This morning we walked down to the allotment complete with a picnic lunch. Today was coop cleaning day and the sunshine is vital to make sure all the boards are dry before going back into the coop. When we arrived, we opened up the greenhouse door and checked on the chicks. They are so big now! Almost all of them now have nearly all their feathers. These have got darker brown over the past week which makes them look more like Rhode Island Reds. However, they still have some white on their feathers which suggests these may not be pure Rhode Island Red. It doesn’t matter because they are all really healthy and hopefully will lay beautiful eggs.
Next we started to feed the older girls. As we were feeding them, my husband in the main coop and me with Leia and Rey, Phil walked past with an enormous wheelbarrow full of chippings. Steve had arranged for a delivery of a massive load of chippings and it’s perfect for chickens to scratch in. We asked whether we could use some for our chickens. Happily he said yes, so my husband went off to cart some back to the main coop. The first bag of chippings he dropped off went by Leia and Rey’s coop. The ground in their outside bit isn’t ideal so I put half a bag of chippings in with them and lugged the remaining bag to Dolly’s coop. Dolly wasn’t particularly impressed with the her new flooring but it keeps her off the mud she enjoys creating by knocking over her water bowl. I left her in a sulk to help spread out some chippings in the main coop. In true chicken style, they pounced on the new chippings and spent a happy few hours scratching through it all and managing to lob a huge amount of the chippings into my shoes much to my annoyance.
Before we left the coop we caught each of the girls and dusted them for mites. We caught Hattie, Georgie and Snap with no problems. It all started to go wrong when it got to Pop. The container with the dust in decided to explode all over us and Pop! Our previously black chicken was now grey. It was hilarious. Who says that allotment life is dull? Emerging from a cloud of diatumous earth, we proceeded to catch the remaining girls and dust them.
We began to clean out the nest box. My husband got busy cleaning the boards and perches while I removed all the old bedding. As the boards dried, we went up to the shed for lunch. Sheltering from the heat, we scoffed our fruit and cake before heading out to do different jobs. My husband got busy digging over the bottom section of the plot. It is the last section we needed to dig over. He did a great job considering how hot it was!
I washed out the inside of the nest box and left it to dry. As it was drying I went to the shed and sanded down the grit box Cliff gave us months ago. I repainted it in the gorgeous sage green and it looks rather snazzy. Tomorrow I will fill it with grit and put it in the main coop.
On a roll with the sage paint, I put the following finishing touches on the hedgehog house. With my husband’s help, we moved it between the two pear trees. This may not be it’s final place but I think it looks quite good there.
By now it was quite late and we called it a day. We closed up the greenhouse door and walked home covered in dirt and paint but happy. Despite the lockdown, we are still able to spend lots of time outside.