The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The frontier is down and the cockerels have been named


Photo: Alfonso

Photo: Alfonso

Up until now I have kept the new Italian Leghorn chickens in a separate half of the run. There have been several escapes when I’ve opened the ‘door’ to top up the feed and water fountains. Mainly led by the Italian gentlemen who are keen to get close to the ladies that they’ve been ogling through the wire.

These passionate visits have not gone down well with these elderly maidens.

Our small Golden Sebright cockerel is much smaller than his dashing rivals. Beatyl now just appears not to see them and hides behind his coterie. If it’s sunny Beatyl stands with his wives in the shade whilst the Italian boys lounge in the sun. It’s a truce for the time being.

But what about Baby? The tiny cockerel runt that made his first faltering crow yesterday. He enjoys riding in the top of the feed bucket and keeps out of the way of his male Italian relations most of the time. He hangs out with Zebedee our beautiful slinky Italian hen. He still creeps under her wing at night.

Now the nights are drawing in I want all chickens to sleep in the big hen house. It is much warmer than the ark (the famous Emerald Castle) and I can lock them in at night with their food. The Italians have open feeder in the Ken Doherty Day Centre which will start to attract hungry rats when the weather gets colder.

So a couple of days ago I left the door open when the Italians made a bid for freedom, hoping that they would discover the deluxe accommodation and leave their old lodgings voluntarily.

At dusk I peeped into the upstairs dormitory. The Italian boys were roosting there. I heard a teeny cry of alarm from the Emerald Castle where Baby and Zebedee were cuddled together. Yesterday I spotted Baby lurking in the downstairs area of the hen house. This morning he dared to venture right to the end of the run to feast on some corn. Admittedly when the rest of the gang had gone for breakfast in the Italian zone.

Photo: Massimo

Photo: Massimo

We have forgotten all about the naming of the Italian cockerels competition. Last night we finally chose the names that we felt most suited our birds. Thank you Steel Kitten.  Let me introduce you to Massimo and Alfonso. The latter is a fine specimen but he is the one who needs to be re homed as he is more dominant than his gentle brother. If you would be interested in the gift of a great cockerel please get in touch via the contact us button.

Please send your address via the contact us tab, Steel Kitten, so I can send you your prize. And no it’s not Alfonso! Unless of course you’d like a fine cockerel for your flock.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Magic Cochin

    They are gorgeous birds (and Beatyl is too). Shame that we can’t keep them all.

    Hi KateUK

    Yes they are. But cockerels are generally much more beautiful than hens.

    Hello Ruth

    Many apologies. Hoping to pack up all prizes by tomorrow.

    Hi Michelle NZ

    You have a very good point but Massimo is very gentle so he’s staying.

    Love to you both.

    Hi Tamar

    I loved your comment just can’t think of a smart response!

    Hi LindaM

    I’m assuming that you will be getting chickens on your farm. They are so entertaining.

    Hi Steve H

    One day we’ll have to bite the bullet and eat one of our chickens. Not quite ready to do it yet though.

    Hello Steel

    Congratulations they are beautiful names.

  2. How cool! Thank you so much! Will email you my address shortly.

    Alfonso and Massimo look fantastic – beautiful colours.

    I’d love to have a cockerel, but we have an elderly neighbour across the fence at the bottom of our garden who itches for people to make noise so he can write letters to the council.

    Luckily my girls are super quiet!

  3. steve h

    realistically,…….Christmas is coming!!! thats what i`m planning for my two spare cockerels hatched last february. The “wise one” has tried to prepare them for rhe “inevitable” by naming them …Tasty and Tender! 😉

  4. Such beautiful colors!

  5. You’ve got zones, and Italians, and detente — it’s a veritable chicken UN at your house. I hope you negotiate the treaty successfully so you have world peace.

  6. Michelle in NZ

    Soft-hearted Michelle would say “move both the new bloke chooks out” that way the wee one and Zebedee would have a much nicer time moving in with the other chookies. Only you may want ot boost the numbers for further breeding? If just for eggs then I say move out the fully grown blokes. The Chookie Women will do just fine with Baby.

    Fiona – you must have guessed by now that Michelle is a poultry and cat complete pushover………

    Super love and care to Fiona and Danny, the Min Pinns and your poultry sweeties,

    Michelle and Wussy cat Zebby, xxxxxxxx and loving purrrrrrrumbles

  7. Ruthdigs

    They are truly stunning. I’d love to see an up to date picture of Baby too.

    (Speaking of prizes – did you ever get a chance to post mine at all or has the postal system had it away…)

  8. They are beautiful.

  9. Magic Cochin

    Looks like Alfonso and Massimo are members of the Bersaglieri with those wonderful plumes!

    And I won’t be showing their photos to my ‘Spice Girls’ – they’d get over excited!!!


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