Tuesday 15 November 2016

More Hens

You can never have too many hens. We went to a local market on Sunday and brought a pair of young Silkie bantams to improve our home hatching rates. Since we lost Ginger, the Buff Orpington, one of our first hens, her daughters have been trying and mostly failing to hatch chicks. They seem to be absent minded (or Dim as Tim calls them) and they get confused over which nest box is theirs and climb on top of a single new laid egg instead of their half brooded batch. The boxes are clean and vermin free and copiously dusted with diatomaceous earth so I think it truly is a mistake on their part. Also hens lay new eggs in the nest of existing half brooded batches meaning that I have to mark eggs so I can tell new from old and check them every day.
The new girls are currently in a large dog crate for a few days before being let out with the existing flock. I want to be sure that they are happy and eating and drinking well before they mix.

Yesterday we also killed and prepared our two young cockerels from the last batch of chicks. They had started crowing and shagging so they had to go before the existing cockerel killed or maimed them. The kittens are doing well mixing with the existing dogs but the Senior Cat is not very happy, he is not keen on the upstarts with no manners and is definitely not offering them his Werthers Originals. The weather is still good, getting colder but bright and the fire in the woodburner is now lit most evenings. There is nothing like a real fire.

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