Ever since we moved to this house I have kept a few chickens and in the past ducks and geese as well. I hate to think how much poultry we have lost to the fox over the years. It is better now we have then hen house nearer the farmhouse. However, Mr. Fox has come into the yard and reeked havoc; on one occasion we were backwards and forwards lambing, with shed lights on, but that did not deter him.
My last cockerel met an untimely demise in that GOS backed over him in the car. The cock was getting on in years and was getting very “slow”, and I am sure his hearing and eyesight were deteriorating so, unfortunately, he failed to move out of the way of a reversing car, and, as he was so low to the ground he was not seen in the car mirror. So since then we have foregone the pleasures of being woken routinely about 4am in the morning or even woken on bright moonlit nights by enthusiastic crowing. However, back in May, early one morning, there was crowing emanating from the side lawn in the garden. A young and very handsome Rhode Island Red cockerel was strutting about. He had been “dumped”. He very quickly took to “the girls” when I let them out of the hen house for their morning corn! The consequence being I let the old, broody Buff Orpington sit and we had a hatching of 5 chicks.
The cockerel was christened “Clyde”, as I reckon he is a bit of a rogue! He has 3 daughters and 2 sons running round the yard now; with, I am sorry to say, continual teenage bust ups between Dad and the boys. Someone is going to have to move out! The girls are laying eggs – the most unusual colours; some white, some greeny blue and some a definite khaki. A throw back, I think, to one of my old Araucana hens. This is a very old breed originating in Chile; they lay coloured eggs. I do have a very mixed bunch in the poultry line. All re-homed: a few “rescue” Araucana hens from a local free range egg producer when he was having a clear out sometime ago, since then I was also given a “Blue” hen to rehome and a Buff Orpington. I also re-homed a little group of chickens for a friend who was moving house , but these were not very “street wise”, wandered too far from base, were over tame and came to a sticky end.
Years ago when we first had geese we decided we should have one for Christmas lunch. But GOS was putting off doing the awful deed and it looked like we were going to have to resort to frozen turkey. They are a very big bird to get hold of; if you know what I mean. However, Mr. Charlie Fox solved the problem for us. One morning, about a week before Christmas, there was a dreadful squawking from the field nearest the house. We rushed out to find the geese in a panic, one having been dragged towards the stream its head cleanly bitten off by the fox. The Christmas lunch dilemma resolved!
It’s extremely foggy here today after a recording breaking warm day for November yesterday. Temperatures apparently reached 22 degrees in parts of mid wales. SAS (struggling artist son) and girlfriend are supposed to be flying back this afternoon from a city break in Lisbon. I do not know how they will fair for delays, as the news this morning was full of doom and gloom about air travel disruption. I wait to hear . . . . . The roads are sodden with leaves and were very slippery when I ventured out this lunchtime to a local funeral in the next village. A memorial to a life well lived; a 98yr old gentleman who had been driving until this spring just gone and who right up ’til the end was in touch with his great grand children via his computer.
I rode in the fog this morning up onto the hill – not quite white out; really clinging cold with the damp fog – a complete contrast to Saturday when it was so hot and the horses were struggling up the steeps into the Beacons. 10 degrees colder at least. The gorse today was festooned with garlands of spider’s webs, sparkling with water drops, as you can see in the photos below: an amazing number of spiders, when you consider the hundreds of gorse bushes up on the hill, all covered in webs.
GOS thinks he will have a “dieting” day today. So he just wants rice and vegetables tonight for supper. (This is so he can eat chocolate wafer bars and cake without compunction the rest of the week! ). Lots of eggs to hand so I think I’ll do myself an asparagus omelette ……….
Anyone know any one who wants to re-home a cockerel ?? . . . . . .
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