Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Introducing my Family - part 7 - Claudia and Bunty

It started like this...

"Do we need another hen?"

My answer to MrPB's question was logical. Having lost Hetty, I felt we should wait until either Jane or Felicity passed away before trying to introduce new members to the flock. There is far less chance of bullying by introducing 2 new birds to 1 old one, than if you try to bring 1 new bird into an existing flock.

Felicity Jane Orpington hens exploring garden
Felicity and Jane

"It's a bit sad only having two chooks"

I replied the only way we could do it now, would be to add 2 point of lay hens to Felicity and Jane, thereby sharing the inevitable 'hen pecking' between the two new girls, who would probably form a close bond as a result.

MrPB thought I was being cheeky, but when I explained my reasoning, he agreed.

We wanted more Orpingtons, but our chances were slim, as being September already, it was likely that this years pullets were already allocated to their new owners. With trepidation I rang the breeder we bought Felicity, Jane and Hetty from two years ago.

'Well, yeeees, I've got some pullets to keep the best ones myself you understand ...rather depends what colours you want...'

I explained we'd lost our Lavender splash '...haven't got any splashes left, have got a blue... and some chocolate, might have some gold laced...'

'Ooh, I definitely want a chocolate, plus another!', and with that she agreed to pen some birds up that we could see on Sunday afternoon.

Preparation, preparation, preparation

The very next thing I did was to get a decent, big, strong cardboard box for transportation. Our Goods-In/ Despatch department at work usually has a good supply available.

Then MrPB and I fashioned a weld-mesh divider for the hen run. We sectioned off the long strip between the back of the coop and the perimeter fence. This would make a perfect quarantine area for the new hens, they could see, hear and get used to Jane and Felicity, and we could make sure they were completely healthy. we planned for 7-10 days separation.

The pullets would need Grower's pellets to eat, and their own supply of water. We would also need to worm all four of them, and give them a dose of Ivermectin Spot-On treatment in case of other parasites.

When we got to the breeder, she had just a blue and a chocolate put aside for us in her farm shed. I thought we were going to see more birds, but rather than traipse round her field trying to trap alternatives, we decided to stick with these two. Besides, they were stunning, healthy looking birds, well feathered with good legs and feet, bright clear eyes, perfect beaks and clean nostrils and vents (Oh the glamour!)

The car journey home was uneventful, just a few 'bok's uttered from the back of the car. We took the carrying box straight out to the chicken run, and with MrPB filming, I unboxed the babies.

Jane and Felicity were deeply unimpressed, and expressed their displeasure loudly and repeatedly!

Choosing Chicken Names

The hens were all named after fictional female detectives, Jane Marple, Felicity Lemon and Hetty Wainthrop. The new ladies are no exception. We came up with a shortlist, and two of our most favourite characters were chosen.

Meet Miss Claudia Donovan from the US TV series 'Warehouse 13', and The Honorable Bunty Windermere from the BBC TV series 'Father Brown'. Both characters are keen, resourceful and clever - hopefully these two will match up to their namesakes.
Claudia Bunty Orpington hens pullets see new home
Claudia and Bunty taking in their new surroundings

Claudia is the Blue Orpington. She's a much cooler grey colour than Hetty's Lavender was. Bunty is the Chocolate, though this sounds drab, her wing feathers have a smart beetle-wing sheen to them,. This comes from the Black Orpington genes that help create the Chocolate, apparently in summer she will fade to a pretty milk chocolate tone...mmmmmm chocolate...

Bunty Claudia pullets see Felicity Jane Orpington hens next door
Who on earth are our new neighbours?

Claudia Bunty Orpinton Pullets meet video camera
Girls on film - get used to the camera ladies!

I'm really looking forward to sharing Claudia and Bunty's adventures with you. Don't forget to check out all my social media platforms, and please like, share and subscribe.
PB xx

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Big Launch Day

The Pumpkin Becki Youtube Channel is live!!

I've been plotting (no pun intended) to start my own Youtube channel for a long time now, researching other channels, planning what content I could make, seeing if I was brave enough to be on camera.

I filmed a few chunks of practice footage over a weekend, one where I was ripping out and redoing a plant border for a time lapse video, and an intro to my channel, where I was utterly upstaged by the gorgeous Molly.

I've honed my technique and my editing skills, and uploaded 2 videos for you already!!
A quick intro...

And my first Fairy Garden!

Future videos will include how-tos, tours of my garden, projects I'm working on, adventures with the guinea pigs, hamsters and chickens and so much more.

The Youtube channel is intended to be a partner to my blog here, it won't take over from it, just like my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds haven't. It's seriously hard work, but I'm enjoying myself, and that's the important bit :)

Be sure to stop on by, watch my videos, rate and comment on them, and don't forget to subscribe as well ;)

Rebecca xx