Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Autumnal musings

The departure of Sebastian and Doris did leave a big hole in the flock personality wise however we did realise that Sebastian was the major scoffer of food (food bill has definitely gone down). Working in the garden this weekend I really did miss Daddies Little Helper getting in the way and being a complete pain in the arse, and nobody to leap on my knee and try to scoff my bacon sandwich.

The weather has been generally very good however a couple of very heavy downpours have turned to remains of the lawn into a mud slide. The borders have really stood up well to full scale chicken attack however with 8 of them being out their for most of the summer has taken its toll. Departure of the speckled Sussex have given a little relief but as the autumn gathers pace the garden is really showing the strain.

The light is also disappearing far to fast - dark when I leave for work and only light until just after 6pm so the birds out in the garden during the day really isn't an option now so at the weekend we erected the winter run on the garden deck.

Now the chooks have a wonderful big run to play in all day. Lots of new wood chips and treats, Skylon nestbox back which the girls love and lay eggs in every day we don't have to worry about the girls (and Eggnoggin the Nog) in the dark now. I just can't believe how quickly the nights are drawing in!

Harriet and Ruby are both in top form and currently both laying and we are getting 11 eggs per week at the moment. Ruby as ever talks to you all the time and Harriet, well Harriet is Harriet. On the occasions that they have been out, even if only for 20 minutes when we get home if there is enough light, Harriet is straight into the soil under the bananas and has a good old mud bath! For some reason she has a soiled bum so I think this coming weekend she will be getting a shower and blowdry (I promise to have some photos to post if we do it).

We do still need to get rid of the blue silkie hens and of course Eggnog. Since the departure of Sebastian he has become a proper little man and he is now getting the idea of being able to crow, not something conducive for hens in the city that's for sure. This evening I have put a blackout on the sleeping quarters so hopefully he won't start until we let him out into the run in the morning. Most importantly we need to find a home for Eggnog as he is a stunning bird.

Husband is not happy with Stella being called Stella - she doesn't seem like a Stella so I think that we need to come up with something else. Personally I'd call her "Ginger" because she is! Anyway poor girl is the shyest of all the birds as she is bottom of the pecking order, even the blue silkies give her grief and Eggnog chases her away from the treats. Oddly in the run its no so much of a problem as it is when they have full run of the garden.

Stella - what should we call you?

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