Round and Round the Coops

Today was a long day! By the time my husband and I finished, we were covered head to toe in dirt. We began by attempting to move the Omlet with the silkies. This was easier said than done. The Omlet had been in the same for several weeks and the grass had knitted itself around the wire, refusing to let it go. As we wrestled with it, the heavens opened. With the grass now too wet to mow, we retreated indoors to plan what to do next. In the end, we went to the allotment and moved Trixie and Foxy into the New Coop. Neither were happy about their move and were completely nonplussed by Gordon. To stop any overcrowding, we moved Flora into the Main Coop with Tommy.

As the rain stopped, we began to sort out the Omlet. As my husband dug over the ground, I dismantled the nest box and cleaned it out. The Omlet is amazing – so easy and quick to clean out compared to the other coops we have had. Leaving the Omlet to dry, we headed home to wrestle with the Silkie Omlet.

Even using a spade, it took two of us to wrestle the run from the ground. With the run finally free, we put it to one side and my husband mowed the lawn. The grass had gotten so long, he had to go over it twice! As soon as he finished, I let out all the chickens who looked distinctly unimpressed at the newly cut grass. I think they preferred the jungle! Armed with a scraper, dustpan, brush and a bucket, I started clearing the old bedding from the Retirement Omlet. As Maude and Mavis liked to throw their food around, then dump their water on top, the old food becomes hardened like concrete. Without a scraper, it’s impossible to get off! About twenty minutes later, the whole area was clear and ready for my husband to disinfect the patio with a special cleaner.

As the patio dried, I moved onto cleaning the nest box ready for the silkies to move into their temporary home while Cirrus and her chicks would be moving into the Omlet on the lawn. We moved the red Omlet into its new place by the fence and waited for everything to dry. The sun came out and we decided that it was time for lunch. Surrounded by chickens and dismantled coops in varying states of wetness, we wandered around scoffing our food before heading back to work.

By now, the purple Omlet was pretty much dry so I reassembled it and tipped up the food and water ready for the silkies. Rounding up the silkies was easier said than done as Maude decided to get involved and head into the run. Of course, she wouldn’t come out and I spent several minutes trying to persuade her to come out. In the end, poor Asperitas wandered in and Maude pounced on her. Asperitas let out a shriek and I seized my chance to grab Maude. Triumphantly, I deposited her into the pet carrier as poor Asperitas cowered in the corner.

Shouting to my husband to collect Nimbus and Stratus, I headed down the garden to try to get Cirrus and her chicks into their coop. Trying to corral five chicks in a direction they don’t want to go is nearly impossible! They led us a merry dance all over the garden and around the bushes. I managed to grab Cirrus and dumped her into the coop. The chicks completely panicked and my husband managed to corner three of them and I grabbed the fourth. As soon as they were all inside, they immediately got busy destroying the grass.

Now to get Mavis in. Foolishly, I thought this would be straightforward. It wasn’t. Mavis, who had been observing everything, knew what was coming and had a plan. She evaded our capture for several minutes, nipping nimbly past my husband when we had her trapped between the run and the fence. For an old bird, she has a spectacular turn of speed when she wants! On the fifth attempt, we caught her and she joined a grumpy Maude in the pet carrier.

Back at the allotment, we reassembled the Omlet and let Maude and Mavis into their temporary new home. Nothing phases these old girls! Within seconds they were scratching and enjoying exploring their new home.

As I was checking the greenhouse, I heard a shout from my husband who came up the path with something in his hands. To my surprise, it was a sparrow! My husband had gone down to the Main Coop to check for eggs and had found the bird tangled in some of the netting on the coop. It’s always exciting on the plot! An adventure around every corner!

We did a final check on Flora in the Main Coop and the Little Weed Destroyers in the New Coop. All seemed well considering. I picked some chard and spent a few minutes feeding the bantams. Foxy and Trixie kept near the next box and I fed them separately.

It occurred to me as we walked home, that I should rename the coop, Bantam Palace. Exhausted but pleased with the day’s work, we collapsed as soon as we got home!


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