Sunday 26 October 2008

Encounter with a Hamburg

This handsome trio are Speckled Hamburgs, I went along to the East of England Autumn show, and fell in love with these lovely bantams, so bought them, I have never planned to have a cockerel, but he is a bantam cockerel so smaller than the average. They have been called Spit Spat and Spot.
Having got them home and not having a house and run for them they were temporally housed in a big rabbit cage I knocked up a house for them that evening and put them to bed, next morning they had to back in the rabbit cage until I got there run built. Now hubby is away climbing mountains in Nepal so I am having to manage everything on my own including run building.
I thought I did very well I even had a gate with hinges on the run, I installed them and they set about settling down.
Come bedtime (chicken bedtime) I start on my rounds shutting up various chickens, when I come to the Hamburgs no sign of them, the run and house were empty !!!
Upon hearing a rustling above me I investigated they had all decided to roost in the tree !!!!
So I was there in the dark with a ladder and torch retrieving chickens from the tree, next day I netted over the top of there run and around the tree, that night they were in the tree again they had found a gap !!!! now I am not being unreasonable here but I do not want to be going through the same performance every night when there is a perfectly good chicken house for them to go in.
Day three I decided wings had to be clipped not an easy task by yourself as you have to hold a feisty chicken that is not used to being handled spread the wing and then clip off the ends of the last five feathers, I caught the ends and got then done But Spit the cockerel had different ideas and didn't fancy the idea of a free haircut, he put up a fight, got hiss talons caught under my ring and dislocated my little finger, PAIN!!!! like I have never know before, I had tears. I caught him again clipped his wing and went off to console myself, I strapped my finger to the others thinking at the time it was broken. it was swelling rapidly but I didn't want my mum's wedding ring cut off so I stuck with it. That night one of the hens got really tangled up in the netting and I had to cut her out with scissors. this wasn't going to work.
The next few nights as soon as I saw them trying to roost I put them in the hen house hoping they would get the message, but no they were not having it. still being in pain with my fingers I just couldn't carry on every evening like this.
I sought medical advice found out the finger was dislocated so had it put back in, then set about building them a new run away from trees, moved there house and them into it and that first evening they went to bed no problem.
Our one cockerel looks like its turning into three, my 4 young bantams that I hatched August are growing up really fast, we ended up with 2 Plymouth rocks and 2 Sumatra's well we defiantly have a Plymouth rock cockerel, he has been trying to crow, bless him but he sounds like a chain saw trying to start up. and one of the Sumatra's is developing a rather long tail so it looks like we might have a cockerel there as well. if they turn into couples we may well keep them in there pairs we will have to see.
Clocks went back last night so it was an early start today, but it will also be an early finish, now winter is just round the corner I have been preparing for it, will catch up again tomorrow.

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