Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bantam egg!

The bantams laid their first egg today!
Its a tiny little pure white egg and it came from the Buff Rock.
I've red mite powdered them, clipped their wings and nails and will worm them to make sure they're fine to go in with the others. The buff rock has slightly scaley legs, so I've put vegetable oil on both their legs just to be sure its not scaley leg mites.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New bantams

I went today and re-homed the cockerels :) They'll be living in with a flock of ex-barn hens and when they're a bit bigger I think they'll be sold on as breeding cockerels.

I picked up some new bantams while we were there - a Speckled Sussex, a Buff Sussex and 2 Buff rocks.

Speckled Sussex called Pox:
Buff Rock:

They're in a rabbit run next to the Eglu with the Brilley chick in it, and in a few weeks they'll be integrated with her, then a while after that they'll be integrated with Matilda + Theodore.

The Buff Sussex and 1 Buff rock have gone to live with my Aunt + Uncle - their first chickens :D

More Doves

Its all starting again.
The last chicks were around for a week, and then one morning I came down and one had died, later on the other died aswell - I think they were too cold because they were big and only had 1 adult sitting on them.

Judy has laid another 2 eggs ... again, they are fertile ... again.
I like having her hatch them, but if they keep dying I might have to start thinking about taking the eggs away as its such a shame to put all that effort into hatching the chicks and then abandoning them :/

We'll see what happens this time!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Home & away

I've managed to find someone that will take all of the cockerels and he has some bantam hens for sale :D

He has a chicken rescue place and they'll eventually be sold on to people that need a cockerel and hopefully they'll be bred from still.
He has some light sussex, speckled sussex and buff rock bantams all for sale, and I've reserved the 3 sussex' and may ask my aunt + uncle if they want the buff rock bantams. I wanted bantams rather than large fowl because the Brilley chickens are classed as LF but are small, so will suit bantams, and being younger the bantams will be a similar size to her.

The chicks (or some of them) are going into school today for open evening, it'll be interesting to see what people think because they haven't seen them since they were a week old!

Now I'll have to juggle intro's with the Brilley Chick and the bantams.

Monday, September 14, 2009

4 cockerels

I've just found out the 4 Cream Crested Legbars are all cockerels :(
They all have big combs coming through, I can't believe I didn't notice it before.

I'm going to have to find homes for 4 now instead of just Fry.
I'm hoping to get some hens to integrate with the Brilley White chick so she isn't lonely before she is integrated with Matilda + Theodore.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chicken Dispatch, Gut + Bone course

I went to Banbury today on the train on a course to learn how to Dispatch, Pluck, Gut + bone chickens.
It was a good day + good course, I was in the first group, then stayed to help out for the rest of the day.

We had to dispatch a chicken using the broomstick method, which was
quick and easy to do, then stop the chicken flapping by holding it close to you. I thought it was all done in a really good way, and Alison explained everything properly.
We then plucked our chickens sat round the table and once they were done, put away for me to do the rest at home.
A Blue Peter moment and we were all given chickens that were dispatched and plucked on Thursday. We learnt how to gut a chicken which was ok, then how to bone it.
I was rubbish at the boning, so probably won't do it again, but it was good to see how you do it.

Watching people gut and bone on the courses after us was really helpful to watch, to remember how to do it all and take it in properly.

At the end of the day we went to the pub for a meal to meet a few Omleteers :)
It was quite strange to recognise people all day that I'd never met before and feel that you 'know' them.

Raising meat birds would be something I want to do - but Mom + Dad aren't sure because they think I wouldn't do it and they'd become pets. I really like the idea of knowing exactly where your meat has come from and what has gone into it - as long as we didn't name them, it should be ok ... and we may have a spare eglu next spring ;)
Thanks to everyone - especially Clare for ferrying me around all day!