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THE COTSWOLD QUILL

The Newsletter of the Cotswold Pheasant and Poultry Club

Issue 50                                                                                                                                           April 2018


 

Chairman’s Chatter

 

Welcome to the April 2018 edition of the Cotswold Quill, the first for 2018.  It is good to see the nights drawing out.  We just need an end to the rain and some wind to dry the fields up.  There have been signs of the first leaves on the hedges after an odd dry warm day but it is all so late this year.  No sign of any grass growth but I notice one or two lawnmowers out.  Arable farmers are facing a difficult decision this year.  They can’t get on the ground much and the window for sowing spring sown crops is shortening daily.  Livestock farmers are also using up the winter rations fast and can’t wait to get the cows out into the fields.  Hopefully Spring proper will be here soon.

 

I don’t know if I’m the only one but I’m seeing a huge variety of wild birds on the bird table this year, including species such as Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch that haven’t been around here for few years, and an odd Nuthatch.  I’ve even seen a few Jay’s on the peanuts this year.  They were very rare when I was a kid but are a regular sight near woods these days.  Hopefully they won’t take too many eggs or nestlings from the other birds’ nests, as is their way.

 

Thankfully, Bird Flu hasn’t hit the commercial poultry people or the backyarders this year (touch wood) as it has been all around the country in the wild birds.  The latest birds found to be infected seem to be Swans and birds of prey such as Buzzards and the odd Northern Goshawk.  The whole country is still in a Prevention Zone meaning that it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict bio-security measures, so please stay on alert.

 

The Committee have once again organised some very entertaining meetings since the last edition of the Quill.  The talks were on a wide variety of subjects, given by skilled presenters and thanks again to them all.

 

In December, Mark Perkins gave us a very interesting and well-presented talk on hard feather breeds.  Obviously, Mark is very knowledgeable on the subject and there was a lively discussion with many questions from the audience.

 

The January meeting was given by Cym Baseley of the Warwickshire and Northants Rare Breeds Survival Trust Support Group, in return for a talk that I gave them on poultry.  She gave us a fascinating talk on the work of the RBST and in insight into the workings of her own farm where she keeps several rare breeds of sheep and cattle.  Hopefully, one of our club members has been able to find the Buff Back geese that she was looking for.

 

In February Ed Godwin gave us a demonstration of Peafowl.  His talk was also fascinating and he brought an amazing selection of Peafowl.  They were very well behaved as Ed and his assistant are obviously experienced handlers.

 

Unfortunately, our Annual Show in March was cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions.  The snow made travel almost impossible and, in my opinion, it would be cruel to wash birds in such cold weather.  Their feathers would have no protective natural oils for a while until they could preen.  With the cancellation due to Bird Flu last year, we haven’t been able to have a show since 2016.  The cancellation was a great shame as we were all looking forward to it.  I had a couple of good-looking birds this year, a phrase that could easily be misinterpreted if taken out of context!

 

I am really looking forward to the April meeting where Roger Thomas is giving us a breed focus on Plymouth Rocks, Pekins and bantam Marans, with live props.  It should be good.

 

The Exhibition season is fast approaching with the first one hopefully being the new one at Abingdon Air and Country Fair on 6 May.  More details to follow shortly.  Please refer to our website that is updated regularly with a full list of events, thanks to webmaster Sandy.

 

Best wishes to you all.

 

John Smith. Chairman and Exhibition Secretary.

 

Editorial Ramblings

The April edition of the Cotswold Quill usually has the results of our Annual Members Show. Sadly, once again we had to cancel the show, not due to Avian Flu on this occasion but due to the weather. Everything was in place ready to go and then the snow intervened, blocking minor roads and preventing the judges travelling from North Wales. With members spread out in the Cotswold area and North Wiltshire, we had little choice but to cancel.

In Chairman’s Chatter John mentioned the abundance of birds on his bird table. It has been a very good year for some rarer species. In the autumn there was an irruption of Hawfinches into the country from continental Europe and they have been appearing just about anywhere, even in the far west of Cornwall, which is normally unheard of. Locally they are found in the Forest of Dean where there is a resident population. They particularly like the seeds of Hornbeam and there is one of those in the garden behind my house. During the snowy period in March there were two male and one female in the Hornbeam and on the ground in my garden. Today, as I write this there was a female Hawfinch, six Yellowhammers and three Bramblings in my garden or on the Hawthorn hedge behind.

Bramblings are similar to a Chaffinch but have an orange breast and they are a winter visitor from Scandinavia.

Next month is the egg show and the entry form and schedule is attached to this newsletter. You can enter on the night but if you know what you are bringing please post or email your entry and pay the fee on the night. This will save time. It is also the Fish and Chip Supper night.

Ken Cservenka: Cotswold Quill Editor

and Show Secretary.

 

Seasonal Reminder

Keep your nest boxes clean and filled with fresh straw. Clean eggs are better to use for incubation and indeed for eating. Also keep your eyes peeled for Red Mite as the weather warms up. Search for them in perch sockets and around door frames.

 

 The Cotswold Pheasant & Poultry Club

Website

www.cotswoldpoultryclub.co.uk

Cotswoldppc@hotmail.com

 

Editorial Deadline for next issue

Saturday 1st September  2018

(01285) 656480

ken.cservenka@sky.com

 

Seasonal Recipe

 

Chocolate Mini Egg Cookies

 

Ingredients

120gr Chocolate Mini Eggs

225gr  Low fat spread

180gr  Golden Caster Sugar

1          Medium egg

1          teaspoon Vanilla extract

1          teaspoon baking powder

225gr  Plain Flour

Method

Wisk together the low fat spread and sugar until well blended. Wisk in the egg and the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and baking powder with a large metal spoon. Once combined stir in ¾ of the broken up mini egg pieces, saving the rest for decoration. Blob cookie size portions of the mixture onto a large baking sheet. Press in the remaining mini egg pieces into the top of each cookie.

