Rained off again

Despite the south of England enjoying a mini heatwave, up here we have reverted to the age old relentless rain. This meant that I couldn’t use the mushroom dowels or clean out the chickens. Tracy was down and we spent a while checking the loofa plants in the greenhouse. It continues to grow at a rate of knots and it won’t be long before our greenhouse resembles a jungle I suspect!

Down in the main coop, everyone was busy keeping dry. There are several parts of the coop that seem to stay dry no matter how bad the rain which is important for keeping the girls out of the mud and dirt. As I handed out their treats, Rey and Tommy elbowed themselves forward to grab a few mouthfuls of sunflower seeds. I threw a couple of small handfuls out around the coop so that Molly, Cassie, Aggie and Georgie could get some too. Next I checked on Pop. She had managed to manoeuvre herself right into the corner of the nest box. Honestly, it can’t have been comfortable! I picked her up and checked her crop. It had food in. Worried that this confirmed that Pop had crop issues, I spotted that someone (probably Geoff) had placed the small food bowl into the nest box with her. If she has had access to food overnight then that would explain why she has food in her crop. I placed her up on the top of the small nest box to check on her legs and her belly. Her belly was soft all the way to the back which means she isn’t egg bound. What amazed me today was her ability to push herself upright without using her beak or wings. I had done some reading online about chickens and leg issues. Holding her carefully, I checked her reflexes. Holding her leg at the knee joint, I checked that her toes would instinctively close around my finger. This means her reflexes are still working and she hasn’t completely lost the feeling in her legs. Today, when I placed her back into the nest box before I left, she even managed to stand properly for a few seconds before carefully lowering herself back down. Cliff stopped by and asked how she was doing. In his experience, if there is nothing else obviously wrong with the chicken, they can be back on their feet within 3 weeks. I hope Pop is going to bounce back – all the signs are good at the moment!

Leia and her chicks were all safely sitting inside their coop to keep dry. I got rather wet getting through the willow beside their coop but as I was already soaked by the rain, it didn’t make much difference! One especially curious chick kept trying to get out of the nest box. I kept shoving it back on with one hand as I tried to fill their food bowl with the other. Leia watched me with a rather frazzled look which I have seen on many exasperated parents faces over the years. It won’t be long before we will move her into the main coop with the others.

When I got home, my book on bonsai trees had arrived. I spent the rest of the afternoon learning all about how to grow, train and care for these spectacular trees. I rather like the idea of having a couple on the veranda next summer….

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