Friday, 3 August 2012

On my feet and on my toes

Today was Disinfecting Day at the Allotment.  I cleaned out the Big Girls coop, and sprayed it with poultry shield.  I emptied, scrubbed and disinfected the drinkers.  I emptied and scrubbed one of the two water barrels. I scrubbed and poultry shielded two sets of roosting bars, and several black trays/ I poultry-shielded the already-swept shed.   I emptied, scrubbed, disinfected the other water barrel.    I Stalosaned and Diatomed the Big Coop, and put fresh Aubiose everywhere.  I refilled the drinkers. I diatomed all the roosting bars.   I was shattered. Came hom, showered. 

Meanwhile, at home...

I cleaned out the shed floore. The chicks have been up and down the CUbe ladder all day.  DH was away.  I decided to see if the chicks put themselves to bed in the Cube. If so, I'd leave them out.     No. They rested in a heap on the floor of the run.

So, I put fresh Aubiose in the shed, and set about catching the chooks.  The first 8 were easy. They all came to eat Garvo.  The next 6 were not to bad.  The next 2 were harder.  Doors in multiple places is only any good if you have someone to man the door.  The last but one was a bit of a toughie.  The last one, one of the Exchequers, was a nightmare.

She ended up escaping, and ran round and round the Cube run. I couldn't catch her.  She squeezed through some trellis and into the fruit bed.  She ran past the cat, several times (well done Wash for not responding to the provocation). I staked out netting, and walked her towards it. She got underneath it. 

After about 20 minutes of walking after her, I was wondering what on earth I was going to do.  We were in the fruit bed for the second time. I thought about getting out the chicken catching net.  I wasn't sure where it was, and I was afraid I wouldn't find her again if I left her to look for it. 

She made a run for it out of the fruit bed.  I walked after her, she was heading for the Shed.  I was confident that I would be able to catch her when she got to the mesh. I was wrong.

She pushed it aside, and ran into the brooder with her brothers and sisters.

That's not the end of the story. Oh no.

I put some runner beans on to boil, a pressie from a fellow allotment holder. (DH is away, so my dinner is a big bowl of runner beans with a raspberry vinegar dressing, followed by rice pudding). While the beans were simmering, I put the Big Girls away.  Except Milly, who was refusing to remember where "home" was, for the second nigt on the trot.   I had no patience left, so I went and found the chicken net.   The Girls went ballistic,  including Milly who managed to scale the netting and escape into the Garden.   I put the net down, and tried to catch her. I only managed it because she became entangled in the netting.

I calmed her down, and put her in the Walk in Run, only to find that the others had disappeared.  Eventually I found them, hiding in the Pampas.  Clever Girls! (although that isn't the phrase I used at the time).   Tilda and Custard followed me for corn, and I popped them in the Run with Milly.  Florence and Roobarb would not move.

I came inside and ate my very mushy runner beans thinking they would walk overe to the Run door when they were ready.  I went out again, and managed to persuade Florence to leave the safety of the Pampas.  Roobarb would not be moved.

Roobarb is uncatcheable. She doesn't like being picked up.   I love her because she is a gorgeous chicken with green legs,  and she doesn't pick on Tilda.   I don't want to chase her, as I've clearly stressed her out more than enough already.  She followed my cunningly laid corn trail to the edge of the pampas, but refused to leave the safety of the fronds.  I've come back in now, to give her a bit more time to relax. 

I should perhaps explain that I can't get round the Pampas when I am inside the Girls free ranging area.  The netting on one side doesn't allow an Upright to pass.   So I can't even walk her away from her hiding place.  

I'll go out again in a few minutes and see if I can get her to move.

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