Dorking Chickens – Amazing Coincidences
The story started last year during lockdown when I hatched some Silver Grey Dorking hen eggs in an incubator. All five hatchlings turned out to be cockerels – so we couldn’t keep them all. Sadly a fox got Dillon our resident rooster – se we needed to keep one – three of the others went to a neighbour, the fourth one escaped this fate – so we were left with two cockerels who just about tolerated each other. I advertised for ages on www.preloved.co.uk, then, last week, I had an enquiry from www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.uk and yesterday we delivered a cockerel to them in Pendeford, Wolverhampton . We had trouble finding it and turned round in a car park – which I noticed was a Midcounties Co-op – at Coven (coincidence number 1)
We met Mark and Tina who run the sanctuary – which is a sensory park – set up to give anyone with disabilities a wildlife experience in a safe space and offering autism therapy and land-based learning. They explained that they particularly wanted Dorking chickens because they are one of the oldest breeds. The children wanted a bird dinosaur and this was the nearest they could find! Dorkings have five ‘toes’ – an extra claw on the hind leg which possibly demonstrates this. They were absolutely thrilled with their new cockerel.
Needless to say, we were shown around and met extremely tame sheep and pigs – I had never stroked a pig before! (They are bristly!). I asked where they got their funding from and Mark said that Midcounties Co-op (not The Co-op like people usually say) had helped a lot, initially funding a ramp for disabled access. Then, last Christmas, during lockdown, they were at their wits end, having run out of food for the animals and birds – and they rang Midcounties and asked if they could have any out of date food – Midcounties have been supplying them with food ever since. I explained that I was a director of www.midcounties.coop Amazing coincidence.
The final coincidence is that I put some more Dorking eggs in the incubator – and yesterday the first ones hatched. Hopefully there will be some ladies who will have a lovely home with a beautiful cockerel – making autistic children happy.
Bonnie the pig featured in several Midcounties stories as a piglet. We were talking about animal welfare and Tina said she loves the fact the co-op source food sustainably and buy from suppliers who properly care for animals. I would love to see this story on a co-op advert – after all – “It’s what we do!