Friday, 12 October 2012

Allotment Babies

The Allotment Babies are also coming along well.   They are 14 weeks old, and are slower developing than the chicks from last year; I think that is partially to do with the lateness of hatching, and it's a good thing.

They are 14 weeks old. It's possible to tell that some are definitely cockerels, and some are definitely hens, but there are a lot where I'm just not sure.   It won't be long before it becomes obvious.

They've eaten all the grass, and so we are supplementing them with greens every day. There is a small amount of greenery in the cockerel pen, which is currently out of bounds to them. We have it ready so that we can separate the cockerels and hens before the hormones kick in.   I was expecting to have to do it this weekend, but it may be that we have a few more days before we need to separate them.  I don't want to accidentally put a girl in with the boys.

We'll probably open p the cockerel pen so that all the chicks can use it. Then we'll separate it again when necessary.  This means all of them will get the opportunity to eat the vegetation, and it'll mean the area won't be completely new to the cockerels when the time comes.

Yesterday when I went down to see them, one of the boys had got in with the Old Ladies.  I don't think it was anything hormonal, he was probably just looking to eat whatever they had to eat.   When I was poo picking, I realised (from the tiny pile of poo in the nest box) that he must have got stuck in there overnight, and he'd managed to go to bed in one of the nest boxes. Brave boy!

He isn't one of the ones which let me pick them up, so I couldn't catch him. He was also too stoopid to see the gap in the fence that I provided for him to get back.  What a palaver!  After 5 frustrating minutes,  I was tempted to leave him where he was. However,  I could see that the Old Ladies weren't too impressed with having someone new thrust upon them, so  I carried on trying to walk him out. Or catch him.   Eventually I had to open the fencing right up, and lobbed some corn in.  He came running up to near me, so I tried again. He went almost  to the gap, but then ran away.  We tried this a couple more times, and eventually he popped through the gap.

Yellow-Right-Ring is going to be stunning. Grey Ring is going to be gorgeous too, and has a pea comb.  I still think they are both boys , and we have room for only one.  Cross that bridge when we come to it.
I spent nearly a whole day last weekend cleaning and Poultry Shielding all the coops. Hopefully for the last time this year, unless we get a very sunny December day.

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