December Chickens

It’s not the happiest month for chickens. The plentiful windfalls and surpluses of autumn have gone, and cold winds have started to blow through the run, in spite of the sheltering straw bales. But we’re keeping their spirits up (and, we hope, their health) with cabbages and broccoli to peck at.

The Light Sussex garden hens are still quite shy, although not as scared of the squirrels and local cats as they once were.

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Down at the allotment, Billy is becoming rather aggressive. The other day he jumped up at me and grabbed my sleeve, clearly spoiling for a fight. I’d really rather not encounter his spurs at too close a range, so I had to fend him off with the broom. 2015 may be his last year, I’m afraid. We could probably do with introducing some other genes into the flock in any case.

Still a handsome fellow though:

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And here is the flock, seen through the bare branches of the gooseberry and currant bushes.

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In spite of the wet weather, we’re keeping the bantams reasonably dry and clean.

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They’re much smaller than the Ixworths, of course, and tamer. Everyone loves Garvo Alpha Mix!

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Not only the cockerel but also the hens are showing signs of maturity. The hens are beginning to change shape as their bodies adapt to egg laying. We’re in no hurry, though. We’d rather they took their time and developed properly and started to lay in the spring.

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