The Cottage Smallholder

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Update on our young Golden Sebright cockerel, Beatyl Boss

Mrs Boss and Beatyl Boss

Photo: Mrs Boss and Beatyl Boss

Sunday was an important day for our young cockerel, Beatyl.

Mrs Boss and her adopted son have been living in the Emerald Castle for the past three months. This environment is fine for a mother hen with chicks as it is a secluded area away from the rush and thrust of The Big Pen. The fowl in TBP can look into the castle grounds and the castle residents can look out and small baby fowl are protected.

However our young cockerel is now just over 13 weeks old. And for the past week I have been fretting about the temperature in the Emerald Castle. There’s no central heating and their bedroom is so close to the ground. Mrs B is a breed that is prone to chest infections.

Our hen house is a Rolls Royce affair. With an upstairs and a downstairs. All fowl roost upstairs well away from the draughts. Perhaps it would be wise to open the gates and let Mrs Boss and Beatyl into the run. They’d be able to choose between an exclusive chill and a warmer mixed dorm. There was just one big problem – Beatyl is a golden Sebright. He is very beautiful but diminutive.

When I ventured out this morning there was a hard frost. As I approached TEC I heard him crow for the very first time. A low throaty baritone.

When Mrs Boss stepped over the EC threshold, Beatyl followed. He was eventually pecked by Carol and Cloud. Mrs Boss put up a flaky defence and then he was on his own. I had been worried about Thunder (the male Guinea Fowl) but he kept his distance. When I went into the run to protect Beatyl, all bullying ceased and he found his way back to Mrs Boss.

We checked his progress throughout the day He spent a lot of time staring out of the run whilst Mrs Boss was renewing old friendships and taking a series of dust baths.

This evening we found him alone in the run after dark. We coaxed him into the warmth of the hen house. By seven he had climbed the stairs and was nervously roosting on the floor beside the stairs and all by himself. Mrs Boss was luxuriating in the nesting box.

My heart goes out to Beatyl. Young, inexperienced and very alone.

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  1. samantha winter

    I’m sure he will be fine. The ladies will soon realise what a nice young man they have amongst them and then who will be the boss. Fingers crossed

  2. Veronica

    He’s beautiful. I do hope he settles into the run with the others soon.

  3. Oh your chicken-related posts just tug at my heartstrings. So beautifully written, and such perfect descriptions of crazy chicken behaviour. Thank you for sharing, even the sad bits and other challenges. As a fellow chicken owner and random egg hatcher (under our broody bantams) I just love to catch up on your tales. And the other posts are awesome too! : ) Wendy – Wellington, New Zealand

  4. We had one new arrival this year and we initially thought “she” was a chicken. How wrong we were. I realised something was afoot when the chicken’s plummage started to get more extravagent and then one morning my suspicions were confirmed when a crowing sound suddenly errupted from him. Previously, in his guise as a female, he had been pecked and chased and really left out in the cold but now he really rules the roost! I should imagine that you will experience the same when your cockrel finds his feet regardless of his size!

  5. kate (uk)

    He’s so pretty the ladies are bound to start making a fuss of him!

  6. Jane aka:aromatic

    Oh poor Dixie Chick, I so feel for him… he must feel so alienated.
    I do hope he has a better day today and forms friendlier relationships with his peers. Please keep us informed.
    Fingers crossed for better news!
    Jane xxx

  7. It’s so sad that poor little Dixie Chick didn’t make it to support Beatyl in the next stage of his life. I’m sure it would have been much easier, and definitely much less lonely, to have a buddy to help work out life, the universe and everything. Do cockerels get picked on like other chickens, or do they automatically start higher up the pecking order?

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