soon as the poor aul' school children have to sit their exams. In the UK exams around the country vary according to which examining board the school subscribes to - Oxford, Cambridge, London and so on (or it did when I was doing them!). In Ireland no such variety.

Every school in the Republic of Ireland has to go with the National format - the same syllabus and the same exams, questions, scheduled dates and times etc from Cork to Donegal and from Dublin to Kerry. So we know that every child of the relevant ages has started their 'Junior Cert' exams or their 'Leaving Cert' exams on the first Wednesday after the early June Bank Holiday. This includes, this year, our chum, 18 year old rabbit-and-mini-horse-collector, Charlotte from down the road. She was sweating a bit on her MacBeth and poetry for the 2nd English paper, yesterday (6th June) so Liz, who is a bit of a 'girly swot' when it comes to such subjects, offered to give her an hour or two of 'cramming' in the sunshine of the front terrace. We await the results of how she thinks she got on with eager anticipation but the whole nation has now moved onto Maths, so I expect the focus has moved on too and English is in the 'been there, done that' pile. Good luck Charlotte. Knock 'em dead!

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