I have researched far and wide trying to find another serama breeder. I talked to the secretary of the serama club and she has been looking for me but nothing came of that. I tried the breeder that Sophie got her girls from but sadly due to ill health she has given up chickens. I tried all the poultry shows with no luck. I asked on the “Down The Lane” chicken forum but with no luck.
Then David (thank you David) sent me an advert from the preloved site. I called the lady and she said that she only had chicks and a long waiting list for them but that I was welcome to come and look. She is an hour away from us and works during the week so we arranged to go yesterday.
Stupidly in the excitement I forgot to ask her name so will call her “lovely chicken lady” of Parkside Poultry in Aldershot. She breeds serama, pekins and quail. She was really helpful and her many birds were kept in lovely clean conditions. We were very impressed with her all round.
She has such a good reputation that as fast as she hatches and grows the birds to two months so that she can sex them they fly out of her place to the people on her waiting list so she isn’t able to get her birds older than that.
I knew that the only way I could have some was to take them at two months and she only had a few girls left at that age. Every bird I pointed out was a boy and in the end it was a matter of asking which were girls and taking what she had. I ended up with three girls, two silkie feathered and a frizzle feathered.
The reason I would have preferred older girls is because the integration process is quicker. With young birds they need to be started on chick crumb and progress on to growers pellets whereas the current flock are on layers pellets. This means that they will have to stay separated until they are about six months and at point of lay. So instead a few weeks it will be four months before they can start mixing.
The other problem is their tiny size. I had taken the cat box to collect them and was rather alarmed when lovely chicken lady said that they could possibly escape through the grill on the front of the cat box. I had to hold the grill against myself and block it in the van for the journey home.
I had intended to put them in the dog crate with a nest box as a coop but realised that their small size meant they would be able to squeeze through the bars. I needed to go to the pet shop for chick crumb so I looked for something more suitable for them and came back with a hamster cage which at a cost of twenty pounds wasn’t too bad and will come in useful if I have chicks in the future.
The chicks had been cheeping all the way home and the first thing I did when we got home was to set up a water bottle in the cat box and a dish of chick crumb. The three chicks immediately piled into the food dish and went quiet. We realised that they were hungry.
All three chicks in the food dish in the cat box
We put together the hamster cage which came with it’s own water bottle and a tiny food dish plus a hamster’s wheel which of course we left out and I put in a layer of pine shavings. I put water in the tiny dish so that the chicks have a choice of water.
The chicks immediately found the water bottle, the chick crumb and the feeding quarters. They also started digging and dust bathing in the shavings. They seemed completely at home in the hamster cage and I felt much happier knowing they were in a safe environment until they get a bit bigger.
Three little chicks
The black/blue one is the frizzle and is first to find everything. She is already looking like top girl of this trio.
Our three new girls
They are so cute
I have never had such tiny girls
I have had six week old girls before (Peaches and Barley) but they were bantams and so never as tiny as these girls. The lovely chicken lady said it’s no different though and they will soon grow. She had a trio that were four months old that were reserved, with a deposit paid, and they were much bigger so we could see that they will soon grow.
I separated the smallest corner of the run that I use as my starter part for new girls and put the hamster cage in that part. This part stays in shade, the shaft of sunlight you can see in front of it soon moves away.
I will be taking the chicks inside at night to our bathroom, or at any time we get bad weather, until they outgrow the hamster cage.
In position in the separated part of the run in front of the shelter
The chicks are hiding in the sleeping quarters in this photo.
The flock didn’t take any notice of the new girls. I think because they are in another cage they are not attracting more than an occasional glance at this stage.
I was surprised that when I went to check on them before bedtime the chicks had almost emptied the food dish. I refilled it to the brim. They eat a lot more than I had imagined but that’s a good sign that all is well.
I chased Emerald and Speckles into the chicken shed at half past eight and the chicks were still in the food dish. I went back at nine o’clock and the chicks were in their sleeping quarters. What clever chicks!
I am sticking with my tradition of descriptive names and our new three amigos are Blue, Lemon and Jasmine. We now have two of each feather type which is a really nice balance. I am so thrilled with our new additions.