Why is it that whenever I go to feed the chickens, the heavens open? Even the merest thought of “I’ll go and feed the chickens in a bit…” seems to send out some invisible signal to the clouds to ready themselves for a full monsoon. Usually this phenomena is limited to my leaving the house to feed the allotment chickens. Not today! Despite being overcast all day, there has only been the occasional light shower.
Looking out the back door, I saw the looming clouds of doom and muttered to myself that I would quickly pop to the allotment before the rain started. That was my fatal mistake. Mere seconds later, the heavens opened, just as I was corralling the silkies back into their respective coops. Aurora and Arcus seemed so confused and disoriented by the sudden change in the weather, that they stood huddled together outside the back door, seemingly unable to work out how to get back into the coop.
I dithered by the back door for several minutes hoping the monsoon would stop. But it was relentless and showed no signs of slowing let alone stopping. Poor Aurora and Arcus huddled miserably together unaware or unwilling to dash to the sheltered spot underneath the cat kennel. Resigning myself to resembling a combination of drowned rat and sea monster, I opened the back door and chivved the sodden duo back into their run. But where was Coco? That bird runs circles around me daily and it always pays to triple check what she is doing. Thankfully, she had enough sense to hide in the nest box with Cumulus.
Half drowned, I made sure that Trixie and her gang were inside and for good measure, I threw them some corn. This was immediately seized on and disappeared faster than Usain Bolt at the starting pistol. Honestly, you would never believe I fed these chickens daily! By the time everyone was in and fed, there was no part of me that wasn’t thoroughly saturated. Pausing only to grab the house keys, I decided that as I couldn’t possibly get any wetter, I might as well go down the allotment.
We live in a small house and it takes seconds to walk from the back to the front of the house. In those few seconds, the biblical deluge had stopped and a watery sun appeared. There are not enough words to explain my exasperation upon opening the front door to find sunshine rather than rain. Muttering unprintable things under my breath, I ambled off to the allotment, at any moment expecting the rain to start again.
With all the birds attended to, I headed home to sort out Cumulus who is having an ongoing crop issue. I noticed a couple of days ago that her crop was oversized. Normally, the crop fills during the day and empties overnight. But Cumulus’ crop hasn’t been emptying overnight. I have tried her with a crop bra, a small piece of fabric worn over the chest which can help a slow emptying crop. Poor Cumulus has worn it for a couple of days and hates it. So I have turned to my American chicken expert who has advised I try her on a thrush treatment in case the problem is due to bacteria. Needless to say, she was not cooperative and what should have taken a couple of seconds turned into an epic battle of wills, chicken vs human, each trying to win. Eventually, I won, getting the medicine down her reluctant beak. Hopefully this will begin to help her and lessen the likelihood of having to take her to the vet!