Spring is on the way

March 1st, 2010 .

The last few months have been very wet. The days have been short, so I have had to muck out the chickens at lunch times, and the chicken area has turned into a bit of a swamp. Due to the poor weather, I have been spending as little time in the garden as I can get away with, which is the main reason that I have not been posting anything here.

One thing that happened this month was that the chickens decided to revert to one of their most annoying behaviours: They have once again decided that it is better to scratch their pellets into the ground rather than eat them out of the feeder. This isn’t really a problem when the ground is dry as they will still eat them, but when the weather is this wet they get scratched into the mud and are wasted.

I have come up with a solution to this problem. I had a stone hearth off the fireplace which was here when we moved in, and I have put this underneath the chicken coop where the food is. Although this does get covered in mud, it is a lot drier as you don’t get water coming up out of the ground. As well as this, I have had to wait until they have eaten all of the pellets off of the floor before refilling their feeder, otherwise they will scratch out too many pellets and they will be wasted. This means that occasionally the birds have to go half a day without any food being available, but I don’t really see any other option.

A couple of weeks ago, I got up late on a Saturday, to find that Meg and Victoria were both in the garden. This is only the second time that Meg has managed to escape, and they seemed to be having a lot of fun in the garden so I let Daisy out too and they spent the day free ranging. There was a bit of sun on that day, and it was lovely to watch them sunbathing and dustbathing, instead of wading through the mud.

Today I got home at 5:15 as usual, and it was still really bright outside. I rushed out to the garden and the chickens were still up and about, so I cleaned them out after work. I think this means that spring is on its way! This means that I can change my routine and clean them out every day, and hopefully spend a bit more time in the garden.

Hopefully I should have a bit more to write about over the next few months…

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