14.4.39.

Cloudy, & a few small showers. Cold after dark.
Saw two swallows (not martins). This is rather early for this locality & a latish year. No one else has seen any.
All day cleaning out strawberries, which have not been touched since last year. It seems one plant will put out anything up to 12 or 15 runners. These seem to develop the best roots when they have rooted in very hard soil. Used some of them to fill up gaps & make another row. Doubtful whether they will take, but Titley [1] says it is not too late. Wallflowers in sheltered positions are full out. No apple blossom anywhere yet.
The 12 pullets which the Hollingsworths got from our 24 eggs (White Leghorn x Buff OrpingtonSussex) have laid 1500 eggs since last autumn, or about 20 eggs per bird per month. They have been fed throughout on pig meal instead of ordinary laying mash. In the same period our own pullets of the same mating have not laid (ie. are only beginning now) owing to underfeeding.
Eight eggs.
For the first time M.[2]  gave a quart today.

[1] A neighbour.
[2] Muriel, Orwell’s goat. Crick, plate 19, shows Orwell feeding her. Peter Davison

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7 Responses to 14.4.39.

  1. The Ridger says:

    1500 eggs!!!

  2. Roving Thundercloud says:

    Swallows, not martins
    No one else has seen any
    (He did ask around!)

  3. Barnaby says:

    Am I right in thinking that swallows tend to arrive a little earlier than swallows? They certainly do over here (near Dijon, France).

  4. Muriel is a fantastic name for a goat.

  5. Fay Shirley says:

    Milk and eggs from now on!

  6. Stephen says:

    So April 14 is “rather early” for swallows in Wallington, but it is a “latish” year … meaning, late for what, early swallows? This is one piece of Orwell’s homespun naturalist-speak that has me beat.

  7. The Ridger says:

    He probably means a latish spring after a long winter. We had redwings show up here just before it snowed; I imagine they were put out.

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