Diary

The aftermath of Forfar Poultry SaleRSS feed

Sunday 26 August, 2012

by Rosemary at 8:34pm in Poultry 3 comments Add your own

It’s been a wee while since I made any diary entries – the last one was made just before the last poultry sale at Forfar market. That’s because, since then, I’ve been tending my new poultry.

We have about 80 hybrids and odd and sods in the two laying flocks, but I thought it would be nice to have some pure breeds. So, birthday money clutched in my hot little hand, off I went to the sale.

We have had Cream Crested Legbars before and rather liked them. It is an attractive breed that lays blue eggs. I’d also been given a pair of CCLs (Columbus and Clara) for my birthday, and a cockerel really needs more than one hen, so they were on my list.

Columbus, Hovis and ClaraColumbus, Hovis and (in the background) Clara.

A while back, for reasons too tedious to write about here, I bought a lovely Black Orpington hen (Ruby). I really like her – she’s pretty, very docile and a good broody. So Black Orpingtons were on my list.

Finally, we hatched some Welsummers – a Dutch breed that lays dark brown eggs – this summer, getting (naturally) four cockerels and two hens. So a few additional Welsummer hens were on the list.

Oh, and we had a three broody hens, so some eggs were on the list too.

My first bargain was a trio of Black Orpingtons for £12. They’re healthy enough but one of the hens, on closer examination, isn’t an Orpington. She may be a cross but she’s going out with the layers sometime soon. Ruby went broody a couple of weeks after the sale, so she’s sitting on Black Orpington eggs. They’re due to hatch next week but they’re off ebay, so I’m not expecting much. The Black Orpington cockerel has been named Calvin.

There were a few CCL pullets at the sale, so I managed to secure six – three for me and three for my chum, Carol. Like the Orpingtons, they’ve been wormed and kept separate until now, but the plan is to put them with Columbus and Clara this weekend.

Cream Crested Legbar hensNew Cream Crested Legbar hens.

There were no Welsummer pullets, so I bought a dozen hatching eggs plus a dozen CCL ones for the three broodies.

The broodies didn’t quite go as planned. One had been trying to sit for ages – two days after I put eight eggs under her, she decided she’d had enough. Of the other two, one sat beautifully but the other took a day or two to decide whether to continue sitting or not. Due to a shortage of accommodation, the two broodies were in the same box so when, in the end, five Welsummers hatched, they had two mommies. Modern family. :-) None of the CCL eggs hatched. :-(

Wellsummer chicksWellsummer chicks and their 'mothers'!

So, the position today is that we have a Black Orpington cockerel and two hens, but one’s currently sitting on Black Orpington eggs. The pretend BO is still with the cockerel meantime. We have four CCL hens and a cockerel – they’re due to become a group this weekend. And we have two Welsummer pullets that we’ll keep with the biggest cockerel (Hovis) – the other three will be fattened for the table along with any cockerels in the new batch of five chicks. Hens from this batch will go with Hovis.

Accommodation is a little stressed at the moment. One of our neighbours was less than impressed by the cockerels, so all the pure breeds are in temporary pens on what passes for our front lawn. Their houses are also of a temporary nature and won’t do in the longer term but they’re coping. :-)

Sorting them out on a longer term basis is another thing for the “To Do” list.

Comments

heidih

Sunday 26 August, 2012 at 11:27pm

These birds are beautiful.!.i would love a cockeral but unfortunately my neighbour already does not like my chooks and ducks so i dont think it will ever happen..enjoy your new friends..very sweet x

mintytwoshoes

Monday 27 August, 2012 at 10:21am

Really love your cockerals! Sorry you are having problems with neighbours and cockeral noise. Think it is a very common problem even when you live out in the country. We know!!! Mine are heavily covered up so they think it is permanently dark till at least 8am feel really bad as we dont hear them at all and they love getting out and about first thing. Any other suggestions greatfully received. I usually go to the Forfar mart but resisted the tempation this time. Not sure if I will be that strong on the next one!!! Just to say think this web site is brilliant.

Rosemary

Monday 27 August, 2012 at 12:05pm

Ours are under the bedroom window but don't wake me - I think I've tuned them out. I agree that shutting them in DOES make a huge difference. Problem with having a few cockerels is that they compete :-)

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