Yep, it's finally happened. It's taken three years, a few deaths, a nightmare sourcing birds and the decision to try and hatch serama, but here we are. I have finally taken leave of my senses. Because right now, in the garage, is this little fella:
He is a black silkied serama boy, aged approximately 3 and a half months old. Now, before you roll your eyes, let me just explain. I saw this particular chap when I collected Betsy and Vera 5 weeks ago and thought he was adorable. In the meantime, he has become 'free to a good home', because the breeder didn't require him. And no-one wants the ratty tailed youngster. So he has been running the gauntlet with the other more dominant cockerels and was never allowed near the hens. During a discussion on the British Serama Forum, the breeder offered him to me on the basis that if he was noisy he could go back. So he's on a sort of trial run, really. I still went to my nearest neighbours to fill them in on my plans, though, and I would always advise a new keeper to do the same. Being up front from the outset can prevent phone calls to the council. Hopefully.
Anyway, Rocky has caused quite a stir. As he explored the garden, the pekins followed his progress by running about the perimeter of the Palace run. The low 'Booooooooork's made it clear that they weren't overly keen on the idea of a dude moving on to their patch. Indeed, Maude seemed most aggrieved, and if chicken's had handbags she'd have been swinging hers. For his part, Rocky ignored the horrified madams and goose-stepped about the lawn in a strange gait which is apparently quite normal for a serama cockerel but makes me think of John Cleese. Betsy and Vera were less alarmed, and pretty much ignored him. He chattered at them gently as he foraged for goodies, but the older serama were immune to his smooth tongue.
There was no chasing at all, so feeling brave I stuck some apple in the hutch and waited to see what would happen. Betsy and Vera hopped straight in and began scoffing. After observing for a moment, Rocky jumped up to. This caused the girls to stop mid-scoff for a moment, before chowing down again. Tentatively, the new boy moved towards the apple, chattering gently all the way. Vera turned her head just enough to peck him smack on the base of his beak before turning back to the grub. But that was it. Rocky didn't react at all to the duffing, and just approached the apple again. I have left them shut in the hutch, happily eating apple together side by side. I can't quite believe it to be honest.
Now I just hope that I'm not awoken at 3am by a tiny chap with a big voice.