Jonathan: This is the time of year for culling livestock. In the past the meat would have been salted, dried, smoked … All a lot of work – so thank heavens for freezers! Today I’ve been plucking and jointing cockerels, some younger Buff Orpingtons we raised for meat, and the first of three Welsumer cockerels from the croft that must make way for some youngsters.
Denise: All hatching from incubators now complete, and Buffy has now been entrusted with 28 chicks, which – believe it or not – all disappear under her feathers at night!
Denise: Buffy is a super-mum! Yesterday, I added to her own clutch of recently hatched chicks all those just hatched from an incubator – last night she managed to shelter 20 chicks, most less than a day old, under her voluminous skirts (Buff Orpingtons have feathering like crinolines!) and this morning they were all present and correct. What a marvellous mother she is! Today the chicks have been out in the run with her, some even climbing up and riding around on her back! For visitors to the Big Garden, it’s been quite a circus show: if I get round to taking a photo, I’ll add it in later. [Later: photo added – J]