Close encounters

Posted in Animals, New Zealand on February 22nd, 2015 by Coffee

It was pretty clear at about 8:15 this morning that if we didn’t get out of the house soon we’d be lucky to end the day with as many residents as we started out with, so an emergency plan was hatched to go visit Willowbank wildlife reserve.

I think for all of us it was our first visit to Willowbank, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Wriggles seemed quite interested in seeing all the animals. Although she was quite keen to find the kiwi from the start as Dad had told her on the way in that there were kiwi’s. So as you can imagine we heard the question “we going to see a kiwi soon?” quite a lot. She was also quite quick to tell us when we needed to move on to see something else.

The bush walk through the park to see the animals and birds is really quite nice through the little winding paths. I think it helped a lot that it was a pretty drizzly and coolish day so there weren’t too many people around.

And the kids did really seem to like the close encounters with the wildlife. Wriggles was a lot braver with the ducks than she’s ever been.


And I think the little man would have happily sat there while the cow casually licked him to pieces!


We decided that instead of buying a one visit pass we would opt for the annual pass so we can go as many times as we like. On days like today I think it might get used a fair bit… The problem will be just remembering that we have it.

Population Explosion

Posted in Animals on July 31st, 2014 by Coffee

Yesterday morning we had two chickens. By lunchtime that had exploded to a total of six! Kaboom!

new girls on the block

They look quite similar to the old ones even though they’re a different breed. Which is just as well as apparently chickens can be a bit racist, but there was about a 5 second sorting out about who was going to be the boss and then everyone seemed to play nicely for the rest of the day. We’d originally been intending to have them in their own run, but as that’s not arrived yet they had to just join the oldies.

And even better than having them finally arrive was having them arrive just as they’ve started to lay. Three eggs from the new girls yesterday of various sizes and shapes. We know they’re from the new girls as the colour is different.

I hope there’s a market for spare eggs at work still!

And this is today…

Posted in Animals, Plants and Gardens on July 19th, 2014 by Coffee


Yes, that’s right. We’ve finally been visited by a herd of cows, and boy doesn’t the paddock know it! Even with huge feeds of hay as well they’ve demoed just about everything that looks even vaugely green in the strips they’ve been confined to. Including a fair few pine branches that have been accessible.


The kids have been really enjoying watching them and the daily routine of feed, move fence, see cows run for grass/oats/whatever is there, re-install fence a bit further back, repeat tomorrow.

By the looks of it the paddock is getting a fair old dose of fertiliser, which is good! Just might need a bit of a roll and re-seed before I’d want to take the mower over it though!

This was yesterday…

Posted in Animals on July 16th, 2014 by Coffee

The Back Paddock

If it would just stop raining I’ll show you how it looks now…

New Neighbours

Posted in Animals on March 9th, 2013 by Coffee

We’ve got some new neighbours over the fence in the back paddock. At least they’re relatively quiet and well behaved!


Our next door neighbour asked if he could graze his flock of alpacas for a while letting them chomp on the lucerne that’s growing there. We’re not doing anything with it, so why not! Besides, it’s kind of nice to watch them mooch about the place!

Out on parole…

Posted in Animals on September 3rd, 2012 by Coffee

Here’s the girls. The regular readers among you will notice that there are three of them. All together. And that’s all we have. Sooooooo, that does indeed mean that the lass that’s been in solitary for a week or so has been released back into general population.

There have been conditions imposed, of course. If you look very closely at the photo above you’ll notice that there has been a very hi-tech tracking system attached to the inmate. Let’s make it easy for you:

So far so good. She’s remained out of the nesting box, except for laying us an egg or two. Yes, that’s right. We’re back to about three eggs a day again. Whew!

Although one of the other chooks seems to recently be taking a very long time to emerge from the coup after laying her egg. Might have to install another tag, I suspect. We have got a few other colours available if need be. Let’s just hope we don’t need them!

Solitary confinement

Posted in Animals on August 26th, 2012 by Bec

We have a broody hen. She always seemed like she had a tendency towards broodiness since the start, but now all she wants to do is sit in the nesting box whether there are eggs in there or not. You would think she would notice that most of the time she is sitting on nothing, just some straw. Apparently not. But a broody hen really is a pain in the proverbial, unless you actually want one to help hatch some little chooks.

She’s been cluttering up the nesting box when the others want to lay an egg, even though the nesting box is big enough for them to lay on the other side, of course. But apparently they all like to lay in the same two inches of the box. Go figure! So I guess the other chooks must have just been laying their eggs on her head and letting gravity do the work to get them down under her. Which is where we always found them.

So she has currently been placed in the naughty corner to try and get her back to full laying ability. Quite an expensive naughty corner though, as we had to purchase a new house in order to place her on her own. I could think of worse places to be if I was a chook in solitary confinement.

She has been there for two days now and currently no sign of an egg. But then we do think she got quite broody so it may take a little longer, possibly on her lonesome for a month (well so some of the literature tells us). It means for now instead of the two or three eggs a day we are down to only one or two.

And if the time out in the naughty corner does not work?… Hmmmm. What do we do with a surplus chook, since I am not sure I am willing to eat her? Might have to use here broodiness for what it’s actually meant for!

Would sir like a colour today? Or perhaps just a shampoo?

Posted in Animals, House, Rants And Rambles on July 28th, 2012 by Bec

Slow news week. Not much has been happening here at all. Not even a cat up a tree.

But speaking of the the kitties, they do seem to be finding interesting places to sleep lately. I happened to walk past the bathroom and heard a bit of slopping from something. Wandering back to check it out I caught a glimpse of a little kitty cleaning his head with his front paws, as they do. I sneaked away and got the camera to catch the little shite in the act so Mike would believe me and not put the muddy kitty paw prints on the vanity down to the fact that I hadn’t filled up the kitty water bowl so he must’ve been looking for a drink.

Once he finished posing for the photo he got a short sharp shift!

And the second was…

Posted in Animals on July 8th, 2012 by Coffee

…just as tasty as the first!

And the third is currently sitting on the bench. I’ll assume that’s one each until I can tell anything different.

It does look like we’ll have to watch one of the hens that seems to be displaying a few broody tendencies already. She seemed to be staying in the nesting box for a very long time so I ended up lifting her out off the egg that was sitting there… She hasn’t rushed back in there yet, so maybe it was just beginners confusion…


Posted in Animals on July 7th, 2012 by Coffee

Today was the day when the chickens finally moved from pets to productive members of the household! Well, one of them did, at least. That’s right, we got our first egg today!

That’s it there on the right. The other one’s from the supermarket and is there just for size comparison. We were warned the first ones might be a bit small, but it’s not too bad for a first effort, I think, not bad at all!

And it was delicious!

No point in waiting around to see what they’re like, it was straight into the pot. Tasted pretty darn good to me!

Now I just have to stop myself going out every five minutes to see if the other two are going to join in on this action too. There has been a lot of popping in and out of the coup lately… Expect an update if they have!

Update: 4:30pm There was indeed a second egg delivered unto us this afternoon! I should have waited and then we could have had one each. I wonder how many we’ll get tomorrow…