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Archive for February, 2011

In our latest foray into the world of smallholding, we bought thirty day-old “Hubbard” chicks last week. These are commercial broiler type chickens, that should grow to a good size, and make excellent eating at the end of their short (but we hope happy) lives.

I was expecting them to be a bit ugly to be honest, so I was quite surprised by just how cute and fluffy they turned out to be!

They soon settled into their makeshift cardboard box brooder, and proceeded to eat….. and poop….. and eat…..

Until  a week later, they had nearly doubled in size,

as well as growing some pretty decent wings!

Overall, we’ve been , gobsmacked, and somewhat perturbed by the rate at which they’ve grown. It all just seems so….. un-natural I guess. I think my unease stems from the fact that our aim is to grow table birds for our own consumption, giving them as much fresh air and grass as we possibly can, before hopefully realizing  the benefits in the final ‘product’. However, these little guys just seem programmed to eat, sleep, poop and eat, so I feel a little sorry for them to be honest.
Still, it’s an experiment, and I’ll leave my final conclusions until ‘the end’ (at around 12 weeks old we think). We’ll see – I suspect they’ll taste ‘a bit like chicken’!!

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It’s official!!  Word has got out that we’re running some sort of sanctuary here for blind geese, non-productive peafowl, and clapped out hens!

So, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when a lost racing pigeon turned up here last weekend.

The peahens were somewhat curious about the new interloper, but he stood his ground, and after a brief inspection, they let him be.

According to the interweb, it’s ok to feed a lost pigeon on either pigeon food (yeah, like I always keep a stock of that in just in case this happens!?!), or failing that, poultry grain……. which the newly christened “Walter Pigeon” fairly wolfed down!

We expected him to refuel for an hour or two, before heading off again on his  journey home. However, more than a week on, and he’s still here, roosting outside our bathroom window as I write.

I’ve E-mailed the relevant pigeon racing association to see if his owners want him back, but haven’t heard anything yet. Perhaps they don’t want him any more?  After all, as a homing pigeon, he’s clearly a failure!

However, he does seem to be fitting in pretty well around here, so despite the piles of guano all over the barn roof, we’re quite happy for him to stay if he wants to. In fact, after the sunset we had tonight, I’m even starting to see the attraction of the place myself!!

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