Can we talk about chickens?
These are the ones that hatched five weeks ago, the day after they'd popped out of the eggs in the incubator. There are three Exchequer Leghorns and six Partridge Pekins.
They are just about ready to come off their heat now - I've been letting them out in the garden during the day for the last week or so and then they go back under the heat lamp at night. They're mixing well with the three weeks older ones, which is great, because before too long we are going to reach a Chicken Redistribution Event Horizon and their accommodation will need reorganising.
Out of the twenty five we have, we will
- keep one cockerel and six laying hens
- keep the four lady Pekins and one cockerel
- eat five full-sized cockerels
- eat five Pekin cockerels (enough for a large curry - they are about the size of a pigeon)
- have three laying hens going spare
That's a lot of boy Pekins.
So we are going to divide them up in to batches - the laying hens and their husband will live in the top garden. The Pekins we are keeping are going to come down and live in the front garden in a little pen which we can open up and thus allow them to roam around when we are in. They will pretty much be pets. Or curry, I suppose. The remaining boys we are going to eat are going to go in to a specially made hut that we have christened 'Death Row', behind the house; out of site of the layers, so that they won't get upset by not being part of a real chicken family.
They should be ready to eat at Christmas. I am therefore not bothering to order a turkey this year. There's always the risk that I will bottle out at the last minute and we will have a vegetarian Christmas, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Someone is coming to view the house on Thursday. I am mostly ready. And I have found one or two places with land to present to B when he gets home, with a view to viewing them ourselves.
Tomorrow: Pictures of chicken houses.
I am still filing. Please send brandy.