Tuesday, 9 March 2010

peace in the valley

Well Its a known fact that I have far too many cockerels and I even though I've killed and eaten a few, I'm still very soft and besides the ones I can't eat have names (unintentional) and characters.

Today I managed to re-home 2 of my favourites (ok so not favourite enough to stay but still I liked them)

Yes my dear blackberry and little frody, have gone to live with a lovely veggie lady (so no need to worry about them ending up in a pot) and her 11 lonely hens.

I know they will both be in chicken heaven and won't know what to do with themselves. They along with Sawyer my welsummer cockerel have been confined in a bachelor pad run away from the main flock. But now its just Sawyer and his 2 new ladies that were acquired at the weekend.

Yep poultry auction season has begun.

Now I wasn't planning on doing much buying at auctions this year but I went on Saturday to sell a big galvanised feeder and have a look around. Loads of birds there they had to open up another section. Hubby was quite worried, but he had no course to as there were a few things I fancied but not enough to bid for. Except some wee little ducklings just 2 little'uns in a huge cage labled as "black and white ducklings 4 weeks old". I planned on bringing these home but they went for £6 (and that's a head). I remember last summer seeing 4 Muscovy's going for 50p the lot. I was quite sad to miss out on them as in the few minutes I decided to bid for them I'd named them and planned where to put them. Also I thought 2 random babies would be a good introduction to duck keeping. However when I saw the chap who'd bought them show his little boy and the look on the boys face I was rather pleased for their fate.
Anyway what did I buy. Well after watching lots of POLs and Hybrids going for twice what you could buy from local breeders, 2 Indian game hens came up, I'm guessing no one really knew what they were as the only interest was from the bloke who was buying up all the unwanted lots for pennies, cockerels and drakes and I have a fairly good idea about their fates. He bid a pound and I bid and won at 1.50.

Bless them they have already paid for themselves in eggs laying every day including in the box on the way home. However they have the worst case of scaly leg mite I have ever seen, It looks like they are wearing spats, but I'm treating the problem and as a precaution treating sawyer too and in a month or two the will be good as new.

I like Indian game birds, the males are good eaters and the hens are so petite in a beefy nightclub bouncer sort of way. They make the funniest little trilling sounds and have a slightly feral attitude about them. These 2 can stay with sawyer until their legs improve then they can join the main flock and sawyer can have 3 welsummer brides of his own to breed with.

I've also been making the most of the sunshine and getting out side and doing some seed sowing in my tiny plastic greenhouse. So far I've sown sweet peas, leeks, lettuce, pak choi and black Tuscan kale. My very expensive heritage red flowered broad beans went in to and I have tomatoes and snapdragons on the windowsills. The baby silkies snuffkin and little my have doubled in size and are now eating a mix of crumb and growers pellets and spending a few hours in the sun running about in alfies dog cage, helping to scracth out the patch of chicken trashed lawn ready for me to re-seed it.

Oh and the duck is still here but his girlfriend comes and goes (the hussy) thinking more and more about catching Sid and buying him a paddling pool.

Right some boring housework beckons.....

Jess xx

P.S the walls have dried out but its still flipping freezing


Magic Cochin said...

'chicken trashed lawn' we've got one of those ;-)

You been having fun - looking forward to seeing you Indian Game girls.

little frody looks like our Tarragon, who is becoming such a macho boy!


IsobelleGoLightly said...

We're on the way to having too many chickens (in my goatie opinion). We have five nice laying hens and eight Easter Egger youngsters up and coming. Two roos. One bantam and one Easter Egger. Turkey eggs are on the way via US mail and Guinea eggs too!

My lady tells me it's hard to rehome the odd chicken or roo when you've known them awhile. She can't eat hers.... such a sap!

Welsummer chickens look appealing to my lady.. Uh oh... thank goodness she doesn't keep adding GOATS to our barnyard!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

I have missed your posts.
yes I know how it feels to be extra soft on your cockerels...I killed three last year and felt dreadful about it....

good for you to rehome your two
it is so hard to rehome cockerels!!

Jess said...

Have I been gone that long john?

So pleased they've gone in a nice way. 5 more to go.

Isobelle, welsummers are lovely.

Chicken Boys said...

Cockrels. They are a dime a dozen. We just ate four of our own last week. We still have more than we need. Some may find new homes this summer, or end up on a dinner plate. We will see. I know a kid who had a rooster, and a dog killed it. (At least, that's what I hear.) I may offer him one. We will see what may come.


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