|Posted by Kate Hart on October 8, 2010 at 3:46 AM|
Well the first post is really about getting things ready for the next season, isn't always though when keeping poultry? There is alway something that needing doing, fixing, moving....at least the birds are coming into their own now, so pleased that all our efforts are finally coming to fruition, despite a few setbacks this summer.
We have both had this week off, so it has been full steam ahead, clearing the chooks winter area completely and laying fresh woodchips. The winter area is basically a huge barked area where the flock of growers,tend to congregate, they get fed there, plenty of shelter and the big houses are raised on stilts to provide extra shelter and reduce harbourage for rodents. The muscovies have their own shed here too, although, depends how the mood takes them which house they decide to roost in! Last night had to shoo Morpheus (a huge drake) out of the main growers house, he was packed tightly between some rather bemused large faverolles!:roll:
We have also been putting up more fencing, a 35m length of electrified fencing, which edges the walkway by our wood,,basically wooden poles with 8 electrified wires going across, bit fiddly but does give added protection against Mr Fox who we have seen slink out of the wood to watch our chickens!
Fairly simple to do really, rounded wooden poles, with plastic insulators and galvanised steel wire threaded through. The adaptor drill bit was a god send, the insulator just sits inside the drill bit and hey presto! Will post some photos when finished.
Puddle is really flying now, she is a beautiful white Muscovy duck with a funny black spot on the top of her head, very cute! Puddle took off this morning, flew about the height of the cottage, and landed directly with a huge splash, on the pond, very happy with herself! Even more reason to finish the electric fencing today, as I can see it will be nigh on impossible to contain her now she has tasted real freedom!
The faverolles look lovely, the Ermines are interesting, couple of nice examples there I think, two very good cockerels plus a few nice pullets to breed off next year. The blacks I am very pleased with, need to breed back to a black cockerel carrying salmon, to maintain type but also I think to keep the size down, they are very slightly on the large side. By adding a black salmon will keep on track with good type too.
The large faverolles are a hale bunch! Fit and strong running around and I am now getting a feeel for their potential it does seem to take forever, the boys taking around 6 - 7 months to really get an idea of final type and colour. I am watching the boys with interest, unfortunately lost my breeding cockerel earlier this year so looking for a suitable replacement. Bigfoot is now in retirement with some of my golden oldies! Bless him he has spent the summer just eating and snoozing in the sun.