Freedom tastes so sweet – More from Peckingham Palace

After a full week in the little coup, I decided that the new-comers were ready for the hustle and bustle of the big coup The big chickens are used to being shut in the back compound of the coup for breakfast as this is the time that I normally have my one eyed cockerel, Shaking Stevens, and my youngest cockerel, William, in the front compound so that they can eat in peace and quiet. On freedom day only William stayed in the front as Shaky decided to try his luck with the ladies in the back.

William shows Franny where the food is.coup.

A taste of freedom at last!

I  opened the door of the little coup just enough for the youngsters to venture outside if the mood took them.  It took them immediately and it was little Francesca who once again took the lead, followed immediately by Jubilee and Olympia. Oh what joy to watch as they unfurled their wings and flapped and flapped until they were airborne.  Unfortunately chickens are not aerodynamically designed so their maiden flights were of a very short duration with very ungainly landing techniques.

William was so delighted to be the only male with three females, even if they were too young to be wives, that for the first time to my knowledge he let forth with a cock-a-doodle-do or in his case, as he hasn’t had any practise it was more of a crack-a-crackle-do.  I hadn’t realised that cockerels have to practise their call and as poor young William is the lowest ranking cockerel in the coup he had decided it would be prudent to keep quiet up to this point. Not to be outdone by William’s first attempts the four chaps in the back compound let rip with their mature calls and so did several neighbours cockerels so if anyone was asleep they most certainly wouldn’t be after this cacophony. I’ve added a youtube clip a if you want to hear him crow.

A taste of freedom at last!

They’re off

I let the little chicks wander about with William showing them around the front of the coup for about half and hour, he was so gentle with them showing them where the food and water were. At the same time as I had decided to open the back gate to let the others into the front, one or two of the girls in the back shouted that they needed to lay eggs and could they come in, so that they could get into the maternity unit where they deliver their eggs, please!

Errrr what do the adults eat?

I was certainly nervous about letting the big chickens into the front, so I opened the door just enough so they could only come in one at a time.  I had no need to worry the chicks just got stuck in and soon learned to scurry about although there were a few pecks from the adults when the little ones got in the way.

Victor spends much of his day chasing the sparrows that have learned how to get into the coup and pinch the chicken’s food.  He lowers his head and charges at them until they take off, only to land just behind him, much to his annoyance. Well he seems to treat the chicks in the same manner but it wont be too long before he will change his attitude towards them and start his courtship display.

After some time being with the large chickens the chicks decided to make for the safety of their little home and headed straight for their nest box for a little snooze before their next big adventure.

In the thick of it

4 thoughts on “Freedom tastes so sweet – More from Peckingham Palace

  1. It’s always a worry when you let the smaller chicks in with the big hens, but it sounds like there was no need to worry at all – they all sorted themselves out!
    I love the way the chicks went back to their nest voluntarily when they’d had enough – it was a big adventure for them!

  2. Those baby chicks are just gorgeous. With regards to cockerels having to learn their cock-a-doodle-do, I also went through the experience of learning the hard way. When I first got to my farm, the previous owner left behind some of his animals, which he collected later. He left a cockerel, full grown male goat, kid goat and a dog???? People never cease to amaze me! Anyway, my first morning there, I was somewhat rudely awakened by the sounds of this very young cockerel, desperately attempting a cock-a-doodle-do at about 5am. It was hilarious and I can hear the sound now, as I read your post.

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