This morning I decided to take advantage of yesterday’s rain, and start weeding the plot. Upon arrival and after the first 5 minutes of attempting to remove weed roots baked into the ground, I realised that the rain had only penetrated a mere inch into the soil. I gave up in disgust and went to the clubhouse to catch up with everyone.
All the usual suspects were there and we all enjoyed ribbing Steve about his new advanced age (the irony being he is one of the younger members of the group!). Just before he left, Steve said that he was getting rid of his chickens and would Cliff and I like to have them. He had 6 chickens in the coop; 5 cuckoo marans and a cream legbar. I chose two gorgeous cuckoo marans. Will caught them and gave them to me to carry into our coop.
The usual grumpy fights ensued but I think they will settle in well. Cuckoo marans lay a large brown egg. They have a wonderful speckled grey and white feathers and are quite a large bird. I have named our new girls Nelly and Daisy (Nelly has the whiter head). They spent most of the time I was in the coop hiding behind the food bin or underneath the nest box.
I cleared the old weeds out of the coop and tried to level the ground out. Chickens like to dig holes and over time the ground in the coop started to resemble the craters on the Moon. The chickens were very excited to have new ground to scratch and explore, it kept them busy and occupied.
We even had a few small visitors, keen to join in finding edible nibbles in the newly exposed soil…
Cliff popped in to help me treat Nelly and Daisy’s legs which had scaley leg. I managed to catch them fairly easily and held them whilst Cliff coated their legs with Sudacrem. We also caught Snap and Pop to do their legs too. We will do them again over the weekend and their legs should be as good as new in a few days. The old, uneven scales will be shed and new ones replace them. The added bonus of using Sudacrem over Vaseline, is that you can clearly see which chickens you have treated (Snap demonstrating below!).
I then went back to hoeing the top half of the plot. I got a good way through before I decided it was too hot to finish it. I went to check on Sophie’s tree and spent a while admiring the gorgeous flowers growing around it. The olives continue to grow too!
Then I made a half hearted effort to start clearing the jungle behind the fruit trees. I got lots of interest from the chickens who shouted at me the entire time. I cleared a reasonable amount but I will finish it tomorrow.
Excitingly, our pumpkin plants are growing well despite the lack of rain. One in particular is significantly bigger than than any others and I am hoping will be supersized by the end of the growing season! I have usedmy hand for scale to show how big it is getting.
So tomorrow’s aim is to finish clearing the jungle and hoeing the rest of the plot provided the temperature isn’t back to the hell-like furnace that it has been.