Saturday, May 14, 2011

I really really hope she is a she and not a he!!!!

Uh oh.

I was hanging out with the bok flock this morning feeding them hot porridge (it's been freezing here in Melbourne lately) and I noticed that young Lavender the aracauna is growing up to look rather like...and I really hope not...a ROOSTER! you chooky friends of mine, what do you think?

It really has been absolutely freezing here.  Even so the girls are rallying and still laying eggs for us amazingly!  Some veg in the garden have suffered whilst some others have been ok despite the early frost. I have read some reports that fennel stunts the growth of other vegies around it but so far so good.  Nothing is really putting on a growth spurt though due to the rain, hail and horribly cold conditions!

The lime verbena has put on new leaves - tiny very very lime green ones, not sure why...any ideas?

My lovely Astrid is back outside wandering about, I've been so worried about her in case she fell ill again especially as she seems to love standing in the rain...but she seems to be back to herself again!

The cape gooseberry pops out more of these beautiful lanterns each day. Not sure when to harvest them, will have to look it up.

I found an old bay leaf tree doing well behind the water tank, it's putting out tiny buds, does anyone know what to do with these?  I'm just leaving them for now.  Not sure if they are flowers or seeds??

Do you remember a while ago I told you about my citrus issues...well I cut this lemon right back so we'll see if she springs back to life again in Spring. I cut back a dwarf lemon and kept it behind the water tank too thinking it would never survive but it has come back and looks like it's pretty happy!  So I have hope for the other one.
The babaco is still flowering.  Feel so sorry for it as there are absolutely no bees about to enjoy!

p.s. I've noticed that all the comments to my last post over the week - including comments I've made! - have disappeared, must be due to the blogger issues, but I'm certainly not deleting them and I really want to try the remedies some of you suggested!  Hope blogger sticks them back on...or could you please re-post...?  Thank you!


  1. Not being a huge chook expert I can't really say but hopefully Lavender is a slightly butch looking hen :)
    Well done with the lemon, mine still looks terrible. It is surprising anything is growing in this cold weather!

  2. oh oh... i think she may be a he...see the feathers near the base of the tail that are sort of going down the way, these appear to be saddle feathers - which boys have. Remember I had 3 araucana babies earlier - well I think 2 of the three of them are boys. araucanas are so difficult to sex :(

  3. Sorry looks a bit roosterish to me, lots of pointy feathers around back and front :(

    Glad to see Astrid is back to normal.

  4. Thank you! I think she is definitely a he as well! Oh dear...

  5. My goodness - I am impressed, I had no idea about the saddle feathers... does this mean the end of Lavender as part of the Bok Flock?? I had to get rid of the most gorgeous little pekin bantam rooster a few years ago - it was very hard and I am still cranky about it to this day...

    Your lime verberna is certainly doing something interesting... it's kind of the opposite of my lychee tree which is popping out huge new leaves, perhaps triple the size of the old... worrying.

  6. Hi Ali, I will be very sad indeed to say goodbye to Mr Lavender! But being a more unusual breed, I'm hoping I find him a home in a roost. It's just this last week or so that I've noticed the change. Your lychee does sound AMAZING (oh I'm soooo envious you have a lychee tree! I adore lychees!) and odd too that it's popping out those leaves, my citrus do it from time to time as well.

  7. Ooh, Cape Gooseberries, my favourite, The inspiration for my Blog name actually. I was growing a few at the time I started blogging...
    Mine were ripening in Spring. Had heaps of trouble with nasty ugly slimy beetle larvae eating the leaves though. Am looking forward to growing them again, I love their little cases. Good to see your line tree growing new leaves, I think they are small because they are cold...!!!

  8. Oh dear! Poor Lavender!
    I'm so glad Astrid is feeling better. What a relief it must be! I think having a small flock makes it harder because you get so close to your girls. And boy!

    Your garden is so interesting. I love seeing all your unusual plants!

  9. Astrid may have to be renamed. Alistar, perhaps. Alvin? What will you do if she is he? Roosters can become very aggressive, then what? I am glad that Astrid has regained her health. Does she know how lucky she is?

  10. I had the same thing happen to me when I was young. We had a chicken that we called Diana who ended up being called Henry! :P Glad to hear that Astrid is doing well, she has such lovely black feathers!

  11. Talking of curses...Maybe the name 'Lavender' is cursed too. My little Lavender came with two friends...both turned out to be roosters and had to be rehomed. She is a lonely soul, sort of friends with the silkies but not really. She won't go in the pen and sleeps way up in a tree.

