Welcome New year and sad good byes

Did you welcome the new year in with a bang, or like me was it with a whimper? I was fast asleep recovering from one of the bugs left over from Christmas as the clock turned 2010 to 2011.

New Year’s day arrived bright and cold and my New Year’s wish as I lay in my wonderfully warm bed was good health!  Archie and Cilla cat were not in the mood to indulge my feeling poorly and were being very vocal about the need to get my derriere out of bed and get on with the day (well, to feed them breakfast at least!).

So it was on with the usual list – New Year, same old system! Downstairs, washed and dressed for the day, cats fed, dogs let out, kettle on, time to open up the birds – first stop the Guinea Fowl.

They are now fully grown and have adult feathers. The boys like to perch out all night and the girls go inside. I noticed they make different noises but who makes which sound I’m not sure… some of them sound a bit like a miniature goose!

Next stop the Barbu d’ Uccle.  They are very cute – you may remember  they were new last summer.  I have high hopes for these three little girls, if Harry the only boy in the group lives up to expectations we could have a few chicks.

I then move on to my Brahmas. First, check all the pens before I let anyone out (it’s a bit empty now two of our boys have gone) and then throw in chopped greens and corn and layers with a handful of meal worms – they love it. Elvis our Black Brahma is looking magnificent, I can just hear him singing  ” A little less conversation and a little more action” as he struts his stuff alongside the ladies’

Copywrite "Chicken Dance" the book by Tammi Sauer

Elvis! (Image from the wonderful "Chicken Dance" by Tammi Sauer)

pens.  Gio is very happy with his ladies Gloria and Grac e, I will be introducing Goldie to him very soon – she  is a very shy little female, could be romance in the air – l’ amour,  l’ amour, l’amour.

The Three Red Pyle boys are still together and looking very good,  I have lots of lovely ladies to introduce to them.

Then, finally, it’s back inside to wrap up warm and wait for this bug to go away!

Like many other breeders the weather has not been kind to us and we lost one of our very small Peking cockerels over the coldest period. The rest of our Pekings have done really well and have settled well into their new home. We also lost two of our Brahma boys.  Alfie my wonderful golden boy had a heart attack, one minute he was standing there the next it was all over. I have known this to happen with Brahmas but it does not make it any the easier to bear, I loved that boy and will miss him.

I’m also going to miss Ziggy who was hatched last year and I had kept him because of a problem with his leg. He walked a bit funny. During the summer he was fine and it did not give him any trouble but as soon as it got cold he  spent less and less time outside.  He stopped eating, I tried offering him little bits of his favourite food but he gave up.  He was a lovely chap and loved a cuddle and would follow me around the garden given the chance looking for tasty bits to eat.

I still have some chicks waiting to be sexed, it’s a real mixed bunch: three Rhode Island Red, three Gold and one Blue splash Brahma. Fingers crossed the gold might be a trio – hope they’re  not all boys.

I could do with a splash  girl, as I already have two splash boys. I have one Lemon Peking – hooray – the only one to hatch out of twelve eggs and its a girl.

So here’s looking forward to another busy year.

Happy New Year to you all!

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