The weather is really heating up here. For this time of year, this week is going to be exceptionally hot...more like August than May, but luckily we have the pool to fall back on. I cannot believe that we have already used it at the beginning of this month. Normally even Kev does not attempt to swim until June. Saying that normally I have real problems getting it clean but this year has been a dream. We ungraded the solar to a 48v system and we can now run the pool pump all day and still our batteries are full. This has seriously made cleaning the pool much easier, enjoyable even (never thought I would say that!).
We have had another month of hardship here...we are seriously being tested about how much we want to live this way. Another animal got onto the land one night about 2 weeks ago. It killed Douglas the duck and stole Doodles (hen duck)eggs that she was sitting on. Then it went for the turkeys...Cranberry and Paxo were both killed. Cranberry was eaten but the others were left with just their heads bitten off. This was another big blow, however the other animals that were happy to be locked up at night were all fine. Luckily we still had 2 turkey hens sitting on eggs so we thought we would be sorted this year for poults. However, Sage our grey hen didn´t hatch one egg...we candled them and not one was fertile. We candled Onions (white hen) too and hers were not fertile either. We checked the ones in the incubator and same story there. We were mortified. This had never happened before...Paxo had always done his job! Guess he was just getting too old. We are now of the opinion that things happen for a reason...the visitor stopped us from having to make the decision to cull our beloved Paxo and for that we are just a little bit grateful! 
Our biggest problem now it trying to get the ducks and the turkeys shut up at night. They are so used to living free and hate being shut up. Every night is a real job and last week we gave up and decided they will just have to take their chances. It is not fair to stress them every night and this was what was happening. We now try to patrol and check the outside fencing every day, if possible, or every other day at the very least.
On a happier note, one of the banties hatched 2 chicks. The rest of her eggs we placed into the incubator and another 4 have hatched but one was poorly and died. We have 5 new chicks that are adorable and make us smile...so spring is finally here.
This week Doodle started to lay eggs again. This time she is laying in the shed. We are happy about this, it means she will be safe at night and so will her little ducklings when they hatch!
Last week I went and bought another 4 hens. It should have been 2 but they had some new breeds in so four it was...once you get chickens you just cannot resist buying more. We are now back up to 14 layers with 2 large cockerels to father offspring. We cannot wait to put some eggs in the incubator and see how big the babies will be.

2new black hens

2 new grey hens

They were a bit shy for starters but after a few days they were running around with the other hens and were happy to follow their cockerel.