Tropical Crewe

Out of nowhere, we have been hit with boiling temperatures and high humidity. By the time I got down to the allotment, it was far too hot to do anything other than feed the chickens. I stopped to say hello to Cliff who was down with Koko. We both agreed it was too hot to do much.

My first job was to fill up the pond. The pump is very efficient especially in the sunshine. Despite my best efforts to keep the water inside the pond, the pump prefers to throw it out. Two watering cans soon fixed the problem and I used another watering can to stop the bog garden drying out.

Down in the main coop, all the chickens were hungry and scoffed everything I put out for them. When I cleaned out the middle of the nest box, I found an egg. I have no idea why one of the girls laid it in the wrong place. In picking it up, I saw it was thin shelled and it had a crack in it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t suitable for eating and I removed it to stop the girls pecking it. Once egg pecking starts, it is incredibly difficult to get them to stop.

Up on the patio, the two girls were kept in the safe by a fabric covering over their run. Pop was still in the nest box and I moved her out into the run. I topped up their food and refilled their bowl with fresh cold water. Leia spent most of her time in the nest box throwing the bedding all over the place. Pop pushed herself up and began to tuck into the food bowl. She really is eating and drinking well which is great. Although she isn’t slaking or fully standing yet, she is starting to produce more normal looking poo. Chicken poo comes in a range of colours and consistencies depending on diet, age and health. Green poo is often a sign of eating a diet heavy in greens, not eating enough or infection in the digestive tract. Pop has been producing green poo for a couple of weeks and this seems to be linked with her not eating as much as she would normally. As her apatite is improving, her poo is slowly beginning to go back to normal.

Retreating from the relentless heat, I walked back to chat to Cliff and have a stroke of Koko. Cliff was very proud of his plum tree which looks like it will produce a bumper crop this year. We went round to look at it and Cliff found a couple that were ripe. I am not a plum person but these were absolutely mouthwatering and delicious. There is nothing better than eating freshly picked produce from the allotment!

We decided to have a look around the site at other plots. I love doing this because not only can you get lots of ideas for your own plot but you get to marvel at other people’s skill. Alan who has a plot in the middle of the site, has an absolutely wonderful greenhouse. He has grown an incredible vine along the top of his greenhouse which has several bunches of grapes growing. It always seems strange that in the north of England, you can grow your own grapes!

After lunch, my husband and I popped back down to get a few bits for the garden at home. We brought down frozen chicken treats for the girls to help cool them down. Sweetcorn frozen in water is a favourite of our girls. I use a cupcake tin to make small ice disks full of corn which the girls have to peck out. This provides enrichment for them as well as keeping them cool. Pop was quite hesitant to start with, but with some encouragement, she tucked in.

Tomorrow, I will be clearing out the shed and greenhouse as well as finishing off the mushroom logs. We are having friends over to have a look at the allotment and it needs to be at its best!

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