Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This morning the turkeys are worse! They are fine in themselves, eating like crazy, drinking and seem quite happy, but their avian pox is looking horrible.  I spoke with a vet and did some research online, we just have to let the virus take it's course.  

Here in Mallorca you can buy veterinary products over the counter at a pharmacy, which is always useful.  I have got some supplements for them to see if I can boost their immune systems and get rid of the virus quicker.  I just add a little to their water every day.

The chickens are doing great and I have just begun building a secondary (small) portable coop.  This will be for quarantined birds/sick birds etc.  But the main reason for it is that we are about to add to our chicken flock and need a place to quarantine the new hens when they arrive.  Because they are from a different flock they could be carrying some nasty viruses or diseases, so we quarantine for about a month to keep an eye on them.  It may take me a while to build the thing though!!

Today the orange blossom on two of our trees has opened up and the smell on the wind is amazing.  Such a powerful blossom.

We only have two orange trees that blossom now in September/October, but the others already have a good crop of oranges growing ready for December - delicious.  The mandarins look better this season also, last seasons crop was very poor!  They are all still green, they won't turn orange for another two months I expect!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Well, I noticed yesterday that although the turkeys are really happy and growing very well, feeding and drinking with no problems, they both had black spots on their heads and necks!! today I have notice it is also on their bodies - AAARRRRGGHHH!! What is it??  I have searched and researched on the web and I think I have discovered what it is.  It is the poultry version of CHICKEN POX!! I believe the correct term for it is Fowl Pox - NICE!! 

I think the black dots are the 'fowl pox'! 
So what to do??? I am awaiting a reply from Backyard Chickens.com, someone must know some more info on this virus!  I don't think there is anything we can do, just ride it out like humans have to.  We will see what tomorrow brings.

The turkeys and the chickens all seem to be doing well for now. I think rain is forecast in the next couple of days, but I'm hoping we won't get flooded again, not much fun for the birds, although they all seem to dry out pretty quickly as we are still getting warm sunny days with temperatures around 28C or more.  Lovely.

I want to change the turkey house and make it a little higher as they are growing so fast, but I haven't any materials at the moment, I may have to improvise - as usual.

waiting for more food - they are so greedy.

Humphrey decided to nibble some orange tree leaves

Spock and Humphrey
As all the birds began to settle down for the night, I went to change the turkey's water and they hopped up onto their house to roost for the night.  The sunset was amazing from their pen and across the fields.

Sunset over Sa Pobla

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Last night was eventful!

We had an enormous amount of rain that fell on us.  It probably began around 23:30 with incredible displays of electricity in the sky, the rumblings of thunder soon came and there were a couple of real crackers, which set the dogs off around the countryside.  I couldn't drop off to sleep as I was wondering what we were in for as the wind got stronger, because I hadn't seen the forecast for the night and I hadn't realised that we were in for a big'n. 

The rain began lightly and at this point I thought it best to go out and close the shutters, the wind was getting up and it was coming from the north, so this blew straight into our bedroom and the living room.  I popped out of the back door so not to disturb J or C, and was promptly followed by 3 cats and two kittens who thought I was bringing them food - oh no, not at that time of night.

Shutters on that side of the house closed I went back inside and tried to settle down for the night.  I couldn't. The rain began in earnest and so I had to close the windows as well because the wind blew the rain under the exterior shutters (persianas).  I popped over to the other side of the house to make sure the rain wasn't coming in there either, but that seemed fine...for a moment.....then I heard it.  

It came down incredibly hard, it was like a tropical storm, I whipped round the house closing all the windows I could and although the weather came from the north the wind was all over the place and was blowing it in all directions.

The roof in the living room began to leak! so I grabbed bowls and towels (to stop the drip, drip noise), then I heard a LOT of water outside the front of the house and the dogs barking periodically.  I decided to check.

Peering around the front door I saw a bucket float past! and Rex barked at it as if it was an intruder.  I grabbed my waterproofs and wellies, desperately trying to pull a pair of socks on  - I hate wellington boots with no socks!!  You never know if there are spiders hiding in the toe end!!  I grabbed a torch and went outside.  Meanwhile...C was sound asleep and I couldn't wake him to help me out & J was sparko.

