Down early today lugging several hundred weight of water and the new tree. As I checked on all the different chicken coops, I discovered that the Nest House needed a proper clean out. With the majority of the girls (and even Tommy) sleeping inside, it needs cleaning out more regularly. So I grabbed a bucket, dustpan and scraper and made a start after blocking the entrance to the Nest House. There was no way I wanted to have a confrontation with Tommy in a confined space!
I made a good start and before long, I noticed a slight movement out of the corner of my eye. Turning, I spotted a small brown furry creature disappearing around the blockade. Continuing more cautiously, the next few minutes saw three more mice run out of the nest box. I was puzzled as I couldn’t see anywhere that would be suitable for a nest. Even when all the old bedding was removed, I still couldn’t work out where the mice had come from. There didn’t seem to be any small gaps for them to get into the Nest House, nor any signs of nibbling. It was only as I removed the last floor board that I discovered where they had been hiding. Underneath the bottom board in the nest box, in a carved dent in the floor, was a tiny mouse nest. It was simple but utterly beautiful. Mice are so resourceful. They had scavenged discarded chicken feathers to line the nest and keep it warm. As much as I would never hurt them, I don’t really want to encourage them to come back.
By the time the new bedding was in, I walked across to the new coop and sat with Gordon and his gang for a while. They really are delightful. Several of the girls have got much more tame and I received several curious pecks at my wellies and even one at my elbow! Judging from their nest box, they have yet to go inside it. Yesterday afternoon, I discovered them all asleep on the perch, squashed together for warmth rather than snuggle in the nest box. I’m sure it’s not just my chickens who are this odd. But sometimes, I wonder!
Moving on to the Christmas tree, I had discovered my tinsel at home was far too thick for it. Instead, I dug out some LED Christmas lights and put them on. All that is left for tomorrow is to make some small decorations. All the old decorations at home are far too big! But up on the table, I thought it looked rather festive.
My plans for the decorating of the shed haven’t progressed much. Ideally, I would love to use the solar system to power some proper lights. Also, I decided not to have any decorations inside due the shed being a favourite hang out for animals of the four pawed furry variety. But at home, I had an idea – all I need is for there to be some Christmas lights in the shop tomorrow!