For Sale (it’s that time of year again)

March 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

the-four-peebles-at-18-weeks

L to R: Neroli, Rachel, Princess, Sylvie

I should love this time of year. The garden’s in full productivity and the bubs are about to lay their first eggs.

But that’s the problem: it means it’s time to sell them, so that they can settle in to their new homes before they start laying properly (the stress of a new place can put them off the lay for a while). So now begins the process of trying to decide how to sell – together as a group (good for them, as they all stay together) or separately (easier for purchasers to work out what they want)? And if you don’t sell them as one group, who do you sell together? And for what price?

I know that this was why we raised them, but it doesn’t make the doing any easier. You just have to hope that they go somewhere where they will be loved and appreciated – this at least is the advantage of raising a Rare Breed – people are less likely to get rid of them as soon as laying production drops. And that’s another reason for putting a highish price one them: make them more valued from the outset.

And to add to the slinking feeling of treachery … we might be able to keep Neroli. She’s such a darling, and is so different to the others. We both have trouble with the idea of parting with her, so maybe … but that means she’s going to be feeling miserable for a while, until she integrates into the other flock. She’ll be the bottom of the pecking order, so it won’t be nice. (Or maybe she’ll beat up her mother, and go up a place or two?)
And what about Rachel? She’s every bit as much of a sweetie as Neroli, and used to snuggle into my arms as a baby. And Princess is so beautiful – so correct in her markings. She’s going to make a stunning hen, and would be the first you’d pick to breed from. And Sylvie, for all her faults, is bright and curious and friendly … argh.

Last year we had the luxury of giving our two special girls (of those we weren’t able to keep) to Nicola. This year, no such let-off. It is a sad thing. But on the other hand, the girls can go forth and wriggle their way into someone else’s affections. Convert someone new to chicken keeping. Or to the beauty of Rare Breeds.

Does this ever get any easier?

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