Sunday, 5 December 2010

Scrawny creatures

The established Allotment crews are looking very sorry for themselves.

At the moment I only see them once a week or two. DH goes down on his own to do them.    It makes it easy for me to notice changes in them. when I do see them.  Roo didn't recognise me at all this time, and started to sidle up and challenge me as soon as I stepped into his run.

I talked to him, and it didn't make any difference. Then I made that cockerel noise (you know, the one cockerels make when they have a tasty morsel to offer a passing hen).  He looked at me sideways, then suddenly relaxed and stopped posturing.

Later, he was happy to eat corn from my hand, so we're obviously friends again. 

His 3 girls are mid moult and very bare.  Two of the girls have pink shoulders, which is emphasised because they are wearing saddles.   We aren't sure that Roo has stopped activity, so we can't take the saddles off - lesser of two evils.    Mrs Roo has a bright pink bottom,  but she wasn't carrying a lot of poo rocks for a change. Poor girl is shaped like a brick and it's hard for the poo to miss her feathers.

Roo is looking a bit threadbare on his chest.  It's more noticeable because his sons are in the next pen, looking enormous and glossy.  They look like larger versions of their Dad, but more multicoloured.  I expect Roo'll be relieved when they finally go, which should be in a couple of weeks. 

Over in the Laydees pen, all 5 of them are mid moult. They are tiny birds (seemingly especially dwarfish now that we are used to the statuesque Florence), and the lack of feathers make them look like little doves.   They are off lay, of course, and so are refusing to be handled.  It makes inspecting them very time consuming and difficult.

Norm didn't recognise me at all. No pecking my foot for corn, which I missed.  She looks particularly tiny.  

At the moment, the 2 moulting flocks are having cat food every other day to supplement their diet.  And because it's cold, they are having extra corn.  We've found that if we put down lettuce, tomatoes and corn, the corn is their preference, so I guess they know what they need.


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