It was a slow start to breeding season

LEFT: Buff Pekin growers.

IT must be said, what a strange first six months to 2020. For me I had a very slow start to the breeding season, with birds coming slowly into lay. I was then affected by many dead in shell which normally only occurs in incubators. I put this down to the very dry months of March, April and May.

I personally prefer to use broodies/clockers for hatching and rearing my birds. Mother nature at its best.

LEFT: Wyandotte and Sussex bantam growers being supervised by an adult Wyandotte.

Having been isolating at home for 14 weeks (now back to work) I enjoyed the extra spare time to watch and monitor the chicks as they hatched. I have had much more time to mark and record what came from which pen.

It is always a joy to get the chicks out on the grass at an early stage. So far, I believe I had all out and on the grass with hens by one week old. The dry weather helped to facilitate this greatly.

I have still two hens sitting on eggs due to hatch later this week. Normally, by now I’d be finished breeding, but the spare time has come in very handy.

To date I have just over 140 chicks hatched, numbers slowly but surely being reduced as faults start to appear.

One thing is most definite, the demand for all things ‘poultry’ has been unprecedented in my lifetime. Telehone calls and PMs have been many and frequent.

I am not a summer show person, so on that side I have not missed them, although I know how many fanciers have missed the social gatherings of these events.

I very much hope and look forward to the winter show season and the return of the club shows.

One great aspect of the easing of ‘lockdown’ has been the return of my wee princess (granddaughter) ‘Paige’, back helping me clean and feed the growing stock.

RIGHT: Before the pandemic, Paige admiring the lovely Light Sussex bantam group.

I trust all is well with those in the fancy and look forward to meeting up at the later shows.


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