Friday, 9 July 2010

Too Hot to handle

It's too hot.

My house is cool inside, and so I like to stay in, in the kitchen, if possible. 

The poor hens have been finding it too hot as well.  Lots of panting, and sitting with their wings open, as if they had sweaty armpits. (Wingpits?)

The Garden Girls are very fortunate to have lots of hedging to hide under,  and also a couple of large shady shrubs and a tree. They are still finding it uncomfortable.  I let them into the fruit cage today,  and they explored enthusiastucally for a while, but they returned ot sitting under something.  I gave them some hunks of water melon this afternoon,  and that seemed very welcome.

With the chicks it's a bit harder.  We have a shade on their run, but with this heat it's not very effective.  We put up a tablecloth over the netting, to provide a shaded area, and they congregate under it quite a lot.   They try and land on the tablecloth, and then abseil down it.    They don't really learn from their experiences either,  and they always have a surprised look on their faces as they sliiiiiiiiide down the fabric for the umpteenth time. 

They also have obviously not read about Shared Bodily Warmth,  and don't understand that you should only huddle together when you are cold.  There is usually a heap of chicks, I'm sure I can see a heat haze rising over them.  

They didn't even try the watermelon.

We extended their netted area even further now so that they have a flower bed and fence. This gives them more opportunities to dustbathe, and the fence provides further protection from the sun.  I'm going to  soak the tablecloth shade n water as well, so that will provide extra relief.

Thank goodness that all the allotment pens have access to trees, so the birds can shelter in dappled shade.  I'll be taking the rest of the watermelon down to them tomorrow morning.

The grass is in a dreadful state.  Not specifically because of the chickens,  I can see that my neighbours back gardens are similarly parched.

Hope it rains soon!

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