... I found her with iPad, 'phone and Poultry Breed manual canvassing the major local breeders to see exactly what young birds they had in stock. This morning we drove over to the other side of Redditch to meet Morris and to see his prize winning Cuckoo Marans. He was an incredibly well preserved eighty one year old and, after coffee and a chat, gave us free rein to make our selection from a group of twenty young birds. He had obviously selected his 2013 show birds already but these "rejects"were no scruffs and will be more than adequate as brown egg layers at The Pile. We selected three pullets at around sixteen weeks* of age and left with the sincere promise to return for a couple more if we were left with any more space in the coop.
It was then a case of back home to give the spare coop a sweep out and get them settled in their new home and start making some harsh decisions about the geriatrics they will replace. Later in the day 30% contacted the Poultry Breeder over in Cleobury Mortimer where we bought our first birds seven years ago. They have plenty of young stock available so we'll be away to the wilds of Shropshire at the back end of the week.
In the afternoon we met up with Bad Man Senior and Step Mum Sue over at a local Photographer's studio for the final element to their birthday present; Tilly was to be "snapped" and a portrait selected. T&M got in on the act too and were absolute stars, posing on the infinity wall with infinite patience. ** There were some wonderful shots taken and we will pop down in a few days to pick up the eight by tens. The nice thing about the session is that there are no fees*** but a £5 donation is requested for The Dogs Trust. There is also a chance that your pet can be featured on a Dogs Trust Poster or calendar.
After the modelling session it was back to The Pile for Dinner and to catch up with TP after his first day back at school. He was grinning when we returned as he has managed a crop of As and Bs in the first of the GCSE papers that he sat last year. I hope he performs as well with the remaining papers at the end of this school year.
---* They should come in to lay at around 22 - 26 weeks but are put off by the shortening day length so there is a slim chance that they will lay this side of Christmas.
** Firm commands and a pocket full of liquorice work wonders!
*** apart from any prints selected, obviously