Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A bit of a disaster

DH was working at a Client site today, so I said I'd to to the allotment and put the birds away for the night.

What greeted me was awful.  Not as awful as poor John's recent discovery, but it was horrible.

Roo, Mrs and Mrs Too were fine.  I gave them some corn, and moved into the Dorking pen. 

There was a kerfuffle, and I saw a brown dorking being attacked by two of the Silvers and another brown;  I moved to intervene and saw another brown dorking (white ring) was  hopping rather than walking.  I tried to catch her, unsuccessfully. I couldn't chase her, obviously, so it was all done in slow motion.

Then I saw one of the silvers, the one with no rings, attacking another brown one. I couldn't see which it was.   WhiteRing climned the ladder (despite only being able to hop), so I was able to pick her up at the top.  While I was stroking her, there was another attack, so I put her down  while I tried to establish who was attacking who. 

Mrs Flint was the victim, and she ran into the house and sat in the nestbox.   At this point I phoned Other Chap (OC), who lives nearby,  for help.

While I waited for him, the birds started to go to bed.   The WonkyTailed Silver Dorking was staying out of trouble, as were Norman and the grey-ringed brown dorking.  Inside the house, I could hear more trouble, and I tried to work out what was happening. 

OC arrived, as did the pouring rain. The birds were all back outside at this point and the squabbling started again so OC saw for himself what was going on. Plkan of action was to put some bedding in the shed, and then get the Silvers (including the poor, innocent, WonkyTail) and put them in there. WIth them out of the way we could inspect the others one by one.WhiteRing, the one who could only hop, was not showing any obvious sign of injury.  We checked her leg and her foot, but couldn't find anything.  She wasn't showing any signs of distress (no hunching or anything), so we put her back while we checked the others. 

Mrs Flint was next. Sh had a cut on her comb and had blood down her face: that's why there had been a frenzy of attacking.   The blue-ring brown girl also had a bit of blood, but I couldn't tell whether it was hers or Mrs Flint's.

In the end,  we decided to leave WHiteRing in the coop and see what she was like tomorrw.   I would bring Mrs Flint home so she could recover in peace while we sort out what to do with everyone.    Fortuntately the Eglu was still outside, it just needed the run attaching. 

The Silver dorkings will be dealt with tomorrow.  OC knows someone who is looking for a cockerel, so one of them may well be rehomed, the others will be for the pot and will be despatched tomorrow.  

Any future cockerels will be dealt with at 18 weeks,  and we will separate them as soon as we know they are boys.  We should have done this, but ours were all so good natured we didn't think we needed to.

Lesson learned.

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