Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Growing up too fast

Yesterday evening the Light Sussex cockerel surprised both himself and us by trying to crow. His expression was similar to that of a baby when he shouts for the first time, making himself jump and looking around to see where the noise came from. He is only 9 weeks old. The Welsummer is 13 weeks and we haven't had a peep out of him yet. I could really do with the Light Sussex holding on for a few more weeks until we are ready to move them to the yard.
I am almost certain now that one of the other two is also a cockerel. I am hoping to keep one for breeding and will need to make a decision at some stage which to choose. The deciding factor I think will be weight and shape, rather than early maturity as it will be a meat flock. It may well turn out that early maturity and weight are connected, if so the choice has been made for me. The other does have a nice sparky character though.

The pigs are also showing signs of growing up a little too fast. We knew we needed to separate the boars and gilts at approximately 5/6 months old, although many people take a chance and don't worry. To be on the safe side we had planned to do so around 4 months. They were 17 weeks old at the weekend and the boars were showing a little too much interest in the gilt that is from a different litter and 2 weeks older. So the weekend was spent desperately trying to get the pen finished for them. From their behaviour on Sunday I have a feeling we may be too late, the gilt was standing rock fast. We would be very unlucky for her to be in pig, with both her and the boars being so young and although we could manage her fine, the situation would be far from ideal.

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