It would be easy to have a blog devoted entirely to poultry keeping. In fact, there are many already online, and just a quick flick through some of them reveals the obvious fact that, like children, people find their own hens much more interesting than anyone else does. As a hobby and pastime, keeping hens is generally great, but when it comes to blog articles about birds described as “ladies” and “chooks”, it’s clear that they are probably a great deal more fun to write than they are to read.
In order to keep this “grouse” diary on course and true to its original purpose without writing self-indulgent screeds about the various captivating personalities and traits displayed by my rapidly increasing flock of bantams, I won’t keep on posting about my new birds ad nauseam. I am keeping them so that they will help me rear gamebirds, and while it all seems rather distant at the moment, this apparent diversion will link back up with the theme of grouse and sport in due course.
In the meantime, it’s worth mentioning that my girlfriend and I collected a silkie cockerel this afternoon from some poultry keepers near Thornhill. While two of my bantams are sitting, the hen run is occupied only by an old light sussex hen and the two silkie x sussex chicks which I hatched in May, so if nothing else, the young white cockerel will keep the community alive during the temporary incarceration of the broodies. In the long term, this cockerel will cross with the pekins (which are on their way) and the others to create the next generation of clockers.
Silkies certainly are ridiculous looking birds, and it’s hardly surprising that the first silkies in Britain were brought over by freak shows which billed them as being a cross between a rabbit and a hen. However, you can’t argue with their track record as sitters, and this pom-pom headed bird will hopefully act as father to many capable clockers.