I had already had early Birthday presents with my Eglu and incubator. However, Duane and I thought it may be nice to get me a chicken for my Birthday, this was not as a replacement for our recently deceased n-Tucky. I had checked out a couple of silkie chicken breeders on line and decided to visit Chris Sander of http://www.peartreefarmpoultry.co.uk/ with a view to buying a gold POL silky. So on my birthday morning we drove over there, complete with cat basket and eventually found the farm. What a fantastic place it was, Chris and his partner breed rare breed sheep, and hens which they took the trouble to introduce us to. We also met the pet pig who preferred rest to company that particular morning.
Getting back to the Birthday chicken, well as soon as we went into the barn we were surrounded by the most beautiful variety of chicks. We had already decided that we wanted a gold Silky and Chris picked her up for me to give a her a cuddle. I also saw the most funniest Sultan chicken, who just had to come along as a companion to the Silky. Just as we were about to go we met the rabbits, knowing how much the grandchildren and daughter love rabbits, we just had to buy Sergeant Bum Fluff, a handsome Lion Head rabbit.
We had already decided that our next chicken was going to be called Barbie-Q (Duane’s idea), by this time I had already got her out of the cage and onto my lap for a fuss in the back of the car. Bruno was the name we gave to our sultan chick, it was nearly going to be Shirley after my Mum, however watching the way he half wiggled and strutted reminded me of the Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Bruno, so yet again I gave a hen a male name. My Mum had a quick sneak preview of them on the way back home.
Once we got the Birthday chicks home we let them have a walk about in the lounge. This is when we agreed with Chris’s view that Bruno was not the sharpest knife in the block. He spotted his reflection in the mirror in the lounge and was postulating in front of it, seemingly thinking it was another chicken! Heidi and Lester, the cats did not seem to be fussed about the new arrivals. I gave Bruno a shampoo and blow dry. I was only going to do his lovely feathered feet at first, however as he appeared to not raise any objections to water, so he had the full works. They then met all the grand children and family that had come to share the day. Needless to say they all thought they were great.
Next was the introduction to Henrietta and Kendra. Duane had fenced off a separate area which Henrietta and Kendra had been placed into much to their annoyance, as the plan was for Bruno and Barbie-Q to go into Eglu. Henrietta and Kendra appeared to be more cross that they were not full free ranging rather than being overly disturbed by new arrivals. So we allowed them back out, they did briefly chase and peck Bruno and Barbie-Q, however this was very short lived and the latter decide to go to bed early in the Eglu coop. Henrietta and Kendra also wanted to sleep in the Eglu that night so we watched and waited until they put themselves to bed, and much to our surprise there was no fighting. We went out there a couple of times to see if they were all OK and they were all snuggled up to each other.
The following morning they were all desperate for the door to be opened to get out, Henrietta and Kendra went foraging and we moved Bruno and Barbie -Q into the big pen, complete with a new compost bin converted into a shelter for them. I realised I may have over done the precautionary red mite powder when I saw Bruno fluff his feather amidst a cloud of powder. The pair of them were inseparable in the pen, and for some reason, Heidi, one of our Exotic Persian cats seems to have taken a likening to Barbie-Q and goes up to the fence, Barbie-Q responds in kind, so it is nose to beak at the fence. Watching Bruno walk on grass can only be described as a cross between a crazy bird goose stepping and doing a move from The Matrix film.
All to soon it was time for bed, we opened the pen and the newbies went straight to bed, followed by Kendra, although he did briefly chase Barbie -Q out of the coop. Henrietta waited so long before she would go into the coop and clucked (moaned) continually for at least an hour before she went in. Yet again, they all settled well and continued to do so each time we checked. We will still keep them separate during the day time tomorrow and see how they go. I love my chickens ;o)