Saturday, 26 March 2011

Update on everything

Well, I haven't had time to post in quite a while as we've been busy with chickens. Last week, we picked up 3 more hens from the BHWT. These were Barn hens, but they are much balder than the ex-batts. They run around and jump a lot more, but they are very timid. We have had a problem with the dominant hens in the ex-batts bullying them, so much so that we have had to separate them during the day and just put the new ones in the shed at dusk when the others are getting ready for bed. We allow them all to free range together as they don't do much bullying when they are distracted by foraging and scratching about. It seems to be working as there is less squawking at night now. I have been getting up every morning at 6am in order to remove the new hens before they gett picked on. Tomorrow I will leave them a while longer.

We went to the Rare Poultry Breeds show at Melton Mowbray today. We met up with some of the members of the Poultry Garden Forum. We bid on a trio of hen Nankins, but they went for £45 which was too much for us. Another member of the Poultry Garden breeds Nankins so I have contacted her to see if she has any hens or hatching eggs for sale. She is in Somerset so it might be possible to detour when we are going down to Sarah's on Casie's birthday.

I am going to stay at Sarah's for a week after Casie's Birthday party. That will be lovely, hopefully the weather will be good and we can do lots of gardening as well as admin for Sarah's business. Her new garden is huge, so will take a lot of preparation this year. Poor Phil will have to look after all the animals while I am away.

We are going to try hatching some Nankin eggs as soon as we have built an incubator. We have a polystyrene box with a lid which is about the right size, we just have to put some bulbs in to heat it, or we can try the reptile basking light which is around somewhere. We really just need a thermometer and thermostat. We will have to make a brooder as well for the chicks when they have hatched

We lost one of the Angoras a few weeks ago, but Aragon was old so it wasn't unexpected, but Jasper has suddenly lost weight and all his fur fell out. we took him to the Vets  as he lost weight so quickly. She couldn't find anything wrong with him so gave him some wormer, probably because I asked if it could be worms. He has to have the paste every day for 9 days. He is still with us, and I don't think he has lost any more weight. I will weigh him tomorrow and then every day after that to see if he is putting any weight back on. His fur is growing back very gradually. Thistle did much the same a few weeks ago but has put all the weight back on and regrown her fur. She didn't lose much as much weight though.

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