We saw a post on the Practical Poultry Forum which told a sad story. A predator had wiped out a flock of bantams, leaving only three survivors. The young lady who kept them wanted to find a new home for them. They sounded lovely, so today we picked them up and introduced them to our existing flock.
So we have another Wyandotte, a silver pencilled one this time. She’s being given the once-over by our senior hens, the chocolate Wyandotte and the white Silkie:
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.
As dusk was falling, they came out long enough to grab some supper and a taste of broccoli that we’d hung up for a treat.
We’re chicken-sitting for one of our daughters, just for a month or three until the work on their garden has been completed and the outdoor wiring replaced. Their plans include a magnificent new chicken run, but meanwhile their three hens will have to make do with one of our brooding pens.
A short post, this one.
We had poached eggs on toast for brunch. The hens have now completely stopped laying for the season, so we’ve reverted to commercial eggs. Nice premium grade free range ones, of course.
But oh dear, what a difference. Nothing like the treat that we’ve got used to over the spring and summer. It’s not as if it’s the first time that it’s ever happened, but it still comes as a bit of a shock.
One of the high points of early autumn is a visit to the Blackmoor Apple Tasting Day, so much so that we drive 60 miles to get there! We’ve been regulars for quite a few years now. Last year it wasn’t held, and we feared the worst, so we’re delighted to see it back for 2014. Blackmoor Apple Tasting Day
The weather was kind. Calm, a bit chill, and with an early mist. Perfect for a wander round, tasting apples, buying a few raffle tickets (we didn’t win), and admiring the displays.
Here’s our visit in pictures.
We made straight for the apple tasting. We’ve bought several trees on the strength of this tasting in previous years …
Our local church decided to expand their normal harvest festival with the addition of a rather grandly-titled “Autumn Food Fayre and Farmers Market”. It sounded like a good cause, so we (well, I, actually) volunteered to do a display of rare-breed chickens, and to bake some bread for their cake’n’bread stall.
The stated objective was to raise money for charity. I don’t know exactly how much they raised, but if it was a couple of hundred quid*, I’d be surprised. So that’s a fail, then. But everyone concerned seems to be delighted. It was, apparently, a “great community event”. So I too will accentuate the positive, and agree that there were plenty of visitors, and that a good time was had by all.
We’re still very taken with our new bantams, but just to show that we haven’t lost our affection for the Ixworths, here we are handing out the last of the blackberries to them. Blackberries are one of the very few treats that the cockerel won’t share. They’re just too good …
After they’d got accustomed to their run for a couple of days, we thought we’d let the bantams out onto the grass for the first time. The cockerel was the boldest.
We spent a few days in Torquay, partly for a family visit, partly because we were itching to try out the new caravan, and partly to visit a couple of poultry breeders. And the cheese? Read on …
We stayed at Widdicombe Farm touring park, just outside Torquay. This site receives rave reviews, and I can understand why. The site is terraced, so everyone gets a good view of the surrounding countryside.