Bouncing Between the Plot and the Garden

Today was a day spent running between home and the allotment. Our first job today was to get the roof on the shed in the garden. In order to improve the strength of the roof panels, I added some extra batons to the edges. My hope was that this would not only stabilise the roof panel but be a good spot for bashing in nails to keep the new felt in place. My main concern, apart from the roof panels crumbling, was how we were going to get the panels up. The height difference between my husband and myself is not conducive to these sorts of challenges. Fortunately, my husband had the bright idea of bringing in one of the roof panels into the shed and lifting it into place from there. I greeted his idea with more than a dose of scepticism. However, in two minutes, the panel was single handedly put in place. The second followed just as quickly. Rather nonplussed at how easy it was, we decided to head off to the allotment to sort lunch then mess with the roof felt later.

Down the allotment, I started the annual shed clean and tidy. The mice haven’t been nesting in the shed this winter which is an improvement. However, that didn’t stop them visiting regularly and making a mess everywhere they could get there little furry noses into! As I was finishing wiping down the table, my husband appeared armed with a bag full of goodies for lunch. We had invited Liz, Sarah and Andy for lunch yesterday and their arrival signalled the time had come to light the stove and start cooking. The veranda is quite the sun trap and we enjoyed chatting and eating in the sunshine. Daisy waited patiently for us to drop any crumbs or, when we weren’t looking, try and snaffle the last sausage from the frying pan. Her hurt expression when we spotted her ploy and removed it before she could get at it, was worthy of an Oscar for Best Actress. Seriously, if you didn’t know she was adored, pampered and properly fed, you’d have thought she was starving!

When the others went back to work on their plot, I headed across to the New Coop to check on the girls while my husband was busy refilling their water bowls. The littlest bantam leapt at me, landing on my back as I arrived. She is such an incredible flyer! I removed her from my back and put her on my shoulder. From there, I hand fed her sunflower seeds, a handful of pellets and corn as well as some water. She was very thirsty but kept flicking me with water so I put her down on the perch with her water bowl. Inevitably, she knocked it over. I gave up and left to check on the chickens in the main coop.

Tommy had already had a go at my husband. I assumed that by being the one to give out treats, I would escape his wrath. I did not. Granted it was only one peck at my shoes with a foot stamp or two. But I didn’t appreciate it. Just because he has a couple of molecules of testosterone at the moment doesn’t mean he should forget who feeds him! I collected three eggs from the Nest House and ambled back to the shed.

As my husband packed away the lunch remains, I put the stove away and checked on the Little Weed Destroyers. They had dug a big hole which I assume they had been dust bathing in earlier in the day. When I opened the nest box I was reminded about the idiocy of chickens. There next to, but not in, the nest was an egg. Someone had decided to ignore the fresh comfy bedding in the nest and chose to lay directly on the perches. Utterly speechless, I collected the egg and added it to today’s box.

Armed with the lunch bag and some bedding for the chickens at home, we jumped into the car and headed home. Back at home, I turfed out Cirrus from the nest box and brought her inside. As she seems to be broody, she needs separating from the others. Her first job was to walk around the coop, throwing the bedding everywhere. Next, she spent a solid hour whilst we worked outside standing and drinking. Groaning to myself, I worried that this meant she wasn’t broody. But I decided to leave her and see what she did.

Outside in the garden, we got the hammer and nails and made a start on felting the shed roof. The first piece of felt was deceptively easy to get onto the roof and secure it into place. Full of confidence, we cut the second piece of felt and dragged it onto the roof only to discover it was too short. As my husband dragged it down, I cut out a second piece. Up it went and down it came. Too short. Again. We laid out the remaining felt to discover there wasn’t enough to cut a third piece. Bodge job it was then! We cut a smaller piece and placed it over the longest short piece. My husband balanced on a chair to nail it all into place. Happily, there was a significant overlap which meant we didn’t have to add anymore felt. We left the finishing touches for tomorrow. 

Inside the house, Cirrus had stuffed her beak full of food and had sat down in the middle of the coop. She looked like she didn’t want to be disturbed which I took as a good sign! Only time will tell though!

The plan for tomorrow is to clean out the nest box in the new coop and if there’s time to clean out the greenhouse.

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