The weather has really not been what it should be for May. Almost no rain in April saw the allotment emulating the driest parts of the Sahara. The seemingly endless days of drizzle in May has provided enough water to make the weeds grow in abundance. Such are the difficulties when growing plants in the fickle British climate! Fortunately, I now have a way of weeding which requires zero effort – I will let the bantams roam in a couple of small fenced sections of the plot to eliminate all the weeds for me. To make sure that as much area as possible is covered by my feathery weed eaters, I will move the Omlet coop to a new position too. Roxy, Foxy and Trixy I am sure will enjoy their time exploring tomorrow!
Back at home, I set up the broody coop. Assuming the weather stays dry (the forecast is for rain all week), and the temperature rises to a more summer-like level, hopefully one of our girls will go broody. Each summer, the wait to see if you have a broody is always exciting. Who will it be? Will it be a hen who has never been broody? The couple of years that I haven’t had a back up broody coop, I have ended up with at least one broody hen. Be prepared is the Scouts motto and should be adopted by every allotmenteer! We collected the broody coop from Stafford and it came with an impressive selection of extras including two sets of purple grub/glug feeders, three different run covers, a perch and some other odds and ends. The paved area beside the kitchen was just the right place to temporarily set up the nest box with a two metre run. It will also be useful for when we need to mow the lawn, providing somewhere safe for the silkies to be.
The extra run covers came in useful as the two metre sunshade one perfectly covered the silkies run and the shorter combination cover (clear and shade) would keep the bantam’s run dry at the allotment. I made a small pile of bits to take down to the allotment after lunch. The treat caddy terrorised the silkies even when it had greens in. Honestly! I have never known chickens so reluctant to eat greens!
At about half four, I got a message from Sarah saying Liz was popping across to water the plants in the greenhouse. Grabbing my keys, I headed off to the allotment to feed the chickens. I put the extension run cover on the Omlet and threw in some greens for Roxy, Trixy and Foxy. Upon opening the nest box, I discovered three eggs. One of the eggs was a little smaller and white-ish in colour. By process of elimination, I worked out of must be Foxy’s! I dashed down to the main coop and cleared out wet food from the food bowl and collected three more eggs. Over in the new coop, named Bl-HEN-um Palace by Liz and Sarah, I found four eggs waiting for me. Snap and Sadie seem better integrated now although Leia and Lilja still have the odd peck in their direction.
As I walked back up to the shed with armfuls of eggs, I spotted Geoff who was busy trundling supplies to his coop. We sat and had a chat for a while before we spotted the rain moving towards us. Sensing it was the opportune moment to get home without getting drenched, we headed off.