Saturday, 2 July 2011
Poultry catch up
Photo: (click on image to enlarge) Young Gold Duckwing Welsummer cockerel - next year's second line.
( his legs are yellow !! )
The last couple of weeks have seen quite a few changes amongst the poultry.
Despite trying various different tactics the Indian Game cockerel remained infertile or at least disinterested. He was young and fit and would chase the girls around the paddock for as long as they would run but as soon as they stopped he walked away. So he is no longer with us.
Next year in his place as head of the table bird flock we will have a Barnevelder cockerel. I have the pick of 5 from this year's hatch but have already marked out the one I think the best.
I am also going to replace the mix of heavy breed layers but am keeping the Marans, Speckled Sussex and Indian Game as they have been star broodies this year. The other layers have already been sold and have gone to a very good home. I will make the numbers up with half a dozen Barnevelder pullets.
All of this year's Exchequer Leghorn pullets have sold and I am still getting enquires for them. Today I set another clutch of eggs under a broody Speckled Sussex. This will probably be my last hatch of the year.
The Gold Duckwing Welsummers have been amazing, they have been laying daily and the egg size and colour is very good. In the past week or so two have gone broody but it is not a breed I would use to sit, especially as this year I have been overwhelmed with broody hens.
The cockerel I kept back from last year is looking good and I have two nice looking pullets amongst the Partridge Welsummer eggs I hatched, so hopefully the makings of a quality second line.
All the rest of the chicks are thriving and as each batch grow and more hatch they are moved along the line of different size runs.
The turkey eggs hatched last Friday 12 out of 13 being shared amongst two hens ..but more about that later along with photos.
The old gander, thankfully, has settled down and seems reasonably happy pottering about with the sheep and hens. He is in full moult and looks a little dishevelled but otherwise none the worse for his ordeal.