They’re here!

I’m sorry if this post has a few too many photos, but I want you to meet our new arrivals …

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Yes, that’s an ex-batt in the foreground (hogging the food bowl) but just look at who is lurking there in the background …

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Aren’t they adorable?!

But what are they? I’ve done some research online and I have three options … either they are Pekin Bantams, Cochin Bantams or perhaps those breeds are actually one and the same … but the debate is fierce, it was really quite shocking   :o And really, I don’t care … they are beautiful, and have such exquisite feathers. However, we always said we’d not have hens with feathered legs … because our run is not covered and they would get wet. And the rain hasn’t stopped …

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(Look at those long toe feathers!)

The poor dears. My research suggests that actually they are Pekins – a true bantam (ie not a diminutive hen) – and Pekins are gentle creatures. These were happy to be handled on arrival, but ever since have huddled together out of reach whenever I approach. And they are the butt of much bullying from the three ex-batts that arrived with them.

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These girls aren’t well feathered – the one in the first picture has no tail to speak of and they all have bare, sore behinds  :( But thy have been in a domestic situation for two years already … I can only assume that, since they are the top of the pecking order, their diet has been lacking in protein? Their previous owner fed only corn …

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Yet the bantams’ feathers are in amazing condition. It doesn’t really make sense.

We’ve had eggs a plenty from the ex-batts already … in less than 24 hours we’ve had three eggs and a broken egg. While the seven bantams have laid only one egg between them. The more I think about it, the more concerned I am at their diet. So far, I’ve given them a mixture of corn and pellets, and of course they’ve picked out the corn, but at least they know where the feeders are! So no more corn for a while.

I was relieved to see that once I left them alone, the bantams did venture out a little …

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(The view from our dining room window)

I know what to expect from the ex-batts … their behaviour is normal chicken behaviour, digging, feeding, laying – though the aggression is rather harsh and surprising since these birds have been together a while already  :huh:  I’m not yet sure what to expect from the bantams. I’ve read that they need grass … so once they’ve had a few days to settle, I’ll fence off the grass in the Hen Garden for them (I have to reseed the bare area, since the first sowing didn’t germinate). And I’ll need to find a way to stop the ex-batts taking all the treats/supplements when I start giving them.  But for now it’s just pellets … and I’m anxious to know that the bantams are feeding.

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Others have noticed that the Hen Run is occupied once again. Oscar understood how to behave around our previous hens … I’m not at all sure how he will behave when he comes into contact with the miniature version!

As for names … I had some in mind, but now that I’ve met the girls, I’m not sure they’re suitable. I’ll work on it for a few days before deciding …

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1 Comment

  1. They look beautiful! Lovely plummage. Mine at this moment are huddled together riding out gale force winds and snow.

    Reply

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