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We enjoyed a very reasonable breeding season in 2010, One or two pairings of 'old line' birds to our more recently acquired stock were bred from February onwards in that year - but although bred too late to show at their best that year, they arrived still in time to give us a good choice of breeding stock for an early start to this year's breeding season.
The birds 'from Lincolnshire' had bred well for us last year and thus, this year, we were in the happy position of having a good range of birds from which to make our selections, pride of place going to an excellent Cinnamon Light Green cock which we bought from Gren & Pat Norris in late 2010.
Those breeding team selections were, unhappily, to be the last in which my brother John could participate.
We were able to spend three days at the end of September sorting out the pairs, and although John was by then so frail that he could not catch the birds up, he was able to sit in front of a long bench and have a good look at the birds we selected. While he could only remain in the aviary for very short periods, because even sitting up was very tiring for him, we were able to pencil in our first thirty or so pairs over seven or eight such sessions in those three days.
Happily, I can look back on that time as one in which we worked together most closely and effectively in planning the way forward for our stud, and remarkably, when I came to pair up in mid-November, I found no need to alter our initial selections.
Those pairs settled down well and have bred with some enthusiasm. In fact, this has so far been our best breeding season since 1962/63. Interestingly, this year, like 1962/63 saw a very severe winter (see the 'Our Aviary' page) as was the case at the beginning of this breeding season.
We have now dispensed with our Lutinos, but continue with the Albinos -- although we have, if anything paid more attention to our other varieties. The first photos (below) are a brief and rather hurried selection of 'the first fruits' in which, happily, hens are in the majority !
THE FIRST FRUITS
.... and some in mid-April
..... and in October
From these birds, plus a further introduction of Lincolnshire stock , will come our 2012 pairings........
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