In January we unveiled a new chicken coop for The Girls. It was built for us by a close neighbour and local business – The Glenmore Shop & Pinemarten Bar. The new coop was quite a bit bigger than the old one so we made the decision to get a few new girlies to join the team!
On February 6th a friend of Cairngorm Lodge went to the Homes4Hens pick up point in Falkirk and picked up three more rescue chickens on our behalf – The Girls had been brought up to Falkirk from a holding farm in Dumfries so they are rather far travelled.
When we got them ‘home’ to Cairngorm Lodge the difference in the new girls to the old girls was startling! They were very pale faced (almost white!) with pale flappy combs & the usual lack of feathers. These three girls mainly had feathers missing around their behinds..poor wee things.
It took them a few days to brave the elements and actually leave the coop (although to be fair they had to contend with snow storms and howling gales too). They then had to learn how to behave like chickens again - from scratching around in the dirt to eating bugs and dust-bathing. Also understanding that garden birds are not the enemy and not something to run away from! It’s taking a while but they are getting there and are starting to join the rest of The Girls on their foraging around the garden.
Then just to add to the mayhem we decided to ‘rescue’ two cockerels that had been at the SSPCA up north in Reay for a whopping 415 days! On February 14th youth hostel manager Caroline set off on the 300+ mile round trip to pick up The Boys and finally returned home with Chuck & Norris around 8 hours later.
Once again both Chuck & Norris had to relearn living life in the great outdoors although it didn’t take long before we heard the first cock-a-doodle-do’s. Chuck is the larger of the two boys and seems to have taken on the old Girls as his ladies. This leaves Norris with the new girlies however they do seem to chop and change a bit and are very, ahem, opportunistic when it comes to ambushing The Girls for a bit of ‘romance’.
What with a new coop and new girls and boys to deal with ALL of the Cairngorm Girls went on holiday from laying eggs for several weeks. We are glad to report however that as of the beginning of March eggs have reappeared once again in the nesting boxes. Well they do have to earn their keep somehow! If we have eggs then they are available for a donation in the self-catering kitchen.
The new family at the Cairngorm Coop are Poppy Pink, Rosie Red & Gertie Green, along with our Boys Chuck & Norris. They join the existing girlies Olive, Prunella Purple, Betty Blue & Yolanda Yellow and they always welcome visitors especially if you bring tasty treats!
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