Bake at Gas mark 4 or 180°C (fan oven 160°C) for 10 – 15 minutes until golden but still soft in the middle.

Molly Gardner courtesy of a Tesco publication.

 

 

The Rare Breed Survival Trust

 

For our January meeting Cym Baseley came along to talk about the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST). It was formed in 1973 to safeguard the future of traditional native breeds of livestock and poultry. Adam Henson’s father, Joe Henson played a big part in the formative years of the organisation and since its inauguration no traditional native breeds have been lost. There are 63 livestock breeds on the watch list and 74 poultry breeds. Cym herself has a self-sufficiency organic farm that is a hobby turned into a business. The size of her land dictates the stock choices; the pigs are Oxford Sandy and Black that are easy to manage but the downside is they create a lot of mud. Sheep on the holding include: Teeswater, Southdown, Cotswold, Leicester longwool, Shetland, Manx and Romney Marsh. Cattle breeds include Dexter and Gloucester. She also keeps Buff Back Geese.

The RBST promotes the keeping of rare native breeds, gives breeder advice and campaigns to monitor, save and promote the keeping of all the breeds on the Watch list.

 

Peafowl

 

In February, Edward Godwin travelled from Romsey, Hampshire on an awful foggy night to give us a talk with live props on Peafowl.

The most familiar species is the Indian Blue Peacock Pavo cristatu, the national bird of India. The male has a vivid Blue neck and breast and green shoulder patch that appears in the second year. The extended upper tail coverts have a white shaft and tri-coloured circular markings (Ocelli). These feathers raised and fanned out during the courtship display. The female is mostly brown on the upperparts and tail; the neck is green tinged with bronze. The under parts are white with a hint of buff.

The Green Peafowl inhabits the forests of South-east Asia, is much rarer in the wild and can be distinguished from the Indian Blue Peacock by having a green neck and breast and an overall darker appearance.

Several man made varieties of the Indian Blue Peacock are known, including White, Pied, charcoal and Opal.

 


 

Exhibition Dates

 

Sunday 6th May

Abingdon Air & Country Show.

Abingdon Airfield.

 

Saturday 26th May

Ducklington YFC

 

Saturday/ Sunday 7th and 8th July.

Cotswold Show.

Cirencester Park.

Saturday 21st July

Stroud Show.

Stratford Park, Stroud.

 

Saturday/Sunday 4th And 4th August.

Gloucestershire Steam Extravaganza.

South Cerney Airfield, Cirencester.

 

Sunday 12th August

Tetbury Summer Show.

Recreation Ground – 10.00 for 12.00 start.

 

Sunday/Monday 26th and 27th August

White Horse Show

Uffington – 8.30 for 10.00 start.

 

Saturday 1st September

Moreton-in Marsh Show

Batsford Park, Morton-in-Marsh

 

Sunday 9th September

Frampton on Severn Show

8.00 for10.00 start

 

Saturday 29th September

FFF&B Ploughing Match

Location details to follow

 

Club Diary Dates

 

Wednesday 9th May

Egg Show and Fish & Chip Supper.

 

June Club outing to Cotswold Farm Park

Date to be confirmed.

 

Wednesday 11th July

Club Barbeque. To be confirmed.

 

August- No meeting

 

Wednesday 12th September – a talk by

Bob Rhodes – Time Out Animal Sanctuary

For Sale

 

Nankin Pairs

Ken Cservenka

Tel: 01285 654640 or 07922 113405

Light Sussex bantams – point of lay – hatched Summer 2015

Plymouth Rock bantams (Buff) – point of lay – hatched Summer 2015. Both Excellent stock

Tel: Jan Palejowski home 01993 831083

Mobile 07808 719877

White Fantail Doves

£20 each, unsexed.

£35 for two, unsexed

£65 for four, unsexed

Steve Jesic

Tel: 07904 861527

 

The committee 2017-2018

 

President                       Neil Harvey

Chairman and

Exhibition Secretary     John Smith

Treasurer                        Kathleen Harrison

Secretary                      Margaret Gardner

Show Secretary and

Editor Cotswold Quill    Ken Cservenka

Trophy Steward            Charlie Berry

Committee                   Margaret Saunders

                                        Sandy Lee

                                        Richard Burford

Junior Committee:       Daniel Marchese

 

 

The views expressed in this Newsletter by individual contributors are not necessarily those of the club committee.

  

From the President’s Perch

Well! This winter has not been kind to the Club or to the birds. Great shame we had to call off The Members Show, it just was not fair on hoping people could get there. I know that the weather forecast said it would start melting over the week-end, which it did but too many small roads and a few major ones were impassible and our judges were isolated in Wales. I feel very sorry for Ken for all the amount of work he put into getting “The Show” ready just to see it all wasted and having to get in contact with everybody. Better luck next time and hope that the Gods are with us.

 

The February meeting was most interesting, I did not realise that there were so many variations of Peafowl. I am not sure whether I agree with all the thinking behind them all but to see them in the flesh and being so quiet on being handled was a real treat. Thanks go very much to Edward Godwin and his team.

 

I hope that you all are settling down to a good breeding season and brilliant results (not to many cock birds and plenty of hens), it is coming up to the Exhibition season and our list looks pretty full.

 

 Although I say it every year “I do hope that as many as possible of you can take part in them as it is very rewarding just talking to the general public”. Most people know very little about our hobby and the reason for having so many different breeds. So give it a try in 2018.

Neil

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