Goliath is such an amazing bird and quite a celeb. He now has his own portrait created by the very talented Dave Brunger. To check out his other work just click on this ..... dcbartworks
We bought over with us from the UK 24 hatching eggs, 12 from two different breeders, but because of our horrid journey only 3 survived. Goliath is the Don of the birds we have, the ladies love him, the ducks love him and even the other cockerels love him. Now it is very unusual for cockerels to live together in harmony but Goliaths best mate is Queen Elizabeth and he ( yes I said he! He just happened to look like Queen Elizabeth the 1st as a chick) is second in command. They have a funny old relationship when I watch them, it's almost like watching scenes from the karate kid, Goliath has taken him under his wing.... quite literally. Now this behavior is quite common in the Buff Orpington breed, they are well known for their gentle nature and that is one of the reasons that we chose them. The other reason is that they are big birds so great for feeding the family. Did you know that in England before people had turkeys for Christmas dinner the Buff Orpington was the bird of choice because of their size.
Buff Orpingtons with ex battery hens
To bulk out our stock and because we wanted more eggs we popped to the market to buy some ex battery chickens. They were fantastic apart from the fact that the cockerel skip escaped out of his box in the car and ended up crowing at passers by. Many of our chickens got taken by stray dogs and foxes at first but now we have two fantastic secure coops thanks to Mark and Jez who came to volunteer last summer.
Last year we went on to incubate two more sets of eggs. The second batch was a success even with our electricity being cut off our dear friend Jill saved the day as we risked the very bumpy journey to her house. The third batch was not such a triumph as only one egg hatched we named her Pock. Pock spends the evenings chilling with Jock and Rufus our dogs in the kitchen in front of the fire. It won't be long now until she can go into the coop with the others. Big relief for me as I kind of feel bad when there's a chicken watching me cook a chicken.
Nugget one of the survivors from the trip over
Sir Francis having a mooch
Geese in the snow
Although sometimes keeping the chickens, ducks and geese seems like a lot of hard work, there is nothing like collecting fresh eggs in the morning, having a lovely supply of poop for your veggies and even having a laugh being chased by the odd bird. It really is heartbreaking when one of them gets taken but it really is satisfying when you rescue one. Two days ago Mark opened the front door to go and get something from the car when he noticed a stray dog running down the street with one of our chickens in his mouth. Luckily the dog dropped the chicken when Mark shouted but boy was that one lucky bird!