Today we walked down to the allotment determined to sort out the overheating problem in the greenhouse. Although the chicks still need to be kept somewhere warm, there is a risk with all this good weather that they may overheat in the greenhouse. I remembered that we have half a roll of wire which might do the trick.
We arrived and fed all the different collections of chickens, now a longer job! The chicks were managing in the greenhouse so we topped up their food and water, cracked open the roof and went off to feed the old girls in the main coop. All was well in there with the girls enjoying the sunshine in a dust bath. Two eggs collected and a quick check on Katie who seems more perky today. My husband got terrorised by a bee and made a hasty retreat while I went to check on Leia and Rey.
They seem happy in their new coop, their second in as many days! Both of them seem to have found the nest box because two eggs were there waiting for me. Yesterday, Rey laid one on the ground outside! Crazy bird! They seemed happy and I changed their water and topped up their food bowl whilst chatting to Rachel. She kindly has let us keep our emergency coop on her plot. Despite not being a chicken person she said she enjoyed having some company as she worked. That feeling is entirely responsible for our current volume of chickens! It’s a slippery slope!
Next, we moved onto checking Dolly. She isn’t as perky as she has been and both of us got hounded by another marauding bee, we beat a hasty retreat to the shed to feed Dolly. Again, she wasn’t happy about the egg yolk and struggled with taking water. It took a while but we got a good amount down her. She has taken a downturn unfortunately. But as long as we can we will keep her comfortable.
We dropped her back into her coop and grabbed the wire and wire cutters ready to sort the door. The idea was to put wire across the door so that it could be open without the chicks escaping or allowing predators in. It took a while to cut the wire and work out how best to secure it but when it was done, it looked rather good. We left the top section without wire which after a message from Tracey this evening, will need wire. We had a message from Tracey at about 6:30 this evening saying she had chased off a cat who was rather interested in the small edible feathery balls in the greenhouse. Oops! In worrying about foxes, I had forgotten about the array of cats who patrol the site. First job tomorrow is to finish the wiring!
Just before we left, I was hounded by an angry bee. I didn’t flap and walked away to get rid of it. It didn’t work and the buzzing seemed to get louder. I stopped and the buzzing was still by my right ear. I remembered that Tracey had got a bee stuck in her hair a few days ago and with horror realised this must account for the loud unrelenting buzzing in my ear. As I tried to brush the bee away, I felt a sharp stinging sensation in my head. The blasted bee had got me! I yelled for my husband who had the fun job of trying to find and extract the sting. Bee stings are designed to go in and stay in. When the bee flies away, it leaves the sting and the poison sack in its victim. Eventually, my husband managed to get it out. I felt better once it was out but it took a few hours to stop stinging. I don’t know why the bees seem so angry at the moment – we have never had issues like this in previous seasons.