Friday, 12 February 2010

Purdy, The Web Footed Chicken

While checking over the new girls, I came across a curious thing. Quite how I missed it, I don't know. Purdy has fused toes. On both feet, her second and third toes are joined quite closely together by a thin web of skin. Also, her second toe on one foot is slightly twisted, so that her nail is vertical rather than horizontal. None of my other girls have ever had this odd deformity, but by a weird coincidence 'Practical Poultry' magazine features an article this month on pekins. Apparently, this is a major fault for show birds, and should be avoided if showing is your intention. Luckily for Purdy, the closest she will get to a show will be parading around the garden and being judged by her flock mates.

Purdy and Celia continue to eat their way through their growers pellets, and produce their own weight in poo. They are getting used to my comings and goings, and try to escape whenever they have an audience. I have taken to leaving the garage door propped open while I attend to all my girls, and Purdy likes to sit on the edge of the brooder looking out. The inevitable happened just a few days ago. As Purdy enjoyed staring out in to the garden, Doris wandered in to view. Both birds saw each other at the same time. Purdy offered a tentative 'meep' at the older hen. Doris took this in, then turned tail and waddled up the garden, squawking loudly to the others.

I think it's safe to say that my girls now know about the new arrivals.

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