Where has this year gone? I feel like it is on fast-forward and I am scrambling to catch up. It's July for goodness sake! Almost August!! Meanwhile my poor little blog has been languishing in the corner with only the occasional spam comment popping up in my inbox to remind me it's still here. What happened to those halcyon days of 2008 and the mad month that was Blogtoberfest! I really have lost momentum with it so I am surprised but pleased that I still get the occasional (re)visitor (hello to Planet Treasure!!)
So! Where were we? I believe that I was wondering, in your imagined company, whether my little Sooty was a rooster. Well, he is, and he's rather spectacular too:
Gone is the sooky little chick who would fly up onto my lap for a cuddle. He has become quite testy and has had a go at me on several occasions. After doing some reading online I settled on a strategy that seems to be working: stay calm and each time he pecks, pick him up firmly but gently, pat him and play with his comb and wattle, then put him down in a way that allows him to maintain what is left of his dignity in front of his ladies. If he's being particularly bad I hold him upside down and stroke his chest feathers, which he really doesn't like. While this is amusing, I have also had to change the way I interact with the girls and I don't think of him as a pet in the same way that I do the hens. He is never out in the yard when my friend's children are here and I always regard him with care when I'm in his territory. Whether he stays with us is a constant question. I would love to give Gum Nut a go at hatching some chicks and as she is the only one that lays blue eggs it would be easy enough to separate hers from the others. But do we really need anymore chooks? More to the point (going by our track record), do we really need anymore roosters?! I think the answer is probably there if I could admit that this experiment really isn't working.
Our other new arrivals from earlier this year have grown into lovely hens and are giving us an egg each day. I can't get over the size of our Light Sussex - she is easily our biggest chook - and it is funny watching her attempt great feats of daring like her light little Dorking friend Amelia, whose wings have been clipped, such as scaling the garden domes to get to the other side of the chicken-proof fence. Too slow by far!