    Good work with the citrus. I tried dwarf ones in my last garden but never had much luck with them. I will check my Bay tree (tiny tho it is) to see if it has little thingy's on it.

    I love the idea of a Melbourne Blogger's get together but I think we should do something to do with gardening.

  12. I don't know much about hens & roosters but the top white one does look like a rooster. I'm growing fennel with corriander and parsley and all is growing well so far. I'm harvesting weekly. Kelli

  13. It's so fun to get a garden tour from half way around the world, it feeds my zonal denial quite well. ;-)

  14. Is that florance fennel that you are growing? I am growing this fennel for the first time with other plants hope it is ok too. Astrid looking much better. Lavender mmm...he/she which not sure.

  15. Sounds like you are having similar weather problems as me! Except I'm supposed to be going into my summer (I'm in Seattle, Wa)!! Nothing is growing. I always love your chicken stories. Our property is too small for chickens, so it's fun to read about yours.

  16. Yes, blogger has been down and has eaten up comments while it was poorly.

    You must have such a lively life with your chickens! So this topsy-turvey weather has reached you too...

  17. Hello lovelies!

    Yes Mr Lavender goes to a new home today...and one day I hope to get a real hen from him and not another manhen! :)

    Hi Karen, I'll watch out for those beetles! Do the cape gooseberries really hang on until spring??

    Hi Phoebe, yes I get close to my chooks :( Mr Lavender though was always a bit odd, the sounds that manhen makes...interesting!

    Hi Lorraine and Ann, I can't keep him but someone else I know can so that's good! Astrid is much closer to me than she was before she got sick too so I think she knows :) I love her.

    Hazel, I've been worrying over the King Tut/Lavender curse. We certainly have it in the garden...and maybe the Melbourne blogger get together can be at Diggers! Or some other lovely garden with a yummy cafe...

    Hi Kelli! Looking forward to me first fennel harvest! Yummmmmm...

    Hi Tom, I'm getting that too, love looking at the blogs around the world all growing amazing things I can't possibly hope to grow here...

    Hi Diana, yup it's a Florence Fennel!

    Hi DesperateGardener, I hope you get a huge patch of earth where Mason can run wild rounding up the chickens :)

    Hi Linda, hope blogger 'gets well' soon as I had lots of good sleep tips that I've missed! With the weather...well I envy your spring even if it is topsy turvy like our autumn!

  18. I'm afraid I'm no help determining if Lavender is a rooster or not - but I can sympathise with Astrid standing out in the rain - my girls have no problems getting all wet - and our poor silkie Dr Octopus always looks a bit sad with a wet matted pom pom but she doesn't seem to care..

  19. Poor Mr Lavender :(
    It's great to see round your garden :)
    Weirdly, we had some hail here in the UK this past week, I think we had our summer in April.

  20. Yes the problem of the comments was because of blogger...mine disappeared too :( anyway cool pictures love the garden and the chicken :D so cute!

  21. No no no! You can't all get together without me!!! nooooooooooooo!!! I wanna come too!!!

  22. I've had a brainwave Ali! We are all coming up to stay with you!!!! :D

    Hi Alecia! Our silkie Cloud Zen is looking a bit sad at the moment the name Dr Octopus!

    Hi Lucia! You photos are so beautiful.

    Awwww Mo & Steve I hope your summer comes back! Hail does horrible things to a garden :(

    Well, Mr Lavender has gone to a new home now! I'll look in on him from time to time to see how he's settling in. Wonder if he'll realise he is actually a boy and not one of the girls!

  23. Sad news about bees...

  24. Hi Jem, that is a very interesting article. You know how much I love bees. I can't help thinking that the radiation emitted by mobile phones, wireless networks, etc is responsible for a lot of things...increase in cancer in young people, in other disease...and you just can't escape it no matter where you are. But this about bees...thanks for the article.

  25. So very pleased to see little Astrid looking her usual glossy self. Can you tell me more about giving chickens hot porridge I have never heard of such a thing. Do you think frizzle bantams might eat it as we are freezing in Bungendore at the moment we even had a light snow the other day!

  26. Thank you for the suggestions in particular the heated wheatbixs I just had to smile of the thought of having wheatbix's chooks!

  27. how nice that you have chicken in your garden, i would love love to have one like that in my own place too


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