Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Nothing to do with a gaming blog!

Nothing to do with a gaming blog? Well almost nothing. You see my excuse for staying in all day Saturday and painting was that I was waiting in for a phone call to go fetch three 'point of lay' hens to bring my back garden brood back up to strength after a hard winters campaigning. So here are the new ladies in my life.

Warren Hybrids.
These are Warren's but bread so that they are slightly better egg layers. That is to say the already great layers become super layers. The old battery farms (and vast majority of commercial farms) use this type of bird though they also pump them full of chemicals that make them lay even faster and sell them off for turning into hot dog sausages etc. Mechanically reclaimed meat is code for whole birds, beak, legs and all just minced into puree. Don't go there! Our original birds were rescue birds that would have had that fate but are bought by a charity and whilst not in the worst state they could have been were fairly bad. Broken toes, urine burns from sitting in their own mess and 2/3rd featherless. Well post having these which against the odds all survived (many of these birds die after coming off the heavy dose antibiotics that allow them to stay alive in such condition - junky chickens coming off crack is not fun to watch), we could not take other ex-bats as we do not have a separate place to put the rescue birds whilst they recover. Putting them in with full strength chickens is a death sentence as the others will just peck them to death.

So since then we have just had young 16 week(ish) birds. Last time we went for something different, Light Sussex and Black Roc hybrids. These produce less eggs but we don't have them for the out put. So what did the old gals think of the new?

Chicken Stare!
Not impressed! Blossom, the white one has been the boss for well over a year and when ever new birds get introduced a new pecking order has to be established. The new birds will not challenge her position, well not for some time but the whole who's boss has to be ran through. It started really bad as one of the two originals fetched blood of Cath's new girl Phebe. Fortunately with the heat it dried quickly as running blood to chickens is an open invite to attack after attack. We kept a close eye but really did not want to separate them. Anyways they all settled down later and apart from the odd flap they have settled in well, just like all the others before.

Ollie, that's my girl.
Olli is mine, a Black Roc who is black all over except the neck and wing/tail tips which are golden. She is the one most in danger of slipping down the pecking order and she knows it. She is a smaller bread and has always been at the bottom of the chain. This is no problem though as they have plenty of room .

Anyways, next post will be back to what you want to see, honest.


  1. We have 18 in the back garden and lots more plus ducks, turkeys and geese elsewhere, most of them rescues from battery farms and owners who no longer want theirs, great eggs!

  2. Oh I say, Blossom has an evil stare! Lovely birds Sir!!

  3. Makes our 'flock' of three (plus a duck) look pretty puny, but we don't really have the space or resources for any more. Ours are apparently Austalorp/Sussex crosses, which we raised from 2 day old chicks.

  4. @ Fran, you put me to shame. I actually don't like eggs though.

    @Michael, yes typical of all the women in my life!

    @KK Your duck = 2 chickens so we are evens, well up to the point of stating from 2 day old chicks. That must have been special


  5. "well up to the point of stating from 2 day old chicks. That must have been special"

    Special? Sort of. Fortunately the climate here is mild to warm, so there wasn't a big issue with them getting too cold. But they still lived indoors, in our office, for a few weeks, until the smell became unbearable. Then I made my wife (whose chickens they really are) put them in the coop in the garden. As I say, temperatures here are OK, and they seemed to thrive.

    The duck was three months old when we got her, but had been kept as an indoor pet (we have no idea how they coped with the prodigious quantities of poo she produces). We kept her isolated from the chooks for a while, until she got used to her new life as an outdoor duck. Now they share the same coop and pen, and she seems to be an accepted part of the flock.

    The duck started laying eggs last week; the chickens haven't, despite stern daily lectures on the expectations we have for them :)