This morning I ambled down to the allotment to clean out the greenhouse. It’s been overdue for a few days and we managed to get hold of some new shavings late last night before the shops closed for Christmas. I arrived on site and stopped to say a quick hello to Geoff. Due to the risk of Avian Flu, Geoff has moved his girls into Andy’s coop which they seem to be enjoying. It’s very odd seeing Geoff’s coop empty and missing Geoff sitting on his favourite chair, pipe in hand with a chicken on his lap. Shouting a greeting to Cliff, I walked down to the main coop to check on the girls.
In the coop, despite the heavy rain, the ground wasn’t entirely swamp-ish. I threw out their treats and cleaned out the coop. Aggie took a peck at me as I cleaned out the best box. For good measure, Tommy even had a go too! I walked around the coop and checked how the netting was holding up. I spotted a few small holes and grabbed some more netting from the shed. Carefully cutting it into small sections, I shoved in into any hole I could see.
Leaving the coop, I walked up to the greenhouse and pondered the best way to clean out the warring chickens. A couple of days ago, I let Sadie out with Leia and Lilja. It didn’t go well. But I couldn’t think of a way of keeping them separate whilst I cleaned as the run fills up half of the greenhouse floor. Biting the bullet, I removed the run and let the girls mix. Initially, it didn’t go well and my attempts to clean were hampered by various chickens flying through the air at each other. Slowly though, they began to settle a bit and I managed to take out all the old bedding.
Leaving the floor to dry (the joys of a leaking greenhouse), I watched the girls for a bit. Sadie is a quick runner, often out manoeuvring Leia and Lilja much to their disgust. Sadie finally settled up on the top shelf whilst Lilja and Leia scoffed the fresh food I had put out for them. The temporary truce gave me time to put in fresh bedding to both parts of the nest box and some on the floor. I decided to go back down to the main coop and add some more netting to test whether Sadie would cope on her own.
Back at the main coop, I worked my way around the coop, adding a new layer of netting to the bottom half of the fencing panels. Armed with several hundred weight of cable ties, I managed to get the whole way around the coop with a metre of netting to spare! The left over netting I used to hang over from the top of the fence panel. There was a tiny gap between the top of the door and the door frame which although it probably wasn’t big enough for a sparrow, I wasn’t going to take any chances. Only time will tell if this works…