Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Chicken News

 Pretenders to the throne - in their favourite place on top of the Broody Run.

Now that all the pigs have left the farm it's time to give the chickens some serious building up and attention before the Winter sets in.  I want as many as possible of them to survive the cold Winter nights and that means getting them super healthy now. 

A couple of them are having a slight moult and are looking a little worse for wear, some of them had a tussle with Mr Fox and look even worse for wear.  So I am giving them their extras in the form of Seaweed extract in their water, Garlic powder in their food and lots of tasty little snacks and treats that can be hung around chicken world for them to find over the course of the day, including bunches of freshly picked spinach, cabbage halves and all the tomatoes that fall from the plants before I have time to pick them.



We have new arrivals to cater for too, so there is always Chick Crumb around, which all the girls love, it's sometimes hard to make sure the chicks get their fair share!


This is Mummy Bird and her babies, she is a Speckledy that sat on, and hatched out a couple of Lavender Pekin Bantam eggs, I wonder if the little babies wonder why their mummy is so tall.  They follow her round all day and tuck themselves under her on the perch in Henhouse number two every night.




Can you see two little light grey bundles of fluff under her?


These are the latest arrivals just three days old with their Mummy, Little Lucy.

So after Mr Foxes visit and a couple of natural deaths over the last couple of weeks our numbers are seriously down.  The count this morning was:


Layers

21 Hylines
7 Speckledys
1 Light Sussex
1 Welsummer

Lavender Pekin Bantams

Caldwell the Cockerel
his wives  Alice, Little Lucy, Iris and Prudence

4 young Pretenders to the throne
4 chicks

It took me ages to count them, they were bobbing in and out of the henhouses chasing each other around and generally causing me much laughter and bafflement.  The saddest thing was realising that Rachel Rock Star was amongst the victims of Mr Fox, so no longer do we have a lovely Black Rock amongst our girls.

We are letting numbers reduce naturally over the course of the Winter, as it no doubt will, some of our girls are quite old now and in their retirement.  Next Spring we will bring in some fresh blood in the form of some Point of Lay birds, to get our egg production back into action.  At the moment we get on average 15 eggs a day, and now that the Pekins have stopped laying for Winter there are no more little Pickled Pekin Eggs to sell at the Farmers Markets.

Back tomorrow with the launch of my 'How Low Can you Go' Challenge.

Sue xx

7 comments:

  1. they are such beauties! I have been reading your posts with much sadness over the 'escapades' of Mr Fox..at least you now have some gorgeous new feathered friends to help fill the gap left. Good luck to Maud and her brood too, in their new home!
    BH x

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  2. So sad when Foxy Loxy comes but so nice to have the new little chicks.

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  3. Now they are so cute .. I love hens used to keep Welsummers..like tanks they were ha ha

    Lynn xx

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  4. How low can you go? This isn't about limbo dancing is it?
    Jane x

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  5. Beautiful chicks :) We shall also be turning our atttention more fully on our chickens over the coming weeks.

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  6. I love that the babies get up onto the perch with mum, that's so cool! I keep my babies in a house with mum for the first 2 weeks(ish) and they all lie on the sawdust together! Once they're out in the big wide world they still go back to the little house for a couple of weeks, then mum will go back to roost up the tree with all the others ( yes, they have a lovely house but they absolutely insist on the tree ( we have no foxes here so it's safe) often the babies will fly up too or if they're not brave enough they go back to their wee house. Seems to work really well.

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  7. Laura - They were in the little broody house/run with their mum for just over a week, but we had to evict them to make way for the latest hatching (we just did it in time, they moved out in the morning and the new chicks were born that afternoon). So we had our fingers crossed that they couuld adapt to life in the big henhouse, we assumed she would sit in the nesting box with them at night, but it seems she had other ideas. How she gets them both up there I have no idea but she manages every night - clever chicken.

    The others have all accepted them as part of the flock now and it's lovely to see them joining in, especially at feed time.

    Sue xx

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