Monday, 15 February 2010

Transporting and settling in poultry

I wasn't looking forward to the journey home with the recently purchased poultry. It was a 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive - but all went well.

The birds were transported in a variety of containers. The two cockerels in cat baskets - one plastic, one wicker, the Indian game pullets in separate cardboard carry boxes, secured for extra safety with bailer twine. The broody hen was placed complete with her nest into a large cardboard box. All were placed in the boot. They were much quieter than I expected, too quiet! Only the occasional rustle of straw reassured me that we had at least one live bird!

Once we arrived home, thankfully with at least an hour of daylight left, we placed the Indian game into their new home, put food and water outside, opened the pop hole and left them in peace whilst we settled in the Welsummer cockerel. Within a few minutes they had ventured outside and were happily scratching around. Once dark we returned, the cockerel had gone into the house. The two pullets were nowhere to be seen, until the torchlight showed them up in their chosen roosting place in the hedge. They were easily caught and placed in the house alongside the cockerel. This morning we fixed wire netting to the hedge hoping it will stop them from repeating yesterdays performance or worst still escaping into the lane. When I left them this morning they still hadn't plucked up the courage to come outside, maybe yesterday's adventures were a little more unsettling for them than we first thought.

The Welsummer on the other hand... well I think we can safely say he has settled in nicely !
Although it is highly recommended that all new birds are isolated for a couple of weeks, we released him straight in with his harem ( for now 3 Welsummer hens, 1 Ixworth, 1 Australorp and 2 Speckled Sussex, in a couple of weeks he will just have the Welsummer hens ) Within 30 seconds of his release he was in action treading the Ixworth, much to her astonishment ! On checking last night he had settled into the house and this morning came out with the hens behaving as if he had lived there forever.

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