I’ve been looking at the poultry with the eye of an accountant.
That sounds like the start of a bad horror film, and for the poultry that could be the case. The first lot are off to Melton market tomorrow and whereas it’s generally considered a pleasant day out for a farmer it’s a step towards the pot for our old hens.
The first time I walked through an empty poultry shed after sending a flock to slaughter I was seventeen years old and not quite the hardened cynic I now am. The loss of the flock I had been tending for the best part of a year did bring a tear to my eye on that occasion, but I’m harder now.
Next up I have 11 fine Polish crosses (as seen in the photos), the birds hatched on 6th June on top of the coop in the barn (yes, the ones I thought were guinea fowl originally). They are currently available for £7 each and you back your own judgement on whether you are getting a pullet or a cockerel. A couple of weeks from now we should be able to tell, and at that point the cocks will be off to Melton and the pullets will be £15 each.
They are looking good, as the photos show, and would make a fine addition to any garden. Buyer collects and please bring your own box. If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org as he’s about more than I am to attend to the sales.
Of the other batches – we still have nine from the second rooftop batch but the chicks in the barn with their mother have been reduced from 6 to 3, presumably by predators. It’s a shame, as they are only feet from safety but if the mother cannot be persuaded into a coop there is a price to be paid.
The ones I hatched, have been reduced by one, as we found one dead when we arrived last Friday. It’s one of the Polish and I wasn’t altogether surprised as the Polish chicks had been showing pasty vents and were not 100% fit. It’s a shame though, as I really wanted to rear the full number, and had become quite attached to them after taking them all the way through the hatching process.
As the Polish eggs didn’t do well in the incubator, and the chicks weren’t great I’m wondering if the Polish adults need to take a trip to market too.
Seriously, if you do want any poultry for the garden, do get in touch as we are having to move some birds on to balance the flock. We will probably keep the blue egg layers and the ones in the yard (if they survive) but the Polish crosses and pure breeds will all be up for sale.