Love Your Weekend: Cockerel interrupts expert
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The TV presenter and gardener was speaking to Mudchute farmer Tom Davis about Easter chicks on today’s ITV programme Love Your Weekend. He was trying to ask the farmer why chicks are associated with Easter, and the two were surrounded by chicks and cockerels. At one point it got so loud, he had to stop interviewing.
Alan explained that chicks that mature in spring and summer tend to be healthier and stronger than winter ones.
He showed viewers two chicks, Fred and Henrietta, and when a rooster began to crow loudly he said: “We’ll come on to you in a minute, you’ll have your moment!”
Explaining the Easter chicks, Tom said: “[Spring] gives them a longer, warmer period to grow and one of the best things for them for when they’re old enough and off-heat is to have them out on a protective run and pecking the grass because all the vitamins and minerals in the good grass is protective for the chick’s growth.”
Alan said: “There’s been an explosion of people keeping poultry during lockdown, it’s gone up one-and-a-half thousand percent – little backyard chickens.
“And having kept chickens myself for over 30 years, I love them.
“To go out and get an egg and bring it in and have it for your breakfast is a fab thing, but in order to breed chicks, what have you go to do? You obviously have got to have a cockerel.”
Tom advised: “Yes, indeed and I think one of the reasons for the increase is in chicken-keeping is because they’re one of the few pets that give you back something other than love.
“You mention the eggs there, too. So, what you would need, you’d need to have a cockerel.”
At that moment, the cockerels once again crowed loudly. Tom added: “Right on cue there” as another noise filled the space.
“And then you would also need to have an incubator and a set up similar to this.”
When another loud noise interrupted again, Alan said: “Excuse me! We’re trying to make a programme about you here, and you’re interrupting. I’ll come to you in a minute!”
The veteran horticulturist has more than 55 years of gardening experience and regularly gives advice to amateur growers.
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The 71-year-old currently features in the shows Love Your Weekend With Alan Titchmarsh and Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer.
With spring well upon us, many have looked to the green-fingered gardening guru for tips on how to make the most of the flower, fruit and vegetable season.
In his recent Classic FM gardening calendar, he suggested a number of things to do including one that would keep plants “happy as Larry”.
Titchmarsh advised being “kind to your daffs” – daffodils – at this time and said it would help to ensure you “get good flowers next year”.
For those “tempted” by magnolias, he explained one key trick to ensure they are healthy.
Titchmarsh said it was vital to “make sure” they have “room to grow – to spread sideways as well as upwards”.
He added: “Pruned magnolias are generally butchered magnolias.”
For rhododendrons, a colourful evergreen shrub, Titchmarsh suggested putting chalk or limestone in the soil.
Love Your Weekend With Alan Titchmarsh airs at 10am Sunday and Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer at 8pm Monday, both on ITV.
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