Sunday, 6 April 2014

Moving on

This is Beryl, the perching chicken

Beryl has funny episodes, has had them since she hatched last summer, and has grown up to mature, lay eggs, and potter around the garden.  But she still has funny turns, so we don't put her in with the other chooks, because she could stand neither the pecking order hassle of the other hens, nor the attention of the cockerels.  She has the freedom of the lawn and veg plots at the moment, and loves our company.  Here she is, perching on the EFG's arm yesterday afternoon. She is a gorgeous Gold Partridge Orpington.

Today has been moving day for some of the chooks.  I have already shared my plans to downsize the flock so 9 ladies have moved up the road to my friend G, who absolutely adores chickens and has a huge flock.  She cooks up pots of veg for them every afternoon to serve with their mash, and they get only the best in love and attention.  She has taken back from me some young chooks I bought last autumn, and some of my older ladies, including our beloved Goldenburg, who is 5 now.  

Just this evening, the three young cockerels have gone to a church friend who lives at the other end of the village, and has 20 hens of her own but no cockerels.  I think my three lads are going to think they have gone to chicken heaven in the morning when they see that they have 20 wives between them!

So I am keeping my older Brown Sussex hens [the late Lancelot's wives and daughters] and some hybrid hens, all of whom still lay.  I have also kept my breeding gang of GPOs, so there is just the one cockerel left on the plot.  

We have reduced the numbers from 27 hens and 4 cockerels down to 18 hens and one cockerel.  It should be more manageable, bringing the houses down from 4 to two, and so less work on cleaning out, etc.  I'll see how this goes and if it is still too much, the hybrids will have to go too.  The pure breeds will be the last to go, whatever happens.  I'm too sentimental, really!

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