Chick Juggling

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No, of course it isn’t actual chick juggling, that would be cruel – especially when you consider my lack of juggling skills.

A week or so ago I hatched out 6 Rhode Island Red chicks – the start of a new little flock for us – and one naked neck.

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Four days later five turkeys joined the gang.

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These are the only turkeys that have hatched this year and they were done in the incubator. I think we need to introduce some genetic diversity to our flock to improve the hens’ sitting abilities.

These little 13 birds were starting to get bored with their brooder so I resolved to move them to the chick shed in the duck area.

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There was only one problem: there were already 20 birds in the chick shed and its associated garden.

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This meant spending Sunday evening at dusk during the bank holiday weekend moving these chickens, and the 10 living in the cube and the three little naked necks hatched out by the Ixworth to their new big quarters.

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Everyone seems to have settled in well. They are only kept in the run with the door shut for a few days until they are settled on where to roost for the night. We will let them free-range from today.

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There are a bunch of different chickens in here.

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Some Naked Neck chicks that we hatched out from Red Rooster and his girls – these are our meat birds.

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And some Marans, blue-egg layers and Ixworths. These last three together with the Rhode Island Red chicks will form the basis of our new smallholding breeding flocks. The Marans (dark brown with golden necks) come from two different flocks and it looks like there are a couple of cockerels in there. There are definitely some blue-egg laying (grey speckled)  cockerels and these will join our existing 4 blue-egg layers. But only 4 Ixworths  (white) hatched and they all look like they are hens. So as we ate our last Ixworth cockerel as we weren’t convinced he was doing his job we will have to purchase more eggs next year and hope for a cockerel.

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