Saturday, 13 November 2010

This is what happens when you don't pay attention

I went to the Allotment with DH today, first time in weeks as I've been working every day and unable to go.  In the time I've been away, a lot has happened.!

The permanent coops have been turned round 90 degrees, and shelters built for the fantastic Grandpa's Feeders (definitely worth the money, I've had the cheap ones and they just aren't as good).  The Laydees have a second bank of nestboxes, so each Laydy can now have her own personal box.

The Laydees are moulting.  They've been moulting for a while, and DH has been supplementing their food with a sachet of Felix (not chicken, obviously) every 2 days.    They are looking bright and alert, but very scruffy.     They didn't recognise me, and even Norman ran away.   She's such a lovely chook.

The four remaining dinner chickens are looking fantastic.  We thought Roo was  a big boy,   but he is dwarfed by his strapping sons.     

The Breeding Flock are now starting to moult, and are looking very much the worse for wear.   Rose has a bald neck and a bald bum, and lots of missing feathers, she looks like an oven-ready bird;  Ruby has bare shoulders and looks a bit of a mess;  Mrs looks very straggly, and needed her knickers cleaning.

Picked them up in turn to look them over.  They are still wearing their saddles, and we can see some wear on Rose's saddle. in particular.  She is Roo's favourite girl, and seeing the wear made us decide to keep the saddles on for the time being.  I have one spare saddle, so we'll replace Rose's  worn one next time DH visits them. 

As we're going to be keeping them saddled for the forseeable future,   I've ordered 3 new ones so that, as the weather worsens and the saddles need cleaning, we can swap them over and keep them protected.

Close inspection showed that the girls are looking fine, underneath the scruffy exteriors,  and I applied louse powder under the saddles.  There wasn't any sign of lice, but I know the Girls find it hard to groom themselves with saddles on,  so I thought it wouldn't hurt.  These Girls used to look huge, but compared to Florence (our Australorp), they see normal sized.

It was good to see everyone, I do miss them when I don't see them.   It'll be good to add Roobarb and Custard to the flock in the Spring, especially as I guess Roo's eventual replacement will be one of Custard's offspring.  That is assuming we want a Sasso cockerel, not a Sasso/Welsh Black cross cockerel... Fortunately it's a bit early to be thinking about that.   Isn't it?

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