We have serious chickens, of the Light Sussex breed, for meat and eggs. And we have some Silkie Bantams for amusement and for brooding eggs.
Silkies look like toys, all fluff. Over several years, we bred them to have a range of lovely colours. Last summer, they hid some nests of eggs and we ended up with a lot of them.
With the recent warm weather, they thought it was spring. We had far too many roosters, and they were loving the hens to exhaustion.
So on Saturday we ‘harvested’ six of the roosters. This left our favourite roosters: Rufio, with gorgeous black feathers; Silvan, russet and gold; and a really beautiful silver-grey one without a name as yet. And a few spares, as we could only manage to do six of them in a plucking session.
We did keep the meat, though it’s hardly worth the effort. They have tiny bodies under all the fluff, and their meat is black. Great in Chinese medicine apparently.
On Saturday night, we were babysitting Xavier, who belongs to our friends Tony and Claire. Tony came by about 10pm to pick him up, and mentioned that he had just seen a fox in our house paddock. And we realised that we’d forgotten to lock up the chickens.
I raced up to the serious chickens; they were fine. Allison ran to the silkies, and found about 20 corpses, no survivors.
We are trying to work out what to do about the fox. We had a rabbit plague earlier this year, and the neighbours poisoned them, so the fox may well have been hungry. No need to kill 20 chickens though.
We don’t have a gun, and there are rules limiting shooting so close to the highway. We do have a bow, and Allison’s a good shot — but shooting accurately at night is very difficult.
We’re hoping he shows up on the lane while we’re driving home…
We visited the Canberra medieval club on Sunday night, for their monthly pot luck night. I made some chicken pies, with silkie meat and vegetables from our garden — and they were generally agreed to be delicious.