Gabrielle

In Brief

last updated 7.10.11

Hatched: 18th November 2010

Weight: 2.57 kg

Breed: Silver Grey Dorking

Current Status: laying

Total number of eggs: 91
Biggest egg: 58 g
Smallest egg: 23 g
Average weight: 51 g

The Arrival

Gabrielle was the only Dorking of Poppy’s Horde, and the first of any of the Horde to hatch. She was always the most inquisitive of the chicks, and the first to climb out from under mum’s petticoats. Not super affectionate, but utterly unafraid of humans. She seems to take it on faith that we’re essentially just harmless bumbling things that bring food … sigh! We decided to keep her for a couple of reasons. The first was because she was the only Dorking in the clutch, and seeing her against the Barnevelders and Rhodies and Rocks just emphasised all over again what beautiful, graceful birds Dorking are. And she was a big girl too, which is a characteristic of Dorkings that seems to be a bit lacking in NZ Dorkings. But there was another reason why we kept her …

The Leg

Gabrielle’s wonky leg

She hatched with a weirdly twisted right leg – we think the result of insufficient humidity during incubation. We thought for a long time that she was in fact a he, and so didn’t do anything to intervene. Although she is (and always has been) a bit lame on it, it doesn’t seem to cause her any pain or slow her down in any way whatsoever! But it did mean that she wasn’t a bird we could either sell or give away. So she has joined our flock, and we’re happy!

Laying

Despite being by far the most physically developed of all the Horde (including being far enough along to be routinely molested by Ivan and Kim – they used to jump the poor girl as soon as she came out of the house in the morning), she took what seemed like an age to start laying. Mind you, a decent chunk of the reason why it felt so damn long was because she was extremely vocal for a month leading up to her first egg on May 19th. (What is it about Dorkings and ungodly noise before laying?!)

Since then she’s been a solid layer of medium sized white eggs, although the noise hasn’t abated much. Sigh!

And

The poor girl is unfortunately the bottom of the pecking order. I think it comes at least in part from the trauma she went through with Ivan et al – when you drop into a deep dippy as soon as anyone even looks at you, it’s hard to assert any sort of dominance. Oh well. She seems to be pretty good natured about it all. (And at least no-one’s trying to molest her any more.)

Wadda you looking at, monkey?

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