Late Night Weeding

It was definitely a day of two halves – one quick dash to the allotment in the morning, chicken cleaning out at home in the afternoon, and a second visit to the allotment in the evening! Busy it was, but very enjoyable! The first job of the day was to collect Trixy and take her back to the allotment. She has done such an incredible job with her chicks. But she is definitely fed up and needs her own space again. When I walked up to the broody coop, she was pacing up and down by the door, desperate to escape. It made it comparatively easy to get her out and into the pet carrier! Armed with a grumpy chicken, I headed down to the allotment, much to the amusement of two neighbourhood children who giggled as I passed. Typically, Trixy had decided to let out a loud indignant squalk as they approached. Just for dramatic effect obviously!

Once I got down to the allotment, I quickly deposited her into the Omlet with Roxy and Foxy. Instantly, Trixy began to dig herself a hole for a nice dust bath. Foxy tried to have a brief go at Trixy but nothing was going to deter her from her bath! Leaving Trixy to settle in, I went to say hello to The Plod, Phil and Cliff. An important email had gone out about the AGM and asking for nominations for the committee positions. There was quite a lot of speculation about who would stand. I left them to their musings as I lugged the easibed back home.

Dragging it over the threshold, I hauled it through the house and set up the indoor run for the chicks. With all the chicks inside, I dismantled the purple Omlet and began to clean it out. Partway through removing the old grass cuttings, I went over to the silkies and turfed out Cirrus and Stratus who still insist on being broody. Well, their form of being broody which on the surface looks like being broody but actually isn’t. For the sole reason that they don’t like to sit on the eggs. My husband muttered something the other day about being then being stupid. Harsh but the evidence is beginning to stack up against them. As they enjoyed free ranging in the garden, occasionally terrorising a passing cat, I finished off clearing out the old bedding in the broody coop. Leaving it to dry, I then moved onto the silkie coop. I love these Omlet coops. Yes, they cost the earth but they are so easy to clean out. Worth every penny for being able to clean them out in under 20 minutes!

When the coops were dry, I replaced the bedding and reassembled the nest boxes. With my husband’s help, we moved the chicks back into the broody coop. They seemed very happy with the new run flooring and tucked into their growers pellets. By now, the silkies had taken themselves back into the run. Cirrus and Stratus were both crammed into the nest box again. Utterly exasperated, I picked up Cirrus and put her in the inside coop. “if you are going to be broody, then be broody in here.” I told her severely. She showed no signs of wanting to sit in the nest box. When we checked an hour later, she still wasn’t interested. It’s moments like this that I feel like I am being taken for a fool by these birds! So I tried swapping Cirrus for Stratus. The same thing happened. Giving up, I dumped Stratus unceremoniously back into the nest box. Honestly! I knew silkies were broody but this is ridiculous! Cirrus has been trying to be broody for at least 4 weeks and Stratus is going on two!

After dinner, I headed off to the allotment to collect eggs and check on the chickens. As I arrived, I noticed Tracy’s shed door was open. Searching the site, I found her on Brad’s plot and we had a chat. Not long afterwards, we were joined by Pam. Talk soon turned to sunflowers and the success Tracy was having. To verify this, we all went over to her plot and there were spectacular dwarf sunflowers with enormous flower heads. Some were the size of dinner plates! I then dragged Tracy and Pam across to my plot and showed them my two giant sunflowers with miniscule heads. How can the size of the flowers be so different when they are only a few feet away? We went out separate ways afterwards, Pam and Tracy back to their plots and I dashed around to collect eggs and check on the chickens.

As I was beginning to think about heading home, Andy appeared. We tried a Cox’s orange pippin, the first from our tree. They were delicious but I think they will be even better when they have had a bit more time. We say and chatted together until the weather began to close in. Returning to the shed, I discovered I had received a missed call from my parents. I called back and as we chatted, I began weeding the worst parts of the plot. Granted, an hour later, there were still loads of weeds. But with some more work, it will be better!

Tomorrow’s plan is to sweep out the shed and clear more weeds from the it. The willow needs pruning yet again too!

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