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Nick’s Birdland

Yesterday we had our final unveiling of a new sign and plaque for our finished duck area. This marks the completion of the long labour of love with rebuilding our chicken enclosures, aviaries and new duck pond, a project which started in early 2015. 

Our old chicken area was just about clinging on, but with many years of bodges and improvised repairs, it was starting to suffer a bit to say the least, so the plan was to demolish the whole thing, plan a new layout and make much better use of the space. Ultimately we’d end up moving all the aviaries out to the front as well, including Edna the owl and our canaries and finches! 

As with many things, and especially being a small charity, funds is always something we have to be aware of. It was during one such appeal for help that we were contacted by Brian & Sally, who have been of immense help during this project. They got in touch wanting to contribute to create a lasting memorial for his son, Nick, who passed away in 2000. His love of animals and their input has helped shape the latter half of our re-build.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NICK’S BIRDLAND

Our son Nick died in 2000 following a long battle against testicular cancer. He was 23 years old. In the years following his death we have looked at different ways of creating a lasting memorial to him and have waited to find the right opportunity.

Then in August 2015, having seen an appeal by Deen City Farm for funds to create a new duck pond area, we met with the Farm managers and agreed to sponsor the development. We also funded the new aviary, additional chicken enclosures, Edna’s owl house and the chick hatchery which are next to the new duck pond.

This wonderful area represents Nick’s love of animals and the musical notes in the mural on the back wall of the duck pond speak of his great interest in music.
We have called the area NICK’S BIRDLAND and we hope all visitors to the Farm will appreciate and enjoy this special place.

We wish to thank all the staff and volunteers at the Farm for the tireless commitment and effort which has brought this project to fruition.

Brian Dillon

 

 

The new Aviary

Anyone who’s been visiting us will have noticed over the past two years, there’s been quite a few changes at the farm. Amongst other things, one of the larger and more obvious changes has been knocking down and rebuilding our old chicken area (once upon a time, christened as Chicken Village!). The old chicken area had been around a while and its age was starting to show, so a fresh start was required!

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We’ve been slowly be surely adding to it, when time and money permits. As of the end of 2016 we had 4 fully completed pens, housing our lovely Buff Orpington, Silver Spangle Hamburg and Cream Legbar chickens as well as our Bronze and Royal Palm Turkeys (also known as Pied, or Cröllwitzer Turkeys). The most recent enclosure to be fully completed is our brand new Aviary! This week we’ve moved all of the birds from our main yard aviary across, so they’re all busy settling into their new house.

There are four different types of bird living in our aviary at the moment, two types of quail, canaries and one lone zebra finch male. The quail are easy to tell apart as they’ll be on the ground. At the moment we have one, small Chinese Painted Quail who can often be found hiding underneath the larger Japanese Quail. Out of the flying birds, there’s one zebra finch (who’s easy to tell apart from the canaries – he’s got a very bright red beak, rosy cheeks and lovely zebra striped tail feathers) and everything else is varieties of canary.

As you can see from our aviary alone, canaries can come in quite a wide variety of colour types. There’s your typical yellow canary, all the way through to solid white, patches of different colours and shades, bright orange and some with yellowy-green feathers and markings. The birds we keep in aviaries are not wild, they’re a domesticated form of the wild canary, a type of finch. They were originally bred in captivity in the 17th century, and are still popular to keep today – as well as being quite pretty to look at, the male canaries are amazing singers! You’ll almost certainly be able to hear them trilling away from their perches, hoping to impress some ladies!

 

The old aviary still remains, for the time being, in our main yard. Currently housing two of our handsome cockerels, it will eventually be destined to be pulled down. It was originally built in 2002, so being almost 15 years old, it’s on its last legs anyway!

We have some grand plans to go in it’s place, but they’ll be a while off yet!

We are open from 10am-4pm please book your visit to guarantee entry.