The flooding came up to my shins! great.  I knew it was the drains covered in leaves, so for 20 mins I set about clearing them - it took a while but finally the water subsided and drained away.  Then I thought ' oh heck the turkeys!'.  Their pen is situated at the bottom of a small orange grove and when it rains it gets very, very muddy!!

On my way down the grove past the trees - which were all completely waterlogged - there was a huge puddle by the turkeys gate.  I managed to untie the sodden rope and went into the pen, shining the torch to see if they were ok.  I couldn't find them.  You would think that they would have been snuggled up in their little house - but NO! they were in the corner under a tree, huddled up and as close to the back wall as possible.  They looked completely bedraggled and their feathers were all wet, they were not happy boys.  Half the pen was underwater, so I carefully picked up Spock and put him under cover and then Humphrey.  Their food was mush, so I tipped it out and ran back to the store cupboard to get them some dry mash, ready for the morning.  I then had to run back to the garage to grab some dry straw which they then snuggled into quite happily for the rest of the night.

On waking up this morning and looking outside, there was no trace of any flooding at all! The land has been so dry this summer that it just soaked it up as soon as possible.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


We have many colourful characters around here, especially some of the local farmers.

We were getting ready to settle in for the evening on Monday 10th Sept - being English we tend to do that a lot earlier than the locals, who seem to be up till midnight as a general rule! - it must have been about 8pm or 8.30pm,  when one of our local farmers appeared at the gate.  We only knew this as the dogs were going crazy.  The three of us ventured out to say hello.  C, dressed but with no shoes on, hobbled out to the gate, J and I had our pyjamas on with flip-flops.

Our farmer M, who grows specialist rice here in Sa Pobla, was waiting with his van.  I just about understood what he was asking.. 'Do you like aubergines?'.   Well, actually no I can't stand them, but C likes them and I know they are pretty good in chutneys so we nodded and said 'si, si, muy bueno'.  He beckoned to us to come outside and spoke Mallorquin to J, so I had no idea what he said.  J then interpreted (it's great having a son that can tell me what is going on), saying, we have to go with him down the road to his friend's finca and pick some veggies.  C & I looked at each other and to not appear rude we said 'ok'.

The 3 of us piled into the van and we trundled off down the lanes to another small farm.  A tied up dog barked at us furiously as we drove into the driveway and we pulled up outside a small house.  Out we got, no sign of anyone! were they there?

Eventually an elderly man appeared at the door.  We weren't introduced just told to go round to the field at the back and pick what we wanted!  There wasn't a great deal to choose from but we had aubergines and a few peppers.

It has been a bad year for many vegetables this year, apparently because it has been so hot.  I know that our veg hasn't done at all well, in fact I think we only managed to salvage about 3 courgettes and 5 tomatoes! Our sweetcorn is being pulled up today because it's got some disease or other, bulging with nasty blackness - yuk.  Any cobs we can salvage will be dried and used as fire lighters for the winter.

So, J and I stumbled about in the dark collecting aubergines and peppers whilst M (our farmer) nattered on about how bad everything was this year.

We eventually ended up at the front of the house, after inspecting the beans, sweet potatoes and leeks, which apparently won't be ready for at least another 15 days.  The old man was there and pointed to an enormous mound of squashes - they all looked like giant butternut squash - one of my favourite vegetables roasted with chicken - yum.  Anyway, he offered us two.  One from the front which was rather green and one from the back of the pile.  I tried to pick the green one up and succeeded, but it was unbelievably heavy!  It had to be two foot long or more! He told us that it would not be ready to eat for another 6 months!! the yellow one would be ready for now.  C, J and I thanked him very much and piled back into the van, after C made friends with the dog.  The old man found it very funny us trying to carry the squash to the van and we left him chuckling away with his dog and family.

When we returned home C weighed the largest squash - the green one - and it was 10kg!! ridiculous.

When we got home M also gave us some rotten peaches which he said the chickens and turkeys would love.  I've yet to try them on fruit. Perhaps today.