Monday, 9 November 2015

Moving on.

A major move for the Littlees yesterday.  Late afternoon, I moved their Cube and run, so that it was almost next to the Big Girls' one.  It was a bit of a faff, I had to trim the Eleagnea (sp?) to get it through the gap. The Littlees were starting to get stressed as dusk fell and they couldn't find their home.

Fleur found it, and went up the stairs calling the other two.  They weren't so clever.  I put a torch in the nest box, and then went and shooed them round.  They found it in the end.

The next step is to turn it round a bit and connect it to the walk in run.  That means the way in and out will be through the walk in run, and I think its a bit too soon for that.    I am routinely shutting them all in the walk in run when we go out, though... as long as I know we'll be back before chooky bed time.


And today, the Dinner Chicks were dispatched.   All 8 of them in one go.   We had only 1 female, so we couldn't introduce her to the rest of the flock on her own (for a long time we thought we had 2 females, and if this had been the case, we would probably have  kept them).  Because the boys were getting sexually mature, she was going to have to be part of the first group to be dispatched anyway. We've been really lucky that the boys hadn't already started bothering her.

The boys were already big and we if we kept them much longer they'd only be pacing up and down eyeing up the hens in Henry's harem.   It was better all round to dispatch them all.

I always feel sad about it, but I know (and remind myself) that these birds have had a really good free range life. At 24.5 weeks old, they've lived at least 16 weeks longer than commercial fast-growing chickens, and 6-10 weeks longer than most equivalent birds.  If we didn't do what we do, then they wouldn't have been hatched at all... and the gorgeous parent birds in the harem wouldn't be kept, either. 

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