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IMG_1798Our other new chicken breed at Mudchute is rather chunkier than the tiny Dutch Bantam. In comparison to the dainty bantam, these birds look a bit like chicken weightlifters! These well-muscled birds are our new Indian Game, also know as the Cornish Game in America.

First records of the breed date back to the 1850s. It is believed that Indian Game birds trace their origins back to pit fighting with ancestors including Aseel, Malay, Old English Game and a breed similar to Sumatra Game. However, birds proved far more valuable for their large quantities breast meat rather than fighting ability and continue to be prized as meat birds.

Here in the UK, only two colours are accepted, the original “dark” variety like our birds, and the “Double Blue Laced” which was introduced in 1887. Dark birds like ours have a rich green glossy sheen or lustre to their black feathers, which you may spot in the right light. If you take a closer look, some of their other feathers show the beautiful patterning called lacing and this particularly visible in hens. For more about this unusual breed, visit the Indian Game Club.

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We’re excited to have a new Whitefaced Woodland ram at Mudchute. He joins us from Derby and can be easily spotted among the flock by his gorgeous spiraling set of horn. Both male and female sheep of the breed are horned, but the ram’s impressive horns definitely stand out. Like all our tupping rams, he’s also wearing a raddle, a chalk pad on a harness, which gives us an idea of which ewes he has serviced. This helps us get a better idea of which ewes are likely to be in lamb and if/when we might expect lambs. A warm welcome to the new boy and best of luck. We hope to have a rather busy spring!


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This morning we welcomed health care providers to join us for a session and learn more about how green care on support people feel better. The first of two Green Care Taste sessions. Today was all about Collecting Decorations from Nature. Using natural materials, participants made festive decorations including candle holders, wreaths, and beautifully decorated pine cones, branches and more. We had some rather talented participants and hope everyone has a much fun crafting as we did! The Green Care Tasters are coordinated by the Women’s Environmental Network and the Tower Hamlets Green Care Partnership, funded by the Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group.

Our next session will be next Thursday, from 11am – 1pm on Making Christmas Decorations.