Autumn arrives

The past two days the weather has taken a distinct cold turn and whilst the sun has been out, it doesn’t seem to have the heat of the past few months. The wind also takes a few degrees off the air temperature. So all in all, autumn has definitely come.

Everyone is busy on site, doing those autumn jobs including clearing weeds (hopefully for the last time this year!), filling compost bins with plants and digging over the ground. I have been slowly weeding the plot in between nursing Pop who unfortunately is still struggling after, what I suspect, was another stroke. I left her in the plant pot on the patio with food and water to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Today I met Phil’s brother who lives in Germany. I know he is a regular reader and it was lovely to meet a fellow allotment enthusiast. Phil had managed to persuade his brothers to help him dig out his apple tree. The expectedly late frost in the spring killed it off. Under the guise of coming to look at the allotment, they got roped in and spent half an hour armed with a variety of spades, trowels and a rather lethal looking pick axe.

On the other side of the main path, Dave the Plod was busy with a burner. These are incredible at burning weeds to a cinder but they need to be handled with extreme care if the entire site isn’t to be set alight! Luckily, Cliff was there supervising to make sure Dave didn’t get too carried away! It’s a great idea and definitely rids the plot of weeds but it doesn’t remove the roots from the soil which still needs to be done by hand.

Down in the main coop, there was a spectacular surprise for me waiting in the nest box. Nine eggs! I cleared them all, cleaned out the coop and fed the girls. Tommy is finally beginning to come into his own. He is an absolute stunner especially when the sunlight reflects off his green tail feathers.

Before checking on Pop again, I dashed home and picked up her wheelchair. Rather hilariously, I have had a few requests for customised chicken wheelchairs over the past week and I have been using Pop’s as a template. She wasn’t happy about being put back in but quickly dozed off once she settled. Every few minutes, I woke her up and tried to get some food and water down her. It was an effort but over time she did take a good point of water and a fair bit of food. This happened last time shoe after her stroke. It seems to slow the digestive tract for a few days and she strives to empty her crop. On Wednesday morning, Pop’s crop was full which worried me. Happily today, it was almost empty which shows the crop is working better albeit slowly. I got her into her chair and began to coax her to eat some corn and drink a decent amount of water. I even managed to get a squirt of rescue remedy down her which she did not make easy!

After spending an hour in the chair, I left her in the greenhouse with food and water within beak range. She had perked up a bit after some food and I think the next few days will be a case of trying to get as much food and water down her as possible to help her regain her strength. I will pop back this evening to see if I can persuade her to eat some more food.

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