While we were looking up at the collared dove nest in the old olive tree right by the house there was a tremendous twittering and fluttering. Along the electricity wire 5 baby barn swallows wobbled, wings flapping to keep them from falling. We’re sure they had just fledged. The parents seem to take it in turns either to feed or stay with them as they struggled on the tightrope. They certainly weren’t afraid of us, but perhaps they were too scared to look down…
Meanwhile the collared dove chicks have slowly left home. They first started to sit on the branch next to their nest and then, a few days later, moved to a lower branch on the same olive tree; I’ve yet to see them fly. The nest can be seen from the upstairs window although we never saw it being built.
Amazingly, they are not shy either and yesterday, while working on the veg patch, there were two pairs of eyes on me. I’d like to think they were giving me encouragement but can’t help feeling they were eyeing up future suppers.
As for the roasties… well, they have a new name: the lollies, because that’s all they do all day long. Loll, loll, loll. I realise now that we haven’t really made too many right decisions about keeping them. First of all, the patch of land they are on was chosen in the early spring. One hot day, after the new fence for them was put up, it was obvious there wasn’t enough shade. Once the house and run was installed Richard made a shelter for them which is great but it can still get very hot, nothing beats the shade of a tree. We also made some decisions based on the ‘egg chickens’. One was that they are hardly in their house, they’re always out and about pecking and scratching and in fact have been since they were brave enough to leave the run. The ‘roast chickens’ on the other hand aren’t that fussed about looking for food. On hot days they stay in the house which gets dirty very quickly. The ‘egg chickens’ perched straight away, these are not keen. I’m sure because they don’t want to make the effort to jump up, they’re so lazy. The run door is propped open but they prefer lolling in the run, and that gets dirty too. This morning some were pecking at the grass – but they were sitting down still! They’ll come out and sit on the logs but that’s about it. Some of them sit right by the feeder so that, with the minimum of effort, they can just lean forward and have more food! So in fact the house and run is a little small for 8 ever growing chickens. And their water needs filling every day… I suppose they’re bred to be lolly birds so that they get as fat as possible and that is certainly happening. They seem content enough eating and lolling all day but I think the ‘egg chickens’ are a touch scornful of their slothy neighbours.
Loll, loll, loll LOL 🙂