One day, someone decided that the noise of a rooster in town is less acceptable than a dog's. That and the fact that you can't really keep more than one rooster every six hens makes them the HARDEST animal to re-home!
So for the past two months I have been on the hunt for good homes for our three cockerels. I am thrilled to report, that after much searching I have found great new homes for two of them, where they will be well looked after and live a long happy life!
Our gentle Australorp cross Light Sussex boy was picked up yesterday to go to a great pet home with a lovely family of five humans, six hens and a duck. Here he is on his first day at the new place, happy amongst his girls in a great big secure run.
The biggest of our Australorp boys just got picked up tonight to go live with two lovely humans and a harem of gorgeous Australorp ladies to hopefully produce equally beautiful chicks.
We are still searching for an equally good home for our third lovely boy, if anyone is interested, please get in touch
We had a lovely sunset walk up the hill tonight to check on our gorgeous llama mums and their cute babies.
Three days ago, Reba gave birth to our last cria of the season, Medelia, a lovely strong baby girl, with almost the exact same markings as her mum. Reba is the most amazing of mums. We arrived just minutes after the birth while wet Medelia was still trying to get up. Meanwhile, mum was still in labour, passing the placenta. I think she was in quite a bit of pain, as she was stomping the ground with her legs, something we had never seen her do before. In spite of this, as soon as Medelia made it to her feet and went searching for the teats, Reba moved to help her find them, so the little girl managed a good feed very quickly.
On the weekend, we finally were able to open the big orchard enclosure for the chickens to run around in.
Until the trees grow, shade will be a bit of an issue, but shadecloth is being installed in various spots and the chickens seem to have worked out that this is the perfect place to roam in the morning and evening, while it's best to retreat in their cool old pen in the moddle of the day.
I was most impressed at how quickly they all worked out the 18 metre tunnel that connects the old pen to the new one.
It was really interesting to watch them learn (with the encouragment of many treats!) and to see how they each coped with the new environment. Amy, our PR chook, was the first one to venture over and had a good look around by herself, before I showed her where the way home was. Alisha, our first lady, followed Roger in, but really had no idea how she got there so then she just got all worked up about the fact she needed to lay an egg and didn't know where... even though there are three nests in the new enclosure. Bernadette and young Cleopatra really surprised me for being calm and collected and rather adventurous for the shy girls they usually appear to be. On the first night, Cleopatra made it back by herself and left her three brothers behind. In spite of our best efforts, they had a bit of a panic attack at bedtime and had to be carried back to their perch as they were not in the mood to learn the tunnel, but by the next day everyone was happily going back and forth. Yay, so proud!
Meet Valentine, our latest cria, born yesterday, 14 Feb.
He is the last baby of our oldest and most experienced mum, Beeghum, who now goes on to enjoy her 'pension plan' as the oldest, wisest, slightly crancky and beutiful dominant female that she is.
Just like Beeghum's previous baby, two year old Bakr, Valentine inherited his mum's stunning markings and banana ears. His brother is our junior stud and we'll see where this little guy gets up to. For now, he is our tiniest cria yet, but very lively and happy and with mum's plentiful supply of milk he won't be small for long.
Beeghum is such a great mum. So experienced and it's a pleasure to watch how carefully she takes care of her baby. she seems to know how little he is and makes sure she only takes him to the most sheltered areas.
Spot, who's one month old today, is pretty happy he now has a playmate and they had a short game of chasies before Valentine was even a day old.
Yesterday, Beeghum made labour look like a walk in the... paddock! The rest of the herd camped nearby but were all very quiet and still, awaiting the birth.
Soon after Valentine was born, they all went to greet him and check him out.
One of our cats, Louis, was also present and an eagle showed up at the end, hopefully after the placenta and not the baby!
Then as we were nearly home, I heard some steps behind me which didn't sound like Miley's... I turned around and there was Jamie hurrying towards me to claim his bedtime seeds!
On 12 October 2012, proud mum Sally showed us her four fluff balls. Only one of those 'chippies', like our two year old calls them, was hers, but she didn't know... She was an excellent mum. Found them insects and seeds and tought them how to be chooks. Five weeks later she decided they were old enough to fend for themselves... gotta love motherhood, chicken style! So back she went to the main flock.
Now our chippies are big... boys (three out of four, turned out to be rooster). They are healthy and happy and they need a new home. If anyone is after a great flock leader, they would certainly fit the bill. Their dad, our Roger, is gentle with us and great with the ladies. Contact us if you'd like to meet them or find out more.
Went to check on the girls today as two of them are due to give birth any day. No new crias but a bunch of "dead" llamas... It freaks me out how they rest in the sun, I always need to check they are breathing!
The new girls (and boy) are doing really well. They now all have names and seem to be enjoying their new coop. We'll keep them in this coop for a few more weeks until they are big enough to join the main flock.
I picked up four new lovely chicks last night, from a fellow chicken lady.
They are so cute. The three girls are about 3 months old and are mostly Faverolles though at least two of them may be crossed with something else. In any case, they should make sweet pets and be good layers, as well as very pretty.
I also got one little boy. I really don't need more roosters, but he's a pure Buff Orpington and I just couldn't resist. I have heard and read how friendly this breed can be and I was keen to try for myself. I am hoping to get some girls for him next year so I can breed some Orps.
I was really impressed with how trusting these little guys all were right away.
Today it was a terribly windy and cold day and in the morning they were a bit slow. Damian gave them cuddles and warmed them up inside his jacket, then we put up some extra shelter for them and gave them lots of vitamins, high protein food and warm porrige.
At night the girls sleep on the perch, but the little roo is too young so he's all
alone in the nest. I gave him a hot water bottle to snuggle up to...
I am really looking forward to watching them grow!
Born and raised in Italy, travelled a lot and lived in Singapore and Spain