Thursday, 27 March 2008


Yesterday's promise of rain seemed to be holding off, and the forecast for the next 5 days was bleak. I decided to take the plunge, and clean the Cube.

First, I fenced off an area to let the Girls out into the garden, so I could block off their access to the Cube. Then, DH and I moved the Cube away to a fresh piece of grass and I started to take it apart, and swept all the bedding and nesting material into the compost bin. Then it was out with the hose and our high quality handset (I didn't really want to get the pressure washer out if I could avoid it), a bottle of Ecover washing up liquid (as I was on the grass), and a scrubbing brush.

The inside of the Cube scrubbed up very quickly. The roosting bars were a bit harder to clean, but the clever coat of varnish meant the poo came off quite easily. Then the ramp, the ladder, etc etc.

While it was all air drying, I tackled the "grass" underneath the house. All that Aubiose, scraped up and put in the - now full - compost bin. Liberal shaking of Stalosan disinfectant, light coating of Diatom (red mite powder), and then fresh Aubiose.

I got a towel to dry off the Cube, and started to put it back together. At this point, Delilah decided she wanted to lay her egg, and she was getting very agitated that her access to the Cube was blocked. Her screeching attracted Scarlett, and the two of them started throwing themselves at the barrier!

I had to work really fast to get the nesting box done and the Cube sort of back in place. I put in a different set of Roosting Bars (more about them later). Then I let Delilah go and Do Her Business while I tidied up. She took ages, but evenytually appeared in the doorway crowing loudly with the fanfare we affectionately call "Lo! I have Laid An Egge".

Once she was out of the way, I could finish the job. All three Girls decided to come and investigate, and the new roosting bars were causing quite a lot of bokking between them. My DH modified this set, providing a perch as part of it (thanks to someone on the Omlet forum for sharing a pic of their modification).

Anyway. It still hadn't started to rain, so I decided I'd do a complete refresh of the Run while I was at it. It had all been down for four weeks, it still looked (and smelt) fine, but, hey, I was in the mood. Hopes of putting the Aubiose in the compost bin were dashed when my husband pointed out how much space a bag of Aubiose takes up when its vacuum packed. I had to put it into bags, and we'll take it to the tip.

It didn't take too long, but there was a lot of it. Again with the Stalosan and the Diatom, then a new bag of Aubiose was raked everywhere. Finally, a refresh of the dustbath (ash, playsand,compost, stalosan, diatom, Aubiose), and everything was shiny!

The Girls celebrated by pooing in the Dustbath. As yesterday's Tree Vegetable was a red cabbage, the poo was bright blue.

Everything seemed fine, they were scratching about happily. But at dusk, Lydia refused to go to bed.

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