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October 2015

November 2015

Update on 52 Books in 52 Weeks (cont.5)

So...I've finished my 52nd book tonight. So I thought I'd do another update. Obviously the year isn't over I'll carry on reading and recording. Last year I read 57 it will be nice to see if I can beat that. I should add that Ive not included any of the non-fiction reference books I read as well. I'm a recipe and gardening book addict. 

Anyhow here's how I got to 52...

50. The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon

51. Rush - Maya Banks

52. The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch


New Additions to the Flock

We've had the ex-bats now for a week and they've settled down very nicely. The run and two hen houses are looking very poorly populated though and today was the day to go and pick out the rest of our hens. 

DSC_3406The plan has always been to get a mixture. I really wanted to give some ex-bats a retirement home, they are reliable layers for the next short while, but their best laying period is coming to or is at an I thought it would be good to get some hybrids at point of lay. My theory is for them to get into their peak laying as the ex-bats start to slow down and then I thought about having some chickens for fun...more pets than as egg providers. 

I'm quite keen to get chickens which will give different coloured eggs too, as this is always a nice combination. 

In November, a lot of places don't have the selection of chickens that they have during the spring and summer's really the low season, so it was very difficult to find a good farm/breeder who would have a broad selection. I didn't mind travelling to a few places, but I did want the introduction to include all the chickens, so it was one intro and minimal stress to the ex-bats. And although I do have a separate run which I could use for introductions, I was keen not to use it for this first flock integration. 

In the end, I was able to locate one place where they had a broad selection and of course I ended up with more chickens than I had planned. I am really pleased though, as I managed to get a good selection of hybrids and pure breeds, and of large and bantam fowl. Among them cream legbar, marans, pekin bantam, booted bantam, appenzeller spitzhauben, laced-winged wyandotte. 

So far there have been a few scuffles as everyone gets acquainted, but nothing too major...I'm told it'll take a few days for everyone to settle down and a few weeks for them to all be nicely bonded and knowing their place in the pecking order. 

3rd Nov 2015

Today, I thought I'd treat the chickens to their first chard meal...they weren't very sure at all to start with. But of course they slowly started to get that the weird green stuff might actually be tasty. It's very rewarding watching them start to get to grips with normal chicken behaviour. The past couple of nights, two of the chickens haven't worked out that there's two snug warm hen houses to sleep in. I've found them fast asleep outside, just at the entrance to one of the houses. So they needed popping into their house to keep warm and safe.

I've also decided to keep a track of eggs and a mini record of the hens. It's a good way to track, injury, who's laying (if you can tell), what's happening at what time of the year...etc etc. This morning there was one egg. Yesterday there were they seem to be fine and settling in nicely. 


2nd Nov 2015

So this is a picture of our first egg and Little Blue. Poor Little Blue wasn't feeling too bright in this picture. She unfortunately got stuck in one of the doors on her journey from the battery farm to the rescue centre. The other hens thought it was a great game to peck her bum. As we arrived at the rescue centre, one of the volunteers was carrying her to give her a little sunshine and asked if we wanted to take her...I promptly said yes. I just figured if we were going to rescue unfortunate chickens, we may as well rehome one of the most unfortunate. I wasn't sure how many other people would want her, as she looked pretty awful.

Anyhow, as chickens are attracted to the colour red, any bleeding wound can attract attention and result in quite serious injury. The rescue workers sprayed her bum with gentian violet antiseptic her bum is blue. And she subsequently got called Little Blue.

I should also mention, she did not lay the egg in the picture. As soon as the chickens were released into their new home, one of them quickly discovered the nest boxes and kindly left a homecoming gift.