A Feathery Escapee

I ambled down to the allotment this afternoon, intending to have a quick visit. I ended up staying for quite a bit longer. When I opened up the shed, I found a lovely surprise waiting for me! A beautiful calendar to go up in the shed with a thoughtful note attached. There really is something so special about how people look out for one another on site.

Flora was as impatient as ever when I appeared to collect the food bowl. Poor Leia doesn’t really get much of a look in! They seem to have settled a truce although I can tell Leia’s beak is rather out of joint as Flora is clearly in charge. In addition to pretending that she had never been fed, ever dramatic, Flora likes to launch herself at the replenished food bowl in my hand. She’s by no means the biggest chicken we have, but nonetheless her sudden appearance on the rim of the food bowl, nearly resulted in me dropping both the bowl and the idiot bird. Muttering under my breath, I left to check on the Little Weed Destroyers.

All three were running up and down the coop, keen to receive their treats. Unfortunately for them, I had none. But I plicated them with a full food bowl and a handful of sunflower seeds. When I opened up the nest box, I found two white eggs. Thanking the girls for their efforts, I headed down to the main coop.

The short December days are getting longer but not noticeably. By the time it gets to four o’clock, dust has set in. This means that at this time of year, the chickens go to bed really early. In the Nest House, I found all the chickens roosting already. Four up on the perch, Tommy sitting on the lid of the laying box and Lilja and Sadie sleeping in the box. Cautiously, trying not to aggrevate Tommy, I tried to get into the Nest House to check if there were any eggs. What followed was tragically predicable. There was panic, Polly and Rey disappeared out into the run with Cora. Alba hesitated then followed suit. Tommy grumbled and reluctantly went out leaving just Lilja and Sadie inside. Watching Liljas’s every move (she’s more leg than chicken!), I felt rather smug when she had gone into the run without escaping. Turning around, I discovered to my horror that Sadie was standing on the path behind me!

Trying not to shriek at her for her sneaky dash past me, I slowly stalked her. Sadie was having none of it. When she loitered by the run door, I wondered whether I should open it and see if she would take herself in. Luckily, I reconsidered, realising I could risk having all seven out. What made this prospect worse was the avian flu restrictions. Domestic birds must be kept separate from wild birds and good biosecurity is essential. Watching Sadie wander behind the Nest House, I realised she was cornering herself. Cautiously, I crept up and grabbed her. Needless to say, she was unimpressed. I like to think it’s because that made us even, but it’s probably more anger that she didn’t spend the night wandering the site.

Breathing a sigh of relief as I slammed the Nest House door closed, I headed over to the new coop. Gordon and his girls were all happy perching together. Using a torch, I checked for any new rat burrows and was relieved to find none. Whether this is because Cliff has got the rat, or its decided to go somewhere else, I don’t know. But I will be checking lots over the next few days, just to be sure!

Back at the shed, I spent several minutes looking at the plot and pondering my plans for next year.

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