It had to happen i felt compelled by one man and his blog to start my own so here goes.
Firstly you may expect me to thank some people but having come from a thankless job i make sure that i say thank you often and regularly to the people whom have helped me, this has ranged from a panic call with great advise, reasurrance that im not doing things wrong, free birds or access to good genes and to some sounding boards and to building great relationships for the future-
However a BIG thank you very publicly has to go to my Mentor whom without sage like wisdom, the ability to keep me on the straight and narrow and not make an arse of myself at times, has to be given so step forward Ian Fordham and take a bow please and a big thank you Sir.
so my journey to my first pinkies in 25yrs!- yep that's right i have 3 chicks under 3 days old :-)
I have a modest shed- in fact i have a big shed i've had to cut in half as i cant afford the stock to fill a big shed and have to breed my own but it didnt all go to plan and if it wasnt for the generous nature of Alan Marchant (who gave me more free birds to get me started than i bought!) i'd be in a canoe deep in the brown stuff with a stick and not a paddle. It seemed that every time i took a step forward i took two backwards and i had some key losses very early, this then followed on with a light molt, a heavy molt and a run of bad luck and then some bad luck and an unpleasent surprise- but there is some good news so ill run through briefly where I am.
pair 1: the cock bird dies a week before the hen lays the first egg- fingers crossed but all 4 are clear, ill repair her when one of the clear pairs starts to kick out the eggs for cover
Pair 2: after 6 weeks nothing, change the hen. After another 4 weeks nothing so ive split up the pair and put them in the flight to have a molt and will look again at the cockbird in sept.
Pair 3: after 6 weeks again nothing from the hen so i replaced her. The cock was a little beneth the hen so given that every pair i had did nothing for 6 weeks i put what was the worst Lt Grn hen in with him and within 2 days she was in the box and 2 weeks on eggs. They have hatched 3 so far and as they aren't lookers i hope they are well bred and hens!- buy hey a HUGE step forwards and the first chicks for 25yrs
Pair 4: A pair of gryGrns- a Cin hen with great backskull and blow and a taller broader cock- 4 weeks and nothing! so ive repaired to a gry hen- i've high hopes for these two and they have laid two eggs to date so fingers crossed- mum is known to be a problem hen so ill have to take her away at three weeks or foster the chicks out- except my fosters are out of sync now!!!
Pair 5: The foster Pair are in sync with pairs 3 and 6 and have just hatched their own chick- if not needed at least its a feeder for the summer next year...
Pair 6: a YFGry cock and a GryGrn Hen: Seven beautiful perfect clear eggs- they are the only original pair i have and laid after......yep 6 weeks!
Pair 7: a pair of grey's- again high hopes. She laid 3 eggs and then a double yoker- missed two days and then 3 more, typically they look clear but time will tell but she went down after a week and laid within two!- i paired these two myself so lets see how my eye is after all this time
so there we have it i have two pairs from 7 (Excluding repairs) with chicks which whilst sounding bad (to be honest the oparents arent lookers) is a big step forward after what has been a really painful start. I lost some very major birds after a 5 hr drive then turned into the coldest two days since god was a boy and it was just too much for them, but ive picked myself up, dusted myself down, kicked the can around and with luck were on the up.
OK so ive got about 20 birds which isnt enough for a 12 x 12 environment and 12 breeding cages and if a couple of birds let you down it is a major set back- in fact if it could go wrong it has-twice) but ive had some very kind offers of help from some very nice people and when the hens stop this latest molt ive a couple of ideas with the birds i have to hand- i wont embarress people on here but i will shake them by the hand and look them in the eyes and give the biggest heart felt thank you i can when i see them and a very public thank you when in a couple of years time i venture onto the show bench.
SO, ive hated trying to start the blog and ive written it three times (all without spellcheck) i havent thanked enough people sufficiently for the assistance ive received but thanks must also go to encouragement/tollerence/wisdom/general kindness to Gary Shep,Nick Allwood,Mike Ball outside of the help from Alan and Ian oh and to my better half Charlotte who for a non bird person has the greatest tollerence of all.