Yesterday afternoon we drove over to Gloucestershire to collect a rooster. He's a jolly handsome chap and is now having a few days in isolation to quarantine him and ensure that he is not only accustomed to his new environment, but to make sure that he is a healthy chap. So he's in his own enclosure in the stable which is fully vermin proof but he can see the girls through the opening to the outer stable and chicken's field.
As with all the animals who come to live here, we will spend a few days giving him our organic health treatments to boost his immune system and make sure that he has had the same treatments as the rest of the birds. His feathers look very healthy and have a wonderful sheen to them (without being oily), his eyes are bright and he seems to have a nice disposition (and a very loud crow!).
I have given him a dosage strength of apple cider vinegar in his water and today he will get some live yoghurt with his food. As he will be able to free range over a large area, but not allowed into the vegetable garden or duck's space, I have clipped one of his wings to ensure he can't fly over the chicken netting that surrounds the chicken field. He will be dusted with diatomaceous earth, as will the girls, as it is time they were done again. I'm also going to spray his legs with a scaly leg treatment as they look a bit sore and of course the girls will be given a preventative dose. As he's come to live on our organic smallholding, I want to make sure that he gets used to the regular maintenance programme that we have for the birds.
The couple that we got him from needed to rehouse one of their boys. As spring had arrived, their beautiful roosters had started to fight and this little chap was taking a beating. They were obviously sad to see him be rehomed, but we've assured them that he will be made welcome here and should have a lovely life. His mother was a Leghorn Bantam and his father a Leghorn Bantam cross and I adore the colouring of his feathers. He's a small chap in comparison to the Cream Legbar laddie (who died a few weeks ago), but I am sure that our girls will be just as happy to live with this male companion.
As our flock grows and Big Red (our little chick that we think is male) matures, we will divide the flock and give them two separate areas to live in, allowing the two roosters to have a selection of girls to care for. But that's a few months away yet and for now he will join the eight girls in a few days time.
My daughter gave us a gift yesterday morning. Knowing that the incubator had failed earlier in the week and that we had lost the eggs which were half way through their incubation, she has given us a new incubator. As gifts go, this is pretty bloomin' marvellous! So once the new boy has settled in to the flock and the girls are producing fertile eggs, we will be able to hatch some more chicks. I may order one more batch of white Jersey Giant eggs, so that Little White has some appropriately sized friends, but other than that we should be able to hatch a continual supply of new birds.
There is a busy day ahead today, with top soil being delivered, birds to treat and cooking to be done, but first, as always, it's time for a cuppa.