I test the patience of my generous readership when I post about poultry. Suffice it to say that I went to the poultry auction in Carlisle this morning and had something of a spree.
Having posted the other day about needing to expand my partridge brooding capacity, I struck gold in the auction ring, coming home with two old english game bantam pullets, four dutch bantam pullets and a dutch x pekin bantam pullet which I paid far too much for. I decided that I wanted the dutch x pekin when I first saw her, and was fairly well prepared to go to any lengths to make sure of her. Unfortunately somebody else had the same idea and before I knew it I had paid more for that one bird that I had for all the other six put together. Victory was sweet, and after all, it’s only money. All the breeds were chosen because they have a good reputation for broodiness, but there are always wildcards. Out of seven new bantams, most should be useful somehow, but it is the mixed mongrel birds which they breed themselves over the next few years which I really have high hopes for.
It has been a nagging concern over the past few weeks that my broodies are possibly a little too big to rear grey partridge chicks, so these little guys have certainly put that worry out of my mind. The o.e.g. pullets are about the size of a collared dove, and they are the biggest of all the birds I bought. They should each cover a small clutch of partridge eggs without the risk of trampling them once they’ve hatched.
I’m afraid that there will be plenty more to come on the subject of these fascinating new birds. To say that I’m looking forward to the first partridge eggs is a major understatement.