Saturday, 23 June 2012


The Girls have been really, really noisy lately.

They start early andcontinue for most of the day, pausing briefly while they have a quick doze.

I don't know whether its
(a) the time of the year
(b)Milly and Florence, who were broody for weeks, disrupting things as they retake power
(c) the loss of the Pampas grass from their free range area
(d) no reason
(e) another reason

We wanted to rest the soil around the Pampas, and the surrounding grass.  The Girls congregate on one corner - where they can keep their beady eyes on us through the french window.     

While the area was resting,  a previously destroyed variety of Catnep flourished. The cats have been attracted to this like iron filings to a magnet.   They get up, go and have a chew,  go off and do stuff, come bac and have a chew, and then go to bed to sleep it off for a while.  Then they get up, go and have a chew, come in and eat, beg for more food, eat more catnep, then go and sleep it off.  They ignore the other, more prolific and chicken resistant variety.

It's frankly a bit embarrassing having 'Nepheads in the family.  

Anyway, back to the chooks - sort of.  I ended up buying taking two cuttings from the caatnep, I'm waiting to see if they root.  I also bought two Catnep plants,  I eventually found someone selling what I think is the correct varierty, Nepeta Cataria.  This one has white flowers (from what I remember, it's been a looong time since we've seen the plant, never mind see it flower), and big nettle-like leaves.   The other variety - ognored by our cats -  has smaller leaves, more mint-like in appearance,  and with purple flowers.

Anyway, back to the chooks, really this time.   I decided that the Girls might have had their beaks put out of joint by losing access to the Pampas.  So, while I was mowing today, I rearranged their area so that it included the Pampass,  but the fencing excluded the Nepeta.   

This was quite a challenge because the Girls always get very excited when the fence starts moving, or when the lawnmower is around. They ended up shadowing me as I was trying to move the fence,  and two of them ended up getting folded into the fence.  In the end I had to do what I should have done in the first place, and I shut them in their run.

Oh. My. Goodness.    The Noise.  The NOISE. The NOISE. They were very, very VERY agitated at being shut away when they knew they were getting new grass. 

I worked as fast as I could which, considering it involved manouevering my not-inconsiderable frame carrying an armful of fencing in between a huge overgrown rose bush and the swords of the pampas  frond, was not fast enough for the Angry Mob.   I then had to finish mowing before I could let them out.

Five grateful ladues came tearing out of the run, and straight to the sanctity of the Pampas.  There they started to dig, dustbath, rook, and perch.  

And there's no noise, apart from the occasional, gentle, bok bok bok.

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