This morning I ambled down to the allotment to check on the plethora of chickens. Yesterday must have been rather stressful for them all and I was keen to see they had settled overnight. As I arrived, I caught Geoff who was heading down to check on the rescue chickens. They were all there and the food bowl had significantly less food in which means they worked out where to get the food. After a quick discussion, we decided to move them from Chris’s coop into ours. Geoff with the help of Cliff, picked out three chickens and put them into our main coop. The remaining three went into Geoff’s.The other girls weren’t too impressed with the new arrivals. Polly and Evie began shouting at them the instant Geoff put them down whilst Holly and Fizz took turns to have a peck at them. I tried to keep them apart and it sort of worked whilst I put out their food.Next I walked across to Geoff’s coop to check on Emily. She still isn’t happy about being in with Geoff’s chickens who are definitely unwelcoming. Emily has resorted to hiding on the top of the nest box rather than get picked on below. Geoff has made sure there is a small food bowl and drinker up on the top so she can look after herself.After checking on Emily, I went across to the chicks. They were outside enjoying the sunshine and had managed to knock over their water. Rolling my eyes, I went to refill it and dig out some treats for them. The way they drank suggested they must have knocked it over a while ago but thirst quenched they proceeded to make short work of the weeds I threw in. I left them to it and went to do some jobs.I decided to weed along the path first, removing all the grass and mare’s tail that insists on growing in the most inconvenient place possible. I made short work of the grass along nearly half the plot before getting distracted by the weeds on the crazy paving. I cleared the weeds and went on to eradicate the blasted bind weed that is threatening to take over the shed and compost bins. I ripped it out wherever I could and filled several buckets full of it.There is quite a lot of hoeing to do but I chose to do some hand weeding around the onions and garlic bulbs instead. By now the temperature was getting unpleasant so I stopped and went to chat with everyone at the clubhouse. Cliff, Geoff and Will were there and Michael came up to join us.Before I left, I went to Cliff’s coop to reclaim Millie. She has been with Cliff’s chickens for ages because she made friends with a leghorn of Cliff’s when we separated her from Molly. Unfortunately, Cliff’s leghorn passed away several months ago and with all the new chickens arriving it seemed like a good time to put her into our coop. Millie is in fantastic condition, a testament to how well Cliff looks after his girls. She is a large bird, towering over most of the rest of our flock but size isn’t a guarantee to be top of the pecking order. Millie has quickly clubbed together with Georgie, Katie and Hattie – all new chickens together!
Whilst I was in the main coop, I decided it was time to move things around. It’s good to do this from time to time not only to give parts of the coop a rest but to keep the girls busy exploring. I moved the blue pallet into the opposite corner of the coop and used it to put the food bins on. The bins have been slowly sinking down over the past few months due to the chickens digging around the base. By putting them on the top, they will stay upright and accessible. This job took twice the amount of time it should as Fizz and several other chickens decided to inspect my work, constantly getting into the way!I moved the quail box onto a plastic sheet and proped up the end with a brick to keep it off the soil. The removal of the quail box and pallet has revealed a clean patch of soil in the back corner for the chickens to dig in. It took mere seconds before they were in there scratching for worms and other tasty morsels.I will pop down later to check the new girls have worked out how to get inside the nest box. Rescue chickens often take several days to work out how to behave like chickens. This is mainly due to how they are kept on farms but our new ones already have worked out how to scratch, know where food and water are so we are most of the way there. The biggest surprise of today was Geoff telling me he had found 4 eggs laid by the new ones! We split them 50/50 and I am hoping we might get a couple tomorrow too!Before I left I went for a walk around the plot. To my amazement I discovered one of the new apple trees has a apple on it! It’s tiny and probably isn’t particularly edible but here it is! As I checked the fruit section, I got distracted by weeding around the broody coop. I managed to excavate it from 2ft high weeds amd grass on three sides. The last side can be weeded another day!The fruit section is flourishing – the honeyberry and anoria bushes are growing well despite my neglect. The blackberry and raspberries have gone completely berserk and I will pop down tomorrow evening with a tupperware to collect them. The braeburn tree is still growing but there doesn’t seem to be any apples this year.