Wednesday 12 July 2006

On the move

The bantams are moving house. There's a bit of land which we mean to incorporate into the vegetable garden, and which should have been dug over and planted with potatoes this spring*. Not surprisingly, we didn't get around to it, so the chooks are going to do the job for us**.
We've moved the youngsters first and, after some anxiety at being moved from their coops, they settled quickly. Their mothers and a few other adults have been shifted this evening. I offered my help, but the Sage can just pick them up and they don't mind.

Not good photos, especially the second and if I can get something better I'll replace them tomorrow. The black mother is moulting badly; that pedigree breed of bantams loses whole clumps of feathers at a time.

*Potatoes are very good for clearing the ground. They are vigorous enough to outgrow most weeds and having to dig the ground two or three times both clears and aerates it. It's an excellent way of clearing the ground of wireworms, though if there's a bad infestation you need to leave the potatoes until the autumn and then put up with the creatures or destroy the spuds to kill the pests.

**Planting potatoes might be a bit beyond them, although I'm willing to teach them.


irreverentmama said...

This is so great! I'm not sure why the thought of moving chickens pleases me so, but I'm grinning all over my city-girl face. (I started out in a village, population under 700, but never had livestock other than an assortment of dogs, cats, turtles, fish, and the occasional budgie.)

Z said...

Hi mystic mog - yep, bring in the professional.

imama - when we first got them years ago, we had to chase them all over the churchyard where someone had dumped them. That was huge fun for our teenage children.

Z said...

Hi dw - I expect we'll leave them there until the end of next winter, that'll give the grass a chance to grow in their usual area and give us time to get the ground ready for veggies next spring.

Yes, they're very happy. Mother hens are scratching away, and chicks look on, ready to leap in as soon as any hapless insect is unearthed.