We've had to separate the ducks from the chooks!
We got back from Australia and Japan and all seemed well. The weather was mild, it wasn't raining, the wind, although gusty, was not hurricane strength. The two (male) ducks and the two remaining (female) chickens seemed happy enough.
We let them all out to have a nice explore in the garden, and noticed quite quickly that one of the ducks was harassing poor Curry. It's hard to tell which one - they are impossible to tell apart. It became quite clear that he was wanting to claim his conjugal rights. Alas - he is a duck and Curry is a chicken and she was having none of it! But he was chasing her and trying to bite her comb and generally being a proper nuisance. So we have put up a temporary fence across the orchard with the ducks on one side and the chooks on the other.
Neither the ducks nor the chooks seem to be entirely delighted by this!!! They have, after all, grown up with each other and have thus far been all but inseparable. But we can't have Curry being assaulted in this way all the time.
The plan is to get some more chickens and some more ducks when the spring is properly sprung - and hope that some of the ducks are actually girls this time.
The weather has been very spring-like since we got back. It's too early to do any serious gardening yet, but we have started weeding the flower beds and planning the spring planting. We are going to try putting in some early potatoes in March this year. Over-optimistic, probably. We're bound to have frosts during April and May, but we thought if it was a small crop we could cover the potatoes if necessary. And I'm going to start some early tomato and other warm climate seeds in the next couple of weeks, and keep them inside for as long as possible and see what happens.
We got back to find that the purple Brussells sprouts and the purple and white sprouting broccoli had been doing quite well while we were away. The sprouts in particular are very tasty. Should keep us going for a few weeks