Unsettling events

Over the past few days, my husband has been busy caring for the chickens and digging over the plot while I have been at work. When I arrived down today I was astonished to see how much bigger our chicks have grown in just a few days. They are massive! It looks like we might have two pullets and a cockerel but I am still holding out hope that we have three girls. Only time will tell!

As my husband finished off the last section of the digging, I ambled down to the main coop. All the girls were there and noisily shouting for their treats. I threw out some sunflower seeds and hand fed Pop, Polly, Snap and Georgie. I love how they are increasingly confident with hand feeding. I checked over my feathery shadow and unfortunately she still has a few mites on her. Dusting chickens is hilarious especially when they give your husband the run around the coop! I collected two eggs, topped up their food and water and headed off to check on the other coop.

Rey was outside waiting for me. Leia hollered from inside the nest box. I cleaned out their water bowl which they insist on filling with dirt and chippings every day. Next I opened up the nest box to top up their food. Or tried to. As per usual, they had tipped it over. Weirdly, it was tipped over right near Leia. I reached in and she pecked me! She looked really angry so I made a hasty retreat.

Next I walked up to the greenhouse and decided it was time to clean out the chicks. I opened the back door of the greenhouse and gently lifted the top of the run. One chick took the opportunity to jump up onto the top of the run and fly down into the greenhouse. The second one did the same before deciding to get itself stuck between the greenhouse and the run. That space is tiny and it was almost impossible to reach to grab the chick. Eventually, I managed to half grab it and dump it unceremoniously into the greenhouse. The split second I let it go, it came back and attempted to get back there. I kept chasing it away but it wouldn’t stop. Giving up, I closed the greenhouse door and turned my attention to the last chick who was anxiously cheeping in the run. After several frantic attempts, I caught it and put her into the greenhouse with the others.

I began to clear away the old bedding that the chicks had thrown out of their run. One bucket load removed and my husband appeared to announce he had finished digging. I immediately roped him into helping me clear out the remaining bedding. Once it was all clear, I used diluted Jeyes fluid to disinfect the patio beneath the run. Between us, we moved the run back into place and added a generous amount of sawdust bedding into the coop. We topped up their growers pellets and put in fresh water into the run before my husband deposited the chicks back home.

Before we left, I had a wander around the site. Andy and Tracy were busy trying to sort out the vandalism in their greenhouse and their son’s on his plot. Someone has targeted both of their greenhouses and have spitefully pulled up their tomato plants and turned out other plants all over the floor. It’s really upsetting. There have been an unusual quality of angry arguments in the last few days which is rather unsettling. There will always be disagreements between people but this is nasty. Here’s hoping the members of the committee can sort this out before it gets out of hand.

As we were leaving I spotted that the willow has been growing enough to train some of the new branches. The screen is filling out well and the arch over the bench is starting to look more full. I am hoping the arch will finally join at the top this year. It only needs to grow another 2 inches to touch and possibly another 5 inches to properly weave it together. All that’s left to do is to weed the crazy paving and sit on the bench and enjoy the sunshine.

Yesterday, Cliff dropped into the shed a beautiful card to say thank you for Koko’s jumper. It has a beautiful photo of one of Cliff’s spaniel puppies he bred. I put it up in pride of place on my seed wall.

So what is the plan for next week? Tomorrow, I will clean out Leia and Rey’s coop, we will dust the chickens and finally get some plants in. They will be horrendously late going in but we have had to spend weeks trying to salvage the plot to get it ready for planting after the endless winter flooding.

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