Up on the field, in the hen-house-on-wheels, there's an empty space on the perch tonight. 'Big Ginge' has left home. I suppose one could say he's flown the coop.
In poultry terms at 14 weeks old, he - and the others - are now teenagers. The hen birds are delicately formed, sweet and graceful. The two cockerels are shaping up nicely as showy, swaggering posers with an eye for the ladies; all mouth and trousers. Of the 2 birds Big Ginge seemed the most mature - perhaps because he had appointed himself top bird in charge of his siblings and the 5 sinister looking Marans I bought recently.
As 2 male birds are probably not a good idea in the same flock I was pleased when one was offered a home in Cornwall. His new owner wanted him not for breeding purposes but, (and I quote,) 'to keep my hens happy'. Hmm. From what I've seen of cockerels 'keeping hens happy' the hens could take it or leave it. Perhaps this is a man thing.
This morning Big Ginge was put into a strawy box and loaded onto the back of a pick-up for the long journey to his new home on the banks of the Tamar where a harem of 6 wives awaits him.
Enjoy your new life Big Ginge - after all, you could have ended up on a plate with vegetables and a splash of gravy.