Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Our New Bird Hide, now open!

Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the North York Moors National Park volunteers we now have a bird hide for visitors to enjoy. The project was also made possible thanks to funding from the Jack Brunton Charitable Trust.

The Bird Hide is positioned at the top of the site next to the Iron Age Round House, looking out onto the Cornfield Flower Meadow.

Once the meadow begins to flower and the wildlife comes out we hope the hide will be a great place where visitors can enjoy watching nature and through information inside be able to identify what they are looking at.

To celebrate our new bird hide we are having an ‘All Things Bird’ week on our social media sites. As chickens are one of the most common types of bird found we thought we would share with you what chickens we have here at the museum.
We currently have 8 historic breeds of chicken and 1 duck! All are utlitiy breeds (bred for eggs or meat) apart from our Silkies who are bred for show.

This breed was developed in France in the 1800s for meat and eggs.
Their eggs became popular in London during the 1880s, which led to an increase in their breeding by British farmers.
A placid garden hen but best as free rangers as they need exercise.
The eggs are brown.

The breed was developed in the early 1900s in Holland and named after the local village of Welsum.
The handsome cockerel resembles the famous Kellogg’s bird.
They are a ‘non-sitting’ breed and not particularly good mothers although they can get broody. They are good foragers on free range.
The Welsommer is used for egg production. The eggs are large, ‘flower-pot’ brown. A single hen will lay around 200 in a year.

Buff Orpington
Dating from about 1900, this variety originates from the Black Orpington bred in 1886 as a good-bodied table bird that produced large eggs.
Free range birds, they are greedy and need exercise, but they make good mothers.
Other varieties are Blue and White.
They lay speckled eggs.

Blue Orpington
The same as the Buff Orpington but with different colouring.

Light Sussex
One of the oldest UK birds, developed for meat and eggs in 1890. It is alert but placid, adaptable to either free range or runs.
There are also speckled and red varieties.
They lay cream to light brown eggs.

The Silkie is a breed of chicken named for its fluffy plumage, which is said feels like silk. The breed has several unusual qualities such as its dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, five toes on each foot (most chickens have four) and they also come in several different colours – blue, black, white and partridge.

This Dutch breed of chicken is named after the Dutch town of Barneveld. It is a cross of 19th century Dutch landrace chickens with Asian breeds imported to Europe in the mid-late 19th century.

This is a highbred egg layer, which lays lovely green eggs!

Muscovy Duck

A large duck native to Mexico, with the males about 76 cm or 30 inches long, and weighing up to 7 kg or 15 pounds.

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