Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Steal my sunshine

Once again, I am a roving reporter, coming to you live (well kind of) from Berlin.

Have I told you that the chickens are stupid? Did I explain that they thought it was sensible to stand out in the rain? On Saturday it was nice for a bit in the morning so we let the girls out for a bit of a run around as they hadn't had much time out during the week (mostly due to the gorgeous one being out and about and partly due to the diabolical weather we've had since August hit). One minute it was sunny and the next it was raining, instead of taking shelter in their run or under their house our chickens think they can just stay out and what? Do they believe that they are the chicken exceptions and are the only ones that are water proof? Who knows? The gorgeous one made a bit of a shelter under the tree out of a cardboard box and two of them used that - guess which one didn't? It was very amusing later on to see her spreading herself out on the decking with her leg out and her wings wide to try and dry herself off in the sunshine (when it did make an appearance).

We also have moved their house and run to the other side of the garden and turned it round so that the door on the side (with the window in it) now faces the house (our house). We had to pick up the house (theirs not ours) and move it and I didn't quite have my fingers under it fully so when we were nearly in position my fingers slipped out from under it and it bashed me on the head - ouch! It also bashed the gorgeous one on the shoulder but I was more concerned with my head I must say. You can also now see that the girls are looking out of the window of the door when going to let them out in the morning!

The gorgeous one wanted to make sure I mentioned that he watched Yoko lay her egg on Saturday too. He was cleaning out their house (as he does at the weekend) and had taken it apart to give it a really good clean (again as he does at the weekend). The nesting boxes are not really accessible to the girls during this time as the perching area comes out and just leaves a gap. Luckily, the gorgeous one was outside and noticed that Yoko was getting a bit agitated so lifted her into the nesting boxes where she proceeded to settle down and lay and egg. He did show it to me and was very excited about just how fresh it was! He put a Y on it so we know it was Yoko's (aah).

He has also become obsessed with our fly trap. Whenever you have animals (and masses of poo) you get flies, obvious right? Well, the gorgeous one has found this fantastic fly trap which has kept the flies well away from the run (and they were getting to be a bit of a problem) by luring them into the trap and drowning them in this disgusting liquid. Anyone who has chickens should invest in one of these things although they are supposed to last 12 weeks and ours is nearly full after only two and a half. They also stink but that smell wasn't a patch on my cab driver this morning!!!!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

I cant stand the rain

Another week, another business trip.

We had a turn in the weather this week with torrential rain on Tuesday, pretty much all day. Now, try as we might to tell the girls that they aren't waterproof, there's one of them who is either too stubborn or too stupid (you decide) to realise this and will stand out in the rain getting herself well and truly waterlogged. There are no prizes for guessing which one of the girls I'm talking about - I think we all know by now!

This then creates worry and concern for us because she's so waterlogged she cant get up the ramp to go into the bed area. We had been out for the evening and when the gorgeous one came and told me that Omelette wouldn't go in the house and I made him go back out in the dark and pick her up and forcibly put her in the house. Well she had to dry out somehow!

I left very early on Wednesday morning (another flight at stupid o'clock) but the gorgeous one was reporting to me regularly on how she was doing, which wasn't so good. She slid down the ramp in the morning when he opened the door but had a drink and pecked around at something to eat too, which he took as a good sign. When he let them out in the evening she was walking funny like her legs didn't want to work for her, but she does seem much better now - thank goodness.

The girls are out now pecking around in the garden, it's so much harder when the weather is bad to give them a good run out but the gorgeous one got up early this morning to let them out as he felt so guilty about them not being able to be out because of the rain (not exactly his fault is it?). They're going to have a good clean out today and he's going to treat them to some mealworms as they haven't had any of them for a while either. Spoiled chickens!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Laughter in the rain

Fear not chicken fans, Omelette is doing much better now. I was really worried about her for a while as on Tuesday night she actually took to her bed! She was the first in the house and that is not like her at all.

Luckily when the gorgeous one went to them on Wednesday morning she seemed much better and when I let them out yesterday morning (I had a dentist appt) she was back to her usual nutty self - PHEW!!!! I can tell you that the gorgeous one and I were not looking forward to a trip to the vets with her I can tell you, not only from a cost perspective! Putting them away again was a bit tricky as they don't like to be put to bed, rather to go to bed by themselves, when they feel like it. I managed to con Omelette and Yoko back into the house with some bread (give them food and they'll pretty much do whatever you want them to), but Mabel wasn't having any of it. In the end I had to con her with the mealworm tray and when she looked in to grab some juicy loveliness I grabbed her and put her back in the house, much to her dismay!

Today the girls had a bit of a panic when a helicopter flew overhead quite low and they ran for cover. Mabel ran in their house and Omelette and Yoko ran under the swing chair on the deck. It was quite funny, I'm not sure they knew what it was and I'm certain that they thought it was coming to get them! They also remained out while it was raining, I'll have to tell them (again) that they aren't waterproof and that they'll end up waterlogged if they're not careful!

Mabel still has the lump on her wattle so I'll have to do some investigative work on the internet and find out whether there is a reason for this to happen or whether it's something we need to be concerned about. It doesn't seem to be bothering her at all so we'll not worry just yet about it. I did notice that Omelette has a little bald patch on her back and I'm not sure how that's happened, have to keep an eye on that too. My word these girls are hard work!!!!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Every step you take, I'll be watching you

I'm a little worried about the girls.

Yesterday, Omelette was a little lethargic, she was sleeping a lot and generally being very quiet, every time I looked at her she had drawn her neck in and was sleeping where she stood. Then she went into the house for AGES, I checked on her a couple of times and she seemed okay, then when she left the house there was a HUGE egg. The gorgeous one said that it was quite often a sign of brewing a big egg but she was doing it later on last night too. The others weren't "hanging out" with her either and that's apparently not a good sign, perhaps she's sickening for something - I do hope not.

Mabel also has a swelling on her wattle, it looks like she's got a gob stopper in her mouth, but it doesn't seem to be bothering her, I hope it's something that will go away soon and that it's not contagious!

Add to that, the Charlie fox was back again this morning in next door's garden and that all adds up to a big old worry-fest. Sophie always get a little more nervy when the fox is around too (yes, even more nervy than usual) so it's upsetting everyone. I know how much some people hate them, I know that given half the chance they would eat all the girls, including Sophie and I know that there are some people that truly believe they are vermin, but I have to say that the fox next door is incredibly beautiful. He's just a young-un and has lovely red fur and black ears.

There was a very funny moment in the garden yesterday. I had been to the bottom of the garden, the girls were out and I walked slowly towards the house. I stopped by the decking and turned around to find that all three of the hens had followed me and were standing behind me, it's like we were playing that game, you know the one you play when you're little when someone stands facing the other way and you have to creep up on them and if they turn around and see you move you have to go back to the start. The gorgeous one says it's called "Peep around the Corner" but I don't remember calling it that when I was little!

Well I have to go now and we'll just have to keep an extra special eye on the girls (all four of them) and make sure they stay well and protected from Charlie fox.