The hens are having plenty of exersise in the back garden, trashing it basically and having fun.
I get 2 eggs most days but, this week Loopy laid her large eggs 3 days in a row! Haven't had an egg from her in the last 2 days but, what an effort from a hen that hasn't been laying well since her concussion!
The fox is still about, have made it almost impossible for it to get at the hens by putting extra welded mesh around the run and coop with planter troughs and heavy planted pots around the outside too.
They are getting used to Lucy cat but, if there is a neighbours' cat in the garden, they are very vocal!
I've discovered they don't like broccoli, love all kinds of cabbage and spinach and even bean sprouts, so might do my own sproutings! You can tell when they have had a fair bit of spinach/greens, the yolks are deep golden in colour and very tasty boiled.
I'm still trying to find someone willing to put down some slabs around the edge of where the aviary is to go and then put up the aviary and a new plastic roof. Of course, have to buy some more concrete slabs,wood and plastic roof panels first!
Hopefully won't be too long before the aviary is up and the girls will have more space,fox proof and sheltered.
It's what I've been dreading, the fox attacking my hens.
Yesterday morning, the hens made their alarm call about 4.30am, I got out of bed to look out the bedroom window but, couldn't see anything so assumed it was a cat, they go bananas when a cat comes into the garden.
This morning was different, I had been awake since 3.30am, decided on a cuppa and then go back to bed, visited the bathroom and whilst there, heard what I thought was Loopy pecking at the wire mesh, then the alarm call went up. I dashed to the bedroom window to see a fox scrabbling at the wire mesh, the girls were frantic. So I banged on the window, then opened it wide and shooed it away. I went outside and made sure all 3 where still there and the fencing intact, which it was. the girls were still frantic as Lucy cat raced past to chase off the fox, which started them off again. I made what I thought was soothing noises and the good old standby of meal worms being shook in a plastic cat treat box did the trick! They had a few 'worms and settled down again.
This is were I really wished I could afford an Eglu cube to really keep them secure and prevent foxy from getting to the hens.
Tonight I will resort to the chopping board and bricks to replace the non existent pop hole door and vent the coop a little as it was so hot last/previous night, I didn't put it in place.........lesson learnt although nothing will stop a fox once it knows the hens are there.
Loopylou, the brain damaged chicken has driven me cuckoo the last couple of days, all of her getting 'stuck' when she's not stuck, like in the pond, stood on a brick which is there precisely to help critters out of the pond, or under the raised bed, at least 2 feet under there, all she had to do was step on and over a a 4"x4" piece of wood.......which brings me to the realisation that she must have been looking for somewhere to lay, pond= not very dark, under raised bed= fairly dark, coop=perfectly dark! So when I went out to check up on them, it had gone quiet apart from Looplou screaming that she had laid an egg, found her in the coop, just getting off of a lovely warm blue egg. As the other 2 where by the back door of the bungalow and fast asleep, it had to be hers as I've already had one blue egg this morning! Happiness is a poor little hen finally doing what she knew she had to do!
O.K, not the real ladies you thought bathing but, hens having a dust bath and what lovely noises they make whilst doing it! You may need to turn the volume up a bit to hear them.
2 of them made a noise like children screaming yesterday and I rushed outside in my bare feet to see what was going on,this time, not a fox or a fat juicy earthworm but, a large black beetle!
Lottie and other 'henny' folk, to think I used to log on just get my 'hen fix', now I just go outside or look through the window!
The hens that is!
Lottie, the hens came to me via 'Preloved', I'd gone on there to find a coop and run for free if possible and discovered a lady in Peterborough needing to re-home her 3 hens and all their 'henny' belongings. The money I paid to her she donated to the British Hen Welfare Trust, as you may agree, a worthy cause.
So, the 4 birds I had on order will be cancelled, the chap has a waiting list, so won't be stuck with them fortunately. I don't think 7 hens in my backyard would be a good idea!
1 of the hens had a mishap before coming to live with me. She was spooked by (I think the lady said) a firework or loud bang (made a not to have a radio playing maybe on/around November 5th!), leapt up and banged he head on one of the tree branches in her run and was concussed and hasn't laid since. The vet seemed to think that although she may never be 100%, she might start laying again at some stage. Poor thing used to walk in circles but, now walks in a straight line! She was the 'boss' but now , not all of the time. She loves to be cuddled and they all seem to like a 'conversation' with anyone, especially if they have some corn or meal worms!
I find myself shifting pots in the garden when they are free-ranging just expose the worms for them. They seem to say,'move this one, sure there's worms under this one'!
Here they are free-ranging yesterday afternoon. My Niece and Great Niece visiting yesterday and hens/Nieces got on really well. I don't leave them un-attended if I have to go out or in the house for longer than the time it takes to make a cuppa or a bathroom visit, foxy is still around and as most of you know,are very opportunistic!
The lady and her friend came up to me this morning, bringing the slabs and tree branch perches, ready for the re-organising of the run and coop. Then, when that's all done, it will be safer for them to be out of the coop but, still have access to it for egg laying.
Are you bored yet with me and my hens?
Here are 2 pics of my breakfast, the first shows the first egg laid here boiled and ready to eat. The second pic , the same, with the top off and 2 slices of home-made bread toasted and buttered.
I have to tell you, it was delicious! The toast was tasty too!
2 more eggs this morning, 1 blue, 1 brown - will it be 3 eggs tomorrow?
Well there was a 3rd pic but Blogger went all cogs turning on me and wouldn't publish it! You know what I mean? When two interlocking cogs are turning and you wait an eternity for it to publish a pic and nothing happens.
On another post perhaps later/next time.