Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Rubber dub dub

Our little next door neighbour, R (aged 8 and 11/12ths), came over the other day to see the Girls. He does it quite a lot, usually under the pretext of retrieving a ball or other missile that accidentally came over the fence.

He's a lovely chap, very inquisitive, and we always try to answer his many questions. This particular day he decided it was time he held a chicken (Daisy obliged), and he wanted to go inside their walk in run. Then he wanted to crawl into the "T" part of the walk in run, which is actually 3metres of Cube Run. I said no. He was in there before I'd finished the "n..".

He crawled along, and then told me it smelt. I explained that it wasn't surprising, as the flooring had got wet when I washed the Cube, and I hadn't taken the cover off to let the air get to it. I was a bit embarrassed.

Yesterday, I decided I'd better empty the flooring out, and I cursed my laziness for not moving the Cube properly to clean it. It had saved me a fair bit of time on the day, but it was now going to take me much longer to remove all the flooring and replace it. I looked at the flooring in the main run, and thought I might put that into the "t" piece, and put fresh stuff there.

I filled up the bags with the old stuff and sprinkled Stalosan (a poultry-safe, powdered, disinfectant. I piled the old stuff into the trailer, realising that the stuff from my last main run clear out was still there, and some stuff from the time before. A trip to the Tip was needed.

I stood and looked at the bare earth under the Cube Run, and decided that now would be a good time to try rubber chippings. The "T" piece is self contained, and stuff from there cannot get into the main run. I'd been thinking about Rubber Chippings for a while, I'd been considering using it for our Allotment Birds. This would be a good test run.

It was "on sale" at B&Q, but the nearest "in stock" place was 20 miles away. Alison, at Hook Farm is 28 miles away. In the end we decided to buy from Alison, so we had to take the trailer to the Tip to empty it, and then we Trailered off to Hook.

In fact, we didn't really need the trailer. We only bought 6 bags to cover the 3m2 in that part of the run. We got back quite late, went off to do the Allotment Birds, and it was too late by the time we got back.

So this morning, I've been out there spreading the chips. I decided not to put down weed matting first. Reason for this is that parts of the run are quite shallow, and I think the Girls would easily reach down to and tear the mesh. It's also contained on all sides by slabs, so it's not like it's going ot get kicked out and lost. So I decided to try without. Worst case, it doesn't work and we've wasted some chippings - but it'll be a good test.

Not sure I really like black chippings, but I'll get used to it. Looking forward to seeing how the Girls react.

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