The old virus overcomes me.

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Marigold
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The old virus overcomes me.

Post by Marigold »

Well, after 6 months without any chickens, Morehens Disease has hit me yet again. I cleared out all the pot-grown vegetables from the run, reassembled the coop, re-installed the perches, bought a nice sack of organic pellets on eBay using a £5 off token, also more oyster shell, put down clean Aubiose, and set off to the local poultry farm, who today have hundreds of new pullets in stock for the first time since selling out in the mad March scramble for chickens.

Came home with four new girls, - what names they give them - a Goldilocks (looks a bit like a buff Sussex hybrid) a Marsbar and a Skyline (both CLB X Marans but very different colours, one is barred like a Marans the other is more like a brown leghorn) ) and a Partridge (basically a brown leghorn hybrid.) With three potentially flighty breeds, it’s a good thing there’s a roof on the run and high perches for them to fly up to. After a long journey from Ireland, and all the racket in the chicken sheds with all the newly-arrived pullets being chased around, it was lovely and quiet for them in my run - until Poppy got out and was DELIGHTED to find I had provided new entertainment to bark at and chase, some terrier fun through the mesh. Totally unabashed when told what a BAD DOG she was. I almost never have to tell Poppy off, and on the rare occasion when I do, it just rolls off. I suppose she has forgotten about hens. Also as the hens get older they learn to ignore her, so it’s not nearly so much fun.
I notice on the farm’s website that several breeds are out of stock already, after the first day’s selling. Good thing I got there early.
dianefairhall
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by dianefairhall »

I knew you would succumb eventually, Marigold. I will have to look all those up - i've heard of a Skyline but not the others but they all sound lovely! Poor Poppy, being a Bad Dog!

Our cat Freddie stalks the girls but they just ignore him.

Looked up your new girls, very attractive and some interesting egg colours, too. Are they POL?
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LadyA
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by LadyA »

Well done, Marigold! And, it's very sensible to have a source of eggs, because we just don't know how things are going to pan out. New hens are always a joy, to see them exploring their new world.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
bigyetiman
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by bigyetiman »

Well that will keep you busy trying to control Poppy. Although I can't believe she is ever naughty :lol: :lol:
They do give them some strange names, Marsbar :-)19, do they think you are going to deep fry them?
Looking forward to the pics
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Marigold
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by Marigold »

After quite a long time, it’s interesting to be settling in some 16-week-old pullets. I’ve never had such timid youngsters, although at least they don’t have any older chickens glaring at them through dividing netting. I think they’re still very stressed, by the long journey from Ireland, to the chicken farm, where they were decanted into a big barn along with more than 200 other youngsters of several breeds, presumably all strangers, and milling about in a new place with no flock structure to depend on. You can understand why pullets often go down to various illnesses on arrival in a new home, with the stress burden depleting their immune systems. These seem OK at the moment, though.
I went to get them the same day, wanting to get them back home ASAP into a peaceful run and to start them forming their little flock of four. Yet another new place, and a big change - I began to wonder whether the quiet of our garden was in itself stressful for pullets who had always been in a large noisy group. The first day, they even startled at the sound of a pigeon calling in the tree! Poppy didn’t help, racing round the run and terrifying them with excited yipping. She has since spent most of her time indoors whilst I’ve fixed a 20” strip of green plastic tarp round the base of outside of the run. They can see the view if they sit up on the long bottom perch, but become invisible to Poppy once they jump down to the run floor. Poppy’s expression of utter disgust with me, when she found out what I had done, was really funny. However, they still make little chickeny noises, so she knows they are there and still gets excited. I hope mutual tolerance will eventually happen. Meanwhile, it’s rather wearing.

At night, the Partridge Leghorn, Ash, and the sort-of -a- Cream Legbar, Willow, cuddle up together on the highest perch whilst the other two retire to the coop. At some point, Ash and Willow descend and join the others in the coop. I couldn’t get down to see them until 9.00 this morning, and they were all still in there. I encouraged them to get up, and they all had some food and drink, but they’re not eating properly yet. Later in the morning they were all back in the coop, so I got them out and shut the pophole to make them settle in the run in the normal way. They are weeks away from lay, so no problems about access to the coop.
They are a very mixed bunch - I’m not sure exactly what I’ve finished up with, not that it matters so long as they all lay eggs. Circumstances were a bit unusual at the farm in that they are now taking online orders and payment and then offering appointment times to collect your hens, to prevent the mad dash they had back in March when they sold out of the previous batch within 2 days and cars were queueing all down the drive. The owner went into the milling flock and came out with pullets for approval, which was OK and I did swap one for a different bird, but I ended up a bit uncertain about what I’ve got.

This one is Ash, the ‘partridge leghorn’ - a taller bird than the others with lovely grey and brown feathers. No green legs so not sure why the ‘partridge’. I do like leghorns - flighty, but so graceful.
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Below, we have Amber, supposedly a Skyline:
Piper, so called because she’s sort of pied. Allegedly CLB X Marans. Egg colour will be interesting!
And Willow, also supposedly Marans X CLB. (!!)
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Well - at least they’re all different!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by Hen-Gen »

Glad to hear you’ve succumbed. Chicken keeping is only slightly less addictive than crack cocaine and watching someone go through chicken “cold turkey” is not a pleasant sight. 😀.
Piper and Willow are definitely CLB. Crosses, you can tell by they’re crests. Ash appears to have blue tail feathers and blue flecking so maybe a Buff x Blue Leghorn.
Anyway hope they settle in OK. It won’t be long before they start laying and will keep you in eggs right through to approximately next September when they experience their first adult moult.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
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Marigold
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by Marigold »

Yes, Willow has a definite CLB crest, and Piper has a little one, which looks rather odd on a barred bird! I have a feeling Piper will turn out to be the boss. I’ve seen her do one or two sideways pecks with no apparent reason, and even Ash, who is twice her size, seems to wait for her to eat first.
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LadyA
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by LadyA »

They're gorgeous!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
dianefairhall
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by dianefairhall »

What lovely girls - love their names, too. Should be interesting when they start laying, some great colured eggs, I think.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: The old virus overcomes me.

Post by Hen-Gen »

Yeh. If they are CLB x Maran you may get some the colour of army trousers.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
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