Saturday, 1 October 2011


Took the opportunity to not only scrub the Cube clean in today's sunshine, but sprayed with Poultry Shield as a preventative.  

Waited until Milly had laid her egg, then hoiked everything out. I worked as fast as I could, first power-washing the cube inside and out, then power washing the roosting bars, nest box dividers, poo trays.  Couldn't find the Ecover, so I had to use Fairy LIquid - hope I don't come to regret that. Left it all to dry in the sun while I also scrubbed out and disinfected the drinkers.

When it was nearly dry, I poultry shielded everything, and then went off to clean and disinfect one of the wild bird feeders while the disinfectant got to work.  By this time, Roobarb and Custard had decided they might want to lay, and were most disconcerted to find the nest box had no door, no wall and no roof. They complained, loudly.

Custard in particular has a loud monotone of a  screech. Roobarb's is loud, but it undulates.  It's annoying in its own right when she goes on and on,  but is very melodic compared to Custard.

I made up a temporary sheltered area for them, using rags (old tea towels) to provide two walls and a roof.  My efforts were not appreciated.  The duet of screeching increased in volume, reaching a crescendo which nearly had me shouting at them.  I may have had a little shout actually.   I walked off and left them to it.

They didn't stop.

Milly started.  I looked her square in the beak and asked her what she was complaining about, as she had already laid her egg.  She squawrked a bit more, turned on her heels (well, if she had heels she would have turned on them) and stomped off, in that clockwork-chicken way that Aardman captured so well in "Chicken Run".

I carried on with other things. Ungrateful girls!  I cut down a rather large branch of a very large shrub.  It had caught me  one time too many, when I was hot and bothered and carrying the pressure washer over the netting and up to the Cube. What made it one-time-too-many is that today I had been wearing a tee shirt so I now have rents across my bingo wings.    Perhaps fortunately, I couldn't get to the chainsaw in the shed,  so I resorted to using a very large pruning saw.  It took a while, but the shrub is now considerably smaller and it won't be catching my arms in the near future. Ha.

I went to the Cube and dried it as best as I could with the rags.  It still wasn't dry enough to finish, so I left it open in the sun.

I put the pressure washer away, filled a tubtrug with Aubiose, found the louse powder and the diatom puffer;   I put the hose away.  Every time I went near the Run, R&C wailed at me.

In the end, I could stand it no more.  I put the nest box back together,  puffed with diatom, and put some Aubiose in. The Girls climbed the ladder.    I quickly put in the poo trays, lined them with Aubiose and put the roosting bars in position.  Back on, roof back in place, shut it up, walked away.

Hope it's dry enough.

The Girls are in there now.

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