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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Kings and Queens of Chickendon

Much cockadoodle-doo-ing from this handsome bird
We're chicken sitting - not literally; it's a bit like baby-sitting though I never baby-sat so many babies at once. Three cockerels, four hens, three ducks (drakes actually) and my own two newly 'rescued' hens. Apart from the last two, they all belong to our grandson away on holiday somewhere in Europe. We only knew we ere to look after them the day before they arrived with them - all in a huge crate, except for two of the cockerels which were sitting on the knees of grandson and his younger sister.

We had the large brick-built shed all ready for their arrival (see my Dobies blog post on keeping chickens). D. casually said, "you'll need to keep the two Barnavelder cockerels separated. They fight." And they did within a half hour whilst we all ate lunch, one had nearly slaughtered the other; D. was distraught, I thought it had lost an eye - there was an awful lot of blood. We bathed the wounds (all on his magnificent comb and put in his a separate coop, keeping him quiet for a couple of days. I acquired the magnificent coop and run for writing about keeping chickens in forthcoming blogs and articles - it came from Heritage & Sons who deliver all over the UK and is really easy to keep clean. It's very eco-friendly as it is made from recycled plastic materials sourced from farms. 'Big Cockerel', as D. calls him, is fully recovered and has been joined by two of the hens to keep him company.

And all the birds are enjoying the spent beetroot tops and spinach that went to seed before we could eat it all.