Don't tell the flock, but I have had my head turned. I have been introduced to another breed. A teeny, cute rare breed. I have eyed them for some time from a distance, but now the fates have conspired and I have the opportunity to acquire two pullets of my very own. I may soon be the owner of a Malaysian Serama. Or rather, two.
The serama is the world's smallest chicken. Exhibition birds tend to be around the size of a coke can (plus a tail). They are all about the bosoms and being extremely upright. Wings should, ideally, be vertical. In short (ha ha) they are, in my opinion, an odd looking show bird. However, a not quite ideal specimen is a very pretty bird. They look proud and dignified. Males have a frankly pathetic crow on the whole, although of course there is variation across the breed. I am extremely tempted.
So at the end of the month I have a decision to make. I can collect two very pretty pullets, or I can be sensible about things and decline. Of course, I don't want to decline. Yet it is the responsibility of all chicken keepers to put their birds' welfare first. It may be possible to integrate two tiny hens in with my robust pekin girls, but it cannot be assumed. There is a good chance that the others will take one look at the tiny newcomers and decide to eat them. Or squash them. Or in some other way terrorise them. Especially ASBO Chicken. If this happens, the serama would require their own lodgings. Luckily, they are so tiny that they can be kept quite happily in a rabbit hutch as long as they have access to an outside pen. A rabbit hutch would fit quite easily in the garage....
Anyway, back to the existing pekin kingdom. Doris appears fully recovered, which is a huge relief. I am still not quite sure what is going on with that hen and her eyes, but it has been suggested to me that she has an allergy. I rather hope that that is the case. Celia continues to shed featehrs like a speed stripper. She is thoroughly miserable at the moment, and spends a lot of time snuggled next to a more well covered flock mate. I have to say that the other hens are being remarkably kind and allowing this heat sharing. Even Maeve.
Last weekend, all of the girls got a pedicure. The mud and wet means that they are inclined to pick up mud balls on their feet which need soaking off. When you first approach a bucket with a chicken, they become understandably agitated. But once they are soaking their feet and getting a toe massage, more often than not they relax totally. Which can be awkward because you're balancing them in one hand. Maude even went to sleep, and she's no light weight. After a quick once over, I discovered that it was only Celia that needed her nails clipping. As she clacked away across the patio, the others watched presumably expecting a tap dance. They were disappointed.
Any thoughts about the serama would be appreciated.