As anyone with chickens will know, the ‘egg song’ is pretty unmistakable – it’s how a hen often announces the delivery of an egg. It’s something that we haven’t heard since Sept/October time as they went into moult and their non-productive period so I was rather excited yesterday afternoon when I heard that familiar noise.
Sure enough, on closer inspection, there was our first egg of 2018 – hurrah! It’s always a momentous time of the year for us, hopefully, signalling better/warmer weather to come – although looking at the forecast for this weekend with the return of ‘The Beast From The East’, it may still be a way off.
One thing we’re really looking forward to, is getting some new hens now that our ‘new’ run and coop is finally finished (it only took a year) so as soon as we’ve had the last of the snow, we’ll make the final adjustments for the initial segregation and be ready to go. I’m not looking forward to that awful vicious introduction period but it will be great to have a larger flock again.
Just to work out what breeds now – we love the blue eggs we get from our Cream Legbars, maybe some dark brown ones this time, or green…
This morning we lost Marge to a fox. Our fault entirely for forgetting to shut them up in their coop last night.
Thankfully neighbours were woken by the noise and came to alert us at about 5.30am, they shoo-d the fox away leaving Marge dead by our back door, Rose missing (last seen in the fox’s mouth being taken down the garden) and Betty, alive but very frightened.
There were feathers EVERYWHERE all around the garden!
A few searches, after hearing a chicken down the bottom of the garden, and we found Rose, alive and well if a little ruffled behind our shed, she must’ve managed to get away -I can’t tell you the relief. Clever girl.
It could have been SO much worse, if it’d been dark and they’d been in their coop we’d have lost the lot and likewise, if the neighbours hadn’t heard and scared the fox off, the same result.
Clearly, we’re feeling pretty rubbish but we did bury Marge in a nice spot by the river and hopefully Rose and Betty will settle down (and grow their feathers back) soon.
We’re just back from a lovely trip around the Highlands and sadly lost our two new girls to a fox while we were away.
These things happen, but it does go to show that we really need to get the roof of the chicken run sorted, it collapsed under the heavy snow we had at the end of April and as the chickens are shut in a coop at night, we hadn’t quite gotten around to fixing it back up properly.
I saw this gorgeous one in a gardening magazine a couple of weeks back but at £800 it’s a serious investment. Think I’ll need to hop onto Pinterest and see what else is around. In the meantime, we’ll have to make sure that both S and Cosmo are peeing in the garden to keep the fox away. Yes, it is true that male human urine is an excellent fox deterrent.
Another glorious sunny day and despite the aches and pains from yesterday’s labour it was time to get the hen house built – not a bad job considering it was us! Although we perhaps didn’t need to dig up the paving slabs. Still at least that hole would make a nice unobtrusive home for our composting bin (thanks for that suggestion Colin!).
Now we just need to paint it with a water based wood preservative and get the ‘henny’ accoutrements we need and we’ll be ready to get our new additions – can’t wait!
Summer visited us throughout the week, thermals were cast aside and flip flops and shorts became the norm. Garden purchases made last weekend arrived – a chicken coop, a potato barrel, a solitary bee house and a shed load of top soil, all ready for another glorious weekend in the garden….
….right up until Saturday morning when the snow returned (along with hail, rain and high winds), dashing all those plans. (Also, S had fallen over whilst assisting with the top soil delivery and cut his knee open so can barely walk).