In the drizzle, a particular type of rain which is a specialty of the British weather, I ambled down to the allotment. Upon my arrival, I discovered Geoff and Cliff and stopped to have a chat. With family up over Christmas, it’s been a few days since I caught up with everyone. It seems that despite the wet weather, everyone has enjoyed their celebrations and we were all equally fed up of eating turkey!
Pottering around the different coops, I topped up food and water as well as collecting three eggs. It’s quite exciting to finally see eggs in the nest box after so many weeks of having an egg a day of we were lucky. All this leaves me in hope that Gordon’s girls will lay when the weather warms up. Although I would prefer it if they started laying sooner! With all the rain over the past few days, the tarpaulin on the roof was full of water. Much to the horror of Gordon, I used a piece of wood and tipped all the water off the roof. A torrent of water cascaded down, right on top of him. Poor Gordon let out an enormous shout and ran to the opposite side of the coop. Drenched and grumpy, he assiduously avoided me for the rest of the visit.
Cliff and Phil appeared lugging a massive concrete slab. There is a persistent rat who keeps burrowing into the coop despite our best efforts to stop it. Cliff has been regularly putting poison down (out of reach of chickens obviously!) but as yet, nothing has improved. We have tried squashing the burrows and blocking them. It has made absolutely no difference. Neither myself nor Cliff want to kill any animal but rats carry so much disease and are so dangerous for chickens, we need to get rid of them. Cliff and Phil put the slab into place and added some breeze blocks for good measure. As they did that, I moved the feeder to the other side of the run.
Phil spotted some loose soil underneath the nest box which suggests the rat is living there and burrowing into the run to get food. So over the next few days, Cliff will be busy regularly putting poison down in the hopes we stop the rat.
It might be some time before Gordon talks to me again though…