Moving the chicks

Canasta’s chicks are two months old now, having hatched on 14th June, and it will soon be time to use their big run for Scrabble’s little ones. And, I’m sorry to say, it is also nearly time to say goodbye to the young cockerels. There is no choice about it, they’ve been squabbling for a few weeks and it will get worse.

Their run is covered by netting; nylon netting rather than chicken wire, and I dropped it down so that they couldn’t run about when I let them out of the coop. That meant that I could pick up the pullets and give them to Tim, who popped them into their new home. I can’t put the little chicks in there, though it would be easier, because there are steps that are too high for babies to jump.

Of the nine youngsters, three are buff, one is mostly white and the rest are mostly darker, a mixture of black and brown, two have white necks. Funnily enough, all the buff ones are girls and so is the speckled white one. I was unsure about one of the dark ones, so I’ve moved it too, but it may be a boy. The other four certainly are.

I put Canasta out and she scurried into the veg garden. Last time I tried putting her away from her chicks, she spent the whole day trying to get back in until I relented. And tonight, she went to roost with all the others. There has been no quarrelling, fortunately. Chickens can be awful bullies, but these bantams are pretty good.

When I lost my chickens to the foxes, my friend Lynn kindly gave me two of her youngsters, though one of those was later killed by a mink (most likely culprit). So I owe her and will give her a couple of these ones. I hope to end up with three or four girls though, so fingers crossed for Scrabble’s babies.

Scrabble is well named, by the way. She digs massive holes in the ground, even when there’s plenty of grass to eat, She scratches up the turf and deposits it in the water container. She’s not as good a mother as Canasta. But she sat for three weeks and looks after them, so I can’t really complain.

Anyway, if you’ve got this far, a change of subject – the family is coming over tomorrow, which we’re really looking forward to. We’re doing a simple cold lunch and, other than a summer pudding, I’ve bought the desserts. I’m most awfully lazy nowadays and I don’t even care.

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