gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Calamity Gill

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I was hoping that once February came our stormy weather would blow away to somewhere else. You know the weather is bad when a dog bred for the snowy peaks of Tibet starts crying ten minutes into a walk when the rain Is coming sideways at you. Unfortunately after a lovely sunny day today we are heading for a massive storm overnight.
This morning the Gillybirds got to have a long time scampering round the garden in the sunshine, splashing through the huge amount of rainwater lying on the surface. This has been the wettest January on record. I’ve been worried about the hens getting trench foot.
To navigate the garden I have been wearing my son’s size 12 Wellington boots which are easy to shake on and off, they are enormous. It reminds me of when I was little I used to clop around the house in my mother’s fancy stilettos. Only this is muckier.
This morning I was refilling the hens water container and as I carried it back across the grass I stumbled, dropped the 5 litres of clean water and fell right into the muck and puddles, which splashed everywhere. I had to completely change my clothes, and it was only some time later I realised that I had given myself a mud face pack too.
At least I didn’t break or crack the water container. It is important for hens to have clean water, they would drink anything dirty or clean. We are all longing for Spring to come, though it hasn’t been too cold, and we’ve had no snow, we are longing for blue skies, warm sun, and the possibility of walking across dry grass in a pair of stilettos.

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The animals went in two by two

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Finally after two dark and miserable days it has stopped raining. Rumours that we were thinking of costructung an ark for our feathered friends are thankfully unfounded. Yesterday though it was so dark the solar powered lights in the garden did not get enough sunshine to illuminate them at night. The hens are wading through deep mucky puddles and don’t appear to be bothered by the water at all. I have put upended flower pots and tree stumps in the coop to act as little islands and keep checking to see that no one is suffering from trench foot. They look surprisingly clean too. And they are still laying as well as ever.
Many thanks to lovely Dr W who brought the girls a tasty bag of nasturtium leaves from her garden for a treat.
As for the dogs, well. They need to learn to read.

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Nice Weather For Ducks

It appears that for now summer is over, it is the rainy season once again and the poor hens are wading delicately through puddles. I bought a groundsheet to keep on top of the coop (replacing the lacy tablecloth) but the ladies are still very bedraggled.

Egg production has come to a halt. In despair I contacted Ian the hen supplier today who has advised me to change their feed. In the spirit of the environment I have been feeding them only organic food .”Oh aye”, says he, “I’ve no time for that organic stuff, what they need is a good dose of protein. With all that good weather last week you should be getting 4 eggs per day, 6 days per week.”
Mmmmm I replied. All I’m getting is poop, but the hens are very entertaining and I’ve started writing a blog.
There was an awkward silence.
Well says he. Change that feed and within a week things should be different.
I did suggest to a farming relation recently that my new hens weren’t laying. He advised me to wring their necks and get ducks. The fact that they have names and personalities matters not to someone who sees their animals wearing pound signs rather than name tags.
Let’s change the food and wait and see. Maybe this time next week I’ll be up to my uxters (armpits) in eggs. What a lovely thought! My new Michel Roux Eggs recipe book lies expectantly waiting to be used.
On a different tack, Apollo has developed a taste for diamonds. Every time I am in the coop she heads straight for my rings with a sparkle in her eye. A girl after my own heart!

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