Diary

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Posted: Friday 8 August, 2008

by Rosemary at 2:31pm in Poultry No comments Add your own

Our six Copper Black Marans, at 17 weeks or so, are pretty big so I decided yesterday to let them out to free range. Normally, I would keep them seperate until they come into lay, but I want to move Chip and the young Black Rocks into the smallark, so they can learn to use the ladders; I can then move the broody and her chick into the batchelor pad and give them more room.

I simply took the end off the run yesterday and waited. The first to emerge was the golden pullet, then the three cockerels then the two black pullets. The uber-confident cockerels weren't so bold once they were out in the world. I've been keeping an eye on them - all six stick together and away from the other hens. One of the old RIR whacked one of the cockerels this morning - he's not as macho as he thinks!

They all went back to bed last night in their own ark; today, they are more confident and ranging a wee bit further away, feasting on windfall apples and beech leaves. If one gets left behind, it's a big flurry to catch up!

We've brought round a spare run to extend the broody's area - the chick was very excited by all th new space and was racing round the boundary, much to his adoptive mother's chagrin. The run's kind of Heath Robinson but it will do meantime.

We'll move the Marans into the big ark on Sunday and Chip and the Black Rocks on Monday; as soon as they get the hang of the ladders, I think I'll let them out.

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