It's been several weeks since I've been down to see the chooks on the allotment. DH has been going, I've been working.
I went down today to muck out. It was lovely to be greeted by a sea of chickeny faces waiting to be let out for a munch on the grass. Henry looks great, but many of the girls are moulting and are in varying stages of oven-readiness. The two oldest hens, Siouxsie Sioux and Not Norman (Norman's sisters) are over 6 years old now and are starting to show signs of their age; I'm wondering if they will live through the winter.
The biggest changes were in the Dinner Chick pen. As I feared, we have only 1 girl, and so we have to take action sooner rather than later. The cuckoo marans boy is stunning; the Araucana is covered in lemon feathers; the Wyandotte boy has blossomed into a really handsome chap; and the remaining 4 boys look like small Henrys.
They are 21 weeks old now, and I think we'll have to do a cull before we get any problems.
I really dislike this part.
There are too many to cull in one go, so we have to make some decisions. It's probably best to leave the dominant male until the end - otherwise we'll create a vacancy and it'll cause the remaining boys to fight. The araucana isn't going to get to a sensible table size anyway, so he might as well be part of the first group. We have only 1 girl, so it's probably best that she goes. And I guess 2 of Henry's sons. That';; be 4 gone and 4 remaining.
Just need to organise it now.