Sunday, 13 December 2009

Back (for a bit)

Hello, sorry it's been so long.   Had some family things going on and they have been taking nearly all my time and focus for the last month.

So, let me start with an update on all the chooks.

The Garden Girls are doing really well.   The moulting has finished for all of them, except for Milly who seems to be taking a long time to regrow her head feathers.  

Lily and Daisy are valiantly continuing to lay most days; Milly and Jasmine have given up for the winter,   and Delilah has (hopefully) retired completely.

Delilah's feathers are more stunning than ever. This year she is displaying a bluey-black grey feather, with a black face.     She crouched for me today, which was a bit of a shock for both of us. 

Lily and Daisy haven't moulted at all,  and their sparkling white feathers are very grubby...mainly caused by them bathing in the Dustbath while the contents are a bit damp.

Daisy's beak continues to split, and DH is trimming it a little bit every few days to see if we can get it under control.  Now I'm home for a few days, we'll try to mark her beak where the split is, so we can see if it is extending backwards.

The Girls now control about a third of the garden, and it won't be long before they get the rest of it.    DH washed the roof of their walk-in run, which made everything look much better.

On the Allotment The remaining bought-in Dorking girl (Willow, I think) is still moulting, but has nearly finished.  DH lets the two Dorking flocks free range together when he is down there, and they are fine, usually mostly interested in exploring the other flock's quarters.    This week DH mentioned that he had trouble telling the bought-in Dorking from three of the offspring; it was only because she was moulting that he spotted it was her.  We're assuming that the three brown-egg Dorking chicks are hers,  and that Norman is the offspring of the Dorking who sadly died.

The chicks here are now 13 weeks old (except Normy, who is only 11 weeks).

We'll carry on like this for a while,  eventually we'll leave them all together  all the time, but with two henhouses to choose from.  Because there are so many chicks, they are unlikely to be serious issues from Flint - but if there are, they won't have to share the same accomodation.  if we leave it too long, we'll have problems the other way, with Flint and Willow being bullied. 

One of the blue-egg chicks was under the weather a while ago.  We brought her home so we could give her some avipro, and watch her. We were able to check that her poos, although runny and white, were not displaying anything scary like sulphur yellow colouring.   After a couple of days her poos settled down and she looked a bit better, and we decided to put her back with her siblings.  She's now running around as fit as ever.

In Roo's area, all of them are doing well.  They are all about 18 weeks old now, and we're gradually moving them on to Layers pellets.  Roo is enormous and magnificent. His two Sasso girls are absolutely stunning as well, and I'd love to have a Sasso girl in my flock at home.  The two Ixworths are getting very large,  and we're thinking that one is definitely a cockerel.  We'll need to think about taking action soon, as we don't want to start having problems between him and Roo.     The female will stay, and we'll see what Sasso x Ixworth is like.

This group is SO friendly, because (of course) we handled them constantly from the moment they hatched.  We didn't do this with the Dorkings because we didn't want to become any more attached to them than we could help;   in some respects, I wish we had just gone ahead and handled them more as it would make life easier when worming etc. 

I'm at home for some of next week, so I'll try and take some pictures.