Digging Out the Coops

I ambled down to the allotment at lunchtime today and sat with Geoff and Mick the Greek discussing the events on the site. There had been major works on the bottom of Plot 35 to prepare it for the new tenant. It looks amazing although there is still a little more work to go. When Geoff headed off home, I opened up the shed and went to check on the plants in the greenhouse. Amazingly, even more seedlings have appeared and the courgettes are going mad – I suspect we may be drowning in them before the season is over!

The Little Weed Destroyers were belligerently hollering at me for their food and treats. Telling them they would have to wait, I walked down to the main coop. Tommy greeted me as soon as I stepped inside. Grabbing the nearest bin lid, I shooed him away – he wasn’t impressed!  To get some space, I threw out the sunflower seeds to the other side of the coop and got busy refilling the food bowls.  When Tommy’s back was turned, I legged it out of the coop, slamming the door behind me just in case Tommy had ideas of attacking me as I left. A disgruntled stamping told me that I had been right to suspect he would try something.

In the new coop, poor Leia was sitting in the corner. She has struggled in the coop since Flora was moved and I was worried at how light she was when I picked her up. Honestly, this bird is so neurotic! I threw out treats and tried to hand feed Leia but she wasn’t having any of it. Resigning myself to being beaten up by Tommy, I headed back to the main coop to collect Flora. Poor Flora really has had a time of it trying to integrate into the flock, only to be hauled out and have to start all over again in a new coop. I’m hoping her presence will help Leia feel better. If not, I may have to put her on her own for a while although quite where I would put her is beyond me. The sudden appearance of Flora unsettled all the birds in the new coop and half an hour of loud clucking and chaos ensued.

Rather than standing around refereeing fights, I thought it would be a good distraction if I dug over the ground. Chickens are crazy about worms and love freshly dug soil. It took much longer than it should have as Flora and one of the partridge bantams who seemed to have a death wish. Every time I brought the spade down, one or both of them had their heads in the way. It’s a miracle their heads are still firmly attached to their bodies!

By now, it was quite warm and the sun was out more. As it was well past lunchtime, I decided to take the spade over to the main coop so I could dig it over tomorrow.  Once inside the coop, I changed my mind and thought it would be good for the chickens to have a section of the run dug over. I chose a corner to dig over and before I knew it, half the run had been done. To quit now seemed churlish so I carried on and finished it. As I dig, I kept a very close eye on Tommy but he seemed quite happy to watch the girls scratching and digging. He didn’t get much of a look in! Polly and Rey were fiends with the worms, hoovering them before any of the other girls got near. I’m hoping for a bumper amount of eggs tomorrow!

Before I left, I went to have a chat with Cliff. He had brought Dolly with him. I haven’t seen her in months and she is just as adorable, if much bigger! As it was nearly four o’clock, I decided to tear myself away from the gorgeous Dolly and head home for a cold drink and a very late lunch.


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