Clucking Along

I ambled down to site this morning to discover the sunshine had tempted out lots of people. I say and chatted with Geoff, Cliff and Michael. Geoff has decided to give away two of his Rhode Island Reds as they have been bullying his other girls quite badly. He is completely unimpressed with collecting a solitary egg in the past three days. All three of us walked down and caught the two chickens. We put them in with Cliff’s flock and left them to it.

Steve appeared and stopped by our greenhouse to check on the Buff Orpington. She’s definitely perked up over the past couple of days. Steve said we could move her into one of our coops temporarily as she clearly can’t go back in with the brown leghorn cockerel. With the weather being so warm, I decided to take her out and put her into the new coop with Lilja, Leia and Sadie. The theory goes, that without a cockerel, the Buff Orpington should be able to hold her own. The first few minutes seemed to go well but the ment I began to relax, Lilja went into attack mode. I chased her off and put the Orpington up on the perches so she was out of beak range.

It was all quiet for a few more minutes but then Lilja attacked again. This time the Orpington leapt spectacularly into the air, landing heavily and hiding in the nest box. Quickly, I grabbed a small piece of wire mesh and fixed it across the door. This means they can look at each other without damaging the already injured Orpington. Leia’s reaction to the latest addition was to about her disapprobation at full volume for a good fifteen minutes hardly seeming to draw breath between squawks.

Leaving the Orpington to calm down, I walked back up to the main path. I found Cliff chatting to a very excitable Dolly. I haven’t seen either Dolly or Molly since Cliff first got the puppies a few weeks ago. Molly was at home today but under Cliff’s care is thriving although she is still half the size of Dolly. Dolly is delightful, full of energy with a gorgeous happy face. Her toy of choice at the moment is a newspaper which Cliff has covered it with sellotape to make it last longer. She instinctively knows how to play fetch and I spent a wonderful few minutes getting her chasing the toy up and down the path. At full throttle, her ears flap in the wind which is adorable!

Realising the time, I dashed home for a late lunch. My husband adores a BBQ and with the weather so glorious, it would be churlish not to make the most of it. Whilst food was cooking, I let out the silkies. They are getting much more friendly and curious. Cirrus, of course, leads the way. The other two meekly following in her wake. Half an hour of scratching and sunbathing and they took themselves back into the run. I seized this opportunity, and shut them back in before releasing Gordon and his gang of girls. Gordon terrorises the silkies which, whilst amusing, isn’t really fair on the silkies. My main surprise at these bantams is how friendly they are. We have handled them a bit but nowhere near as much as the silkies. Gordon led his ladies out onto the lawn where he proceeded to chase two of them, neck feathers out and standing tall. The girls didn’t seem that impressed with his display.

It wasn’t until Gordon approached our cat Vasili, that we realised quite how cheeky Gordon was. I should mention that both our cats are utterly pathetic and are predominantly house cats out of choice due to there being so many ‘scary’ things outside. Slowly, Gordon approached the dosing Vasili. Stretching out his neck, he pecked at Vas’s tail! Instantly, Vasili was alert and hid his tail underneath the BBQ. Gordon clearly didn’t get the hint. His next peck was at Vasili’s back paw. Poor Vas shot away and ran inside, leaving Gordon to strut proudly across the patio with a smug look across his beak.

With time going on and the BBQ dying down, we corralled Gordon and his girls back into the run. Once pudding (a banana grilled on the BBQ) had been scoffed, I walked down to the allotment again to catch up with Derek. We had a brief chat and we were soon joined by Andrea. It’s always so lovely to chat to people with great ideas for the site and after being joined by Darren, we discussed ideas and projects for the site. Checking the time in passing, I realised I had managed to spend another two hours at the site! Our allotment site seems to have a different time zone to the rest of the world. It’s magical but it can make you late for things in the real world!

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