August starts at the end of this week and with it dews and condensation. I try to make sure the ventilation is correct in the grass runs to prevent water dripping onto the birds under the tarpaulin. I let all the growers out from each pen as soon as I’m up around 7am at the moment. They seem to squeeze the last drop of light out of the day before they go back into the coop to sleep.
It never ceases to amaze me the difference mixing a gene pool throws up in the way of feather colour and pattern.
The growers from the Improved Indian Game Cock penned with the Welsh Blacks are a very mixed bunch.
There are all black birds both male and female like the Welsh Blacks, Dark Indian Game markings and for some unexplained reason 2 blue, 2 blue laced and a black laced cockerel. There is as expected difference in size as some were a week or two younger that the run mates in that batch. A few slow to feather up..Not ever used in breeding and ringed before they totally feather up and get missed.
It may seem an odd way to go this season almost a sideways mating as opposed to back breeding. The intention was to find out just what was in the gene pool and force extremes to the fore.
The size % is well up with just the odd grower a bit smaller than the average.
Variation in leg colour of yellow from Indian Game and willow/black from the Australorp and white.
Without exception the whole bunch are active and alert and hunt all day long.
The sexual differences are easy to see and a comb check for shape should be possible within a week or so.
Unless you have a passion in life for whatever it is that floats your boat, life would surely be boring and my passion is poultry.
I have about 150 growers here at the moment in different breeds and the amount of pleasure seeing them flap out across the grass when I let them out in the morning and the annoyed squawks when they are settling for the night reinforces the many reasons for having the birds.
By the end of October I will have selected the birds bred this year to go forwards towards the breeding pens after progeny testing and which way I need to take the line to get a better dual purpose breed. Do I carry on along the Welsh Black type or towards the Improved Indian Game. Either way times running out.
I can only take a few forwards, perhaps 2 cocks and 5 pullets out of around 50 birds and the rest are up for grabs.
The Wyandotte bantams I have hatched this year are lovely colours.The pen of single combs have produced 12 chicks almost feathered up and some are just stunning. Bred around 30 this season and these are the first to go if anyone comes looking for birds as new keepers.They are easy to keep and lovely markings and colours.
The Sumatras produced 8 on test hatches and I have managed to send out over 5 dozen eggs, so hopefully more of this lovely breed are in other parts of the UK.
I have bred to many Jubilee Indian Game this year as they are not often asked for, but they kept laying and going broody and I let them.