More Netting

May 28th, 2009 .

Today I decided to put up a bit more netting around the chicken’s area. They have recently been escaping by jumping up onto the fence and then onto the coop and down the other side. I decided to extend the netting so that it runs along the roof of the coop and all around the fence at the side. Now it must be un-escapable!

I have added netting up the back of the coop and along the fence at the side of the enclosure

I have added netting up the back of the coop and along the fence at the side of the enclosure

While I was in there I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a few mug shots of the girls. Their combs are looking so big now!

Daisys comb used to be so tiny...

Daisy's comb used to be so tiny...

This one is a little bit blurry - its difficult to make a chicken sit still!

This one is a little bit blurry - it's difficult to make a chicken sit still!

Weekend Away

May 25th, 2009 .

This weekend my girlfriend was on holiday so I decided to go away for the weekend and see my parents. My girlfriend’s mum offered to come up and look after the chickens which saved me paying pet sitters to come around and look after them.

I was a little bit nervous about leaving the girls for the weekend, and to make things worse as soon as I let the girls out on Saturday morning, Victoria jumped up on the fence. That was the first time I had seen any of them go up onto the fence and I was worried that she would end up in next door’s garden.

In the end I had nothing to worry about and the girls were fine – although they did make a few attempts to escape the netted off area of the garden! Apparently whilst I was gone the girls had managed to find their way into the rest of the garden a few times. When I got back I let the girls out and within 20 minutes of doing so Daisy had escaped and was scratching about in a pile of grass clippings by my compost bin. She was only out there for about 2 minutes but she managed to spread the pile around half of the garden! I think I am going to have to put some netting around the fence and the top of the coop before I let the girls out again.

One more thing happened today that made me laugh. I went out into the garden and put some meal worms in the run for the girls, in an empty washing up bowl that I put in the run about a week ago. I went back inside to watch tv, and when I looked out I could only see 2 chickens – Meg was nowhere to be found. Then I noticed the washing up bowl was upside-down and moving around by itself! I realised that Meg had somehow managed to get trapped underneath it and was walking around with it completely covering her. It looked really funny and she didn’t seem to be at all bothered by it (I think she was still hoovering up some meal worms that were underneath).

The Big Egg

May 16th, 2009 .

A couple of days ago I got the biggest egg yet – there is a photo of it in the entry for 14th May. I ate it this morning in a bacon and fried egg sandwich and it was a double yolker!

Double Yolker

Double Yolker

Clean Out

May 15th, 2009 .

Today I got home from work early and decided to give the chicken run a bit of a clean out. It was starting to get a bit smelly and after cleaning it out I can see why! I must have removed about a bucket full of chicken poo off of the floor. Considering the size of chicken droppings that is quite a lot!

I had to move the run out of the way to clean it properly which was a bit of a pain – it is very difficult to move it by yourself without breaking it. Before moving it I had to crawl in and pull out the pieces of wood that I put in there for the girls to climb on. When I was inside there the smell was terrible! Once I had got the coop out of the way I raked up all of the poo and attempted to fork the ground over a bit but the ground was pretty hard so I gave up on that one pretty quickly. I did manage to turn over some of the ground so hopefully the girls will enjoy dust-bathing in the loose earth.

Securing the Garden

May 14th, 2009 .

At the back of my garden, in the area that I have fenced off for the chickens there is an old wire fence. It’s pretty sturdy but there was a small gap at the bottom of it, so before letting the girls out for the first time I laid some old bits of wood in front of the gap. Yesterday I was watching the girls scratch around out the back and I noticed that the gap had reappeared – the girls had scratched away so much of the soil around the base of the fence that the wooden planks had dropped down and made a gap big enough for a chicken to get through.

Today when I got home I decided to fix this before I let them out. In the end I decided to pull all of the planks out and attach the left over weldmesh to the planks. I then put them back and twisted the ends of the wire mesh around the existing wire fence. Now the back of the garden is looking a lot safer. Now there’s no way for the girls to escape…

After dinner I looked out of the window and Meg had managed to get over the netting and into the main part of the garden – looks like their little enclosure isn’t so perfect after all! I can’t figure out how she got out – I’m not sure whether she jumped the net or jumped up onto the coop roof and then down the other side. Hopefully if she does it again I will be watching.

On the plus side, when I got home from work today there were 3 perfect, un-cracked eggs in the little nest area that I made inside the coop.