Monday, 20 January 2020


Summer, one of our two silver duckwing leghorns,  is  going to have to have a name change, which saddens me.  I like the name (it was from both the season and from an actress called Summer Glau) and it suits her, but the name now has some unfortunate connotations.    

Miss Tween, who turned 12 last week, has been subjected to bullying by a girl called Summer,  and Summer's mother has also attempted to bully Miss Tween with a horrendous post on Miss Tween's instagram page.

I'm not sure what kind of person thinks it is acceptable to post a vicious tirade on an 11 year old's Instagram page rather than to take it up with the parent of the child.   The woman was responding to a comment which Summer alleges Miss Tween made about Summer's pony.  Miss Tween did not make the comment;   and even if she had,  the posting she received was completely over the top.
 The woman helpfully ended her comment by saying Miss T or her parents could contatct her if they wanted to discuss it further.

However, when Miss T's mum tried to call,  the mother  refused to answer the phone. She also refused to respond to messages asking to discuss it.

Whatever this woman thinks Miss Tween has said, the rant that she had is just appalling. 

Miss Tween has literally only just turned 12 and has a very strong concept of fair and unfair. Being unjustly accused of something has hit her hard, much harder than being called out for something she had actually done.   She is reeling from the browbeating this woman has given her, and cannot understand the vitriol behind it. 

The irony is that the girl concerned is one of those "Mean Girl" types,  and has constantly been belittling Miss Tween because she loans rather than owns a pony.   

It's a challenge trying to help kids navigate Mean Girl behaviour.   When the behaviour shown by the parent is even worse,  it's even harder to help.


Sasha is out Appenzeller Spitzhauben, and she's a funny little stick.  We hatched her the same year that we bought Fleur (Cuckoo Marans) and Fay (Fayoumi).   The three of them eventually integrated with Poppy and Gloria,  and the 5 of them formed a flock with a strict pecking order.  Gloria>Poppy>Sasha>Fleur>Fay.

They often break into two separate flocks when ranging,   Poppy and Gloria go off as a pair, and the other 3 stick together.

Late last year there was a whole lot of stuff going on, and I think that Sasha was trying to move up the pecking order.    Nothing major happened,  and nothing outwardly seemed to change.

Later than that,  we divided the walk in run, and put the Littlees in one half with a coop to themselves.  It was a coop that had been shut up and access denied for a long, long time, so wasmn't one the older girls had used for some time. Years maybe.

A few weeks ago, at bedtime, there was a ruckus.  When I went out to see what was happening, I found Sasha in the nestbox of the Littlees coop.  The Littlees would not enter the coop and were complaining loudly.  I moved Sasha back to the big girls coop and all was well.

The same thing happened the next night.   Then it seemed to quieten down.  Then one evening I opened the nest box, on impulse, and found Sasha in there.

It was really odd.

If Sasha was trying to dominate the Littlees, she would have gone in the coop and barred the doorway to make it difficult for the others to enter; she wouldn't have gnone in and hidden herself away in the nestbox.  I wondered if she was having problems with the Big Girls  and was maybe trying to join the LIttlees flock.

But during the day, she is with the Big Girls as normal.  It's just at night that she goes off to sleep in the other coop.  

We don't tend to hear a fuss at bed time, so I guess the Littlees have got used to it.

During the day, they mostly live and let live.  Individuals from eac flock sometimes end up next to each other in the garden, and their is little or no trouble (helped by the fact that the two at the bottom of the Littlees pecking order are very respectful to the Big Girk and move away when they appear).. 

I would imagine that if we tried to force them all into one coop, there would be trouble.   I guess there may come a time when we need to do that, but we will worry about that when the need arises.

In Lay

All the Newbies are now laying.  We'e got some beautiful white eggs,  some off-white,  and one (Sylvia) brown eggs.  Fay has also just started laying, the only one of the 5 older girls to do so yet. Fleur and Sasha will restart at some point;  Gloria and Poppy may or may not,  we don't mind either way as they've earned their retirement.

Fay egg underneath
The eggs started off fairly small, same size as Fay (our Fayoumi) lays.  They are gradually increasing in size and the eggs of one of the Littlees is now much bigger than those of Fay.

They are laying in both coops, and Sylvia switches between the two.  We know this because Sylvia's eggs are instantly recognisable.

Shell-less egg
We've had a couple of eggs laid on the floor of the walk in run,  and we had one shell-less egg in the garden. It was still warm when I found it, and one of the two silver leghorns had been running around just beforehand, so I guess it was hers. 

 It was perfectly formed, just no shell

The Littlees are little no more, they are fully grown.   They've lost their baby running (which is when they run with their necks stretched out), and I miss it.

Sylvia, the silver laced barnevelder, is beautiful but aloof.   Astrid, one of the gold partridge leghorn and top of this group,  is friendly and confident;  Sunshine, the other gold partridge leghorn,  has the prettiest face, and loves meeting new people;   Summer, one of the silver duckwing leghorn, continues to be the aquawkiestscardiest leghorn I've had;  and Blondie, the other silver duckwing leghorn,  is just delightful.

Summer and Blondie  will be moving the allotment as soon as the allotment boys have vacated their coop.  Although they are now part of the big flock, the two Boys continue to sleep in their separate coop at night.    We will force a change if necessary,  but we'd prefer them to make the decision themselves.   They are from a slow developing breed,  so it will take a while before they act like cockerels.   (I don't just mean mating,  I mean all the gentlemanly behaviour that goes with it).