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IMG_1744There is a diminutive new chicken breed on the farm, the Dutch Bantam. Bantams are small chickens and the Dutch bantams is the smallest! The new bantams are the smallest of the chicken breeds here at Mudchute. At full size, a Dutch bantam cockerel weighs only 500-550g. It is one of few “true bantam” breeds, meaning it has no large counterpart. As their name suggests, the breed originate in the Netherlands where they are called Hollandse Kriel. The breed standard for Dutch bantams includes a “upright & jaunty” carriage, which we think our cockerel certainly exhibits as he strolls Pets Corner and watches over his hens. The breed is accepted in a variety of colours. Our group are of the gold partridge variant.

You can find out more about the breed from the Dutch Bantam Club of Great Britain.

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Meeting the new neighbours.

Meeting the new neighbours.

Last Saturday, we welcomed three new turkeys: Pedro, Florence and Gigi. We are happy to be able to offer these lovely birds a home. The trio come from a very loving home and are used to life in a stableyard. As a result they are accustomed to plenty of hustle and bustle and we think they’ll feel right at home here at Mudchute! We are keeping them apart from the rest of our flock to let them settle in, but hope to integrate them into our flock soon. The birds were a bit disoriented when they emerged from transport, but quickly began to explore their new home and our flock were keen to meet the newcomers! It wasn’t long before the handsome Pedro was gobbling happily and showing off his beautiful feathers. We hope the new turkeys will be very happy with us here on the farm!

A first peek out at their new home.

A first peek out at their new home.

Pedro's first gobble at Mudchute!

Pedro’s first gobble at Mudchute!

The handsome Pedro.

The handsome Pedro.


This year’s young chicks came to us as hatching eggs from Keith’s Orpingtons and were artificially incubated by local schools as part of Mudchute Education’s Hatch and Brood project. This programme gives children a chance to watch the young chicks develop within the egg and observe the hatching process firsthand, all in their own classrooms. For a glimpse at how chicks develop within the egg, you can see candled eggs here and incredible photos of developing chicken embryos here.

Our new chicks are purebred Bantam Orpingtons, which will show similar characteristics to our Buff Orpingtons, but achieve a smaller adult size. The chicks are a wide range of colours, including lavender and other unusual varieties. We look forward to watching them grow up over the next few weeks and months. You can learn more about the breed from The Orpington Club.

Are you interested in keeping chickens in your backyard? In addition to providing delicious fresh eggs, chickens are excellent at eradicating weeds and pests, can help recycle waste and enrich and fertilise your soil. Here at the farm, we are looking to run an Introduction to Keeping Chickens in the coming months. If you are interested in joining our upcoming courses and finding out more about how you can keep chickens in your own backyard, please get in touch with us at farm_office@mudchute.org.