Issue 57 - December 2020
Welcome to the December 2020 edition of the Cotswold Quill.
John Smith. Chairman and Exhibition Secretary.
As John has already pointed out it has been a funny old year. From March until mid summer, no meetings, no exhibitions, no meeting friends in their home and certainly no holidays. When restrictions eased in July Mary and I were able to go to our usual holiday destination in Cornwall during October, just before the second wave of restrictions were introduced. However, we did tend to keep ourselves to ourselves by doing cliff walks and visiting remote areas, as far as possible avoiding germ spreaders. Places that were open such as the Minack Theatre were open for pre booked visits only and strict social distancing rules.
We are actually looking forward to having our Covid jabs (never thought I would say that) and I urge all members over 50 to do the same as it can’t protect you if you don’t have it.
My bird watching activities have been curtailed this year and my year list of species has suffered accordingly. Even rare migrant species were thin on the ground in Cornwall this year and the birds in my garden are almost nonexistent this winter but that may be down to my neighbours ginger tom.
As we lurch towards the new year and Brexit lets hope we can at least have meetings and we won’t get ripped of with too many price rises in the shops.
Zebra Finch and Red Mite
Some twenty years ago a well-known Zebra Finch Breeder and exhibitor, who has kept canaries and zebra finches for over 50 years, wrote an article about the phenomenon that red mite were never seen by Zebra Finch breeders and after reading his Article, a university ran a test by introducing Zebra Finches to red Mite infested cages and Canary aviaries. They were astonished by the results which were not explained by the myriad of test and investigations which they carried out over the ensuing two years before they moved to another project.
Apparently, fanciers of other Australian finches have also never experienced red mite infestations and the author of the Article suspects that there may be something in the blood of these Australian colony nesting birds which protects them from such pests.
The Author's father kept canaries and British birds and regularly suffered red mite infestation problems, which vanished as soon as the Author began keeping his Zebra Finches with them.
The Author's son is a poultry fancier who has had red mite problems in his poultry pens and in March this year he and his Father converted a pen into an aviary and, as an experiment to see if red mite would be discouraged, introduced some Zebra Finches which happily shared the aviary with the existing chickens (steady hens) and bred.
The Author was sceptical as to whether the experiment would be successful, but promised to report back at the end of the year.
He has just reported back that it’s the first time in eight years of keeping chickens that they have been free of red mite.
Exhibition Dates and Show Dates
Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 Coronavirus the club is unable to hold any meetings until further notice.
The committee 2019-2021
President Neil Harvey
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
Junior Committee: Daniel Marchese
All Bran Loaf
Oh dear! no eggs, it must be the time of the year.
I use a breakfast cup.
1 cup of All Bran.
1 cup of caster sugar.
1 cup mixed fruit.
1 cup of milk
Place in a bowl and leave to soak for 1 hour.
Then, add 1 cup of self raising flour.
Put in a greased or lined loaf tin
Bake for 45 minutes at 180c
Very nice served with spread on.
From The Presidents Perch
Well from up here on the perch I am looking down on a year that is nothing like we have seen before. Even World War II was not like this, yes we may have had food rationing, bombing and other hardships but at least we knew and could see the enemy and could take appropriate action, not like this enemy we cannot see but only feel the results.
This is got me thinking, mankind takes a lot of beating in overcoming any hardship put in front of him, with all the normal things that have been stopped over the last year let us go off at a tangent. Without the Shows and Exhibitions to attend why not put our minds to improving our Stock we already have. Why not for one set out a better breeding programme of say one of of our breeds. Set out on paper a breeding programme with say the best trio you can put together and if possible a back-up, check the Standard’s Book on your particular breed and where you can score most points (you may find this quite revealing) and get your breeding pens together as early as feasible, then hope that all your hard work gels. Another thing you could put your energies to is your chicken housing, etc. How can you make your life easier looking after your birds, like small changes to the houses, easier feeders and water containers. Fitting pop-holes so you do not have to enter the pens to open or close them or easier egg collection. All these things need once in a while for you stand back from the trees to see the wood. A bit of lateral thinking is a very good thing and can do wonders to your brain, it is never to late to try it, go on give it a try.
I hope that this article has given you all some hope for the future as it looks likely that this coming year is going to be a bit short on Shows until we know what we can do and have time to implement them. Please be patient and also hope that you do not have to wait to long to get your vaccine and be able to get around and see anybody and everybody we want to see when we want to see them.
Finally I would like to thank all the committee and others that have kept us up to date with the news of the Club during these very trying times and just hope that better times are around the corner. Wishing all the very, very best for 2021.
Editorial Deadline for next issue
When restrictions ease in 2021
Email will be sent
The Cotswold Pheasant & Poultry Club
As of Monday 14th December all poultry must be under cover, not in open topped runs.
Club subscriptions run from October until September and are usually payable at the Club Annual General Meeting on the second Friday in October.
If you haven’t already paid please either send a cheque made out to “The Cotswold Pheasant and Poultry Club”, to Kathy Harrison, 185, North Home Road. Cirencester, Gloucestershire. GL7 1DY.
Alternatively online to the Club Bank account.
Account Name: The Cotswold Pheasant & Poultry Club.
Sort code: 30-98-41
Account number: 03190855
Chairman: Mr John
Smith 01666 824763.
Cotswold Quill editor: Mr Ken Cservenka 01285 656480 firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Mrs Margaret Gardner 01666 510248