Friday, 30 November 2012

Decluttering, yet again

Yet again, I am attempting to declutter.

I managed to find the box for my old Kindle today, so I listed it on Ebay.  And then I listed this and then I listed that. Then DH found the box for his Kobo, so I listed that as well.

I made a pile of stuff for the charity shop.  It had been in a pile before, but the pile had got submerged beneath bits of tat, boxes that could be used for Ebaying,  stuff that might be worth selling...

I realised that I was not likely to drag the lovely office chair all the way to the charity shop, so I put it on Freegle (ex Freecycle).   Not worth trying to sell on Ebay, it would be collection only and they go for peanuts.

I had a number of responses within moments of listing.  The usual range.  Blank emails.  Text speak emails.   And a few reasonable ones.    I like to wait until the Daily Digest goes out though... I find I get enough of those,  I can't imagine getting every message as soon as it's posted!

I've got a couple more items to list, and I'll get them done tomorrow.  And then I'm doing a charity shop trip.  And then maybe we will be able to get into the spare bedroom without having to shuffle everything around first. 


Too cold for sourdough

A week ago I decided to create a new sourdough starter. Shamelfully I had let my previous one (and the one before that) die of neglect, and I've been meaning to start a new one for, oh, at least a year.

I bought Dan Lepard's breadmaking book.  Actually, it started because I was tempted by a mailshot from Bakery Bits to buy a cloche thing for baking sourdough. It traps the steam in, rather than me spraying water in the overn or putting a tray of water in.  It sounded like a good idea, I was hungry at the time, and I really fancied some sourdough.

So, I ordered the cloche thing.  And they were promoting Dan Lepard's book. I've looked at his book before,  but I already have too many cookery books, and I have at least one other bread bible.   I must have been feeling low or something, because I bought it anyway.

And so I followed his recipe for a sourdough starter.  Mine isn't going as well as it should.  I know that this is (a) because I somehow managed to use precariously heaped teaspoons of flour each day, instead of the rounded teaspoons instructed; and it's a bit cold. Certainly colder than 20 degrees C.

So, I've given it a bit more water today,  and I'm leaving it for another day to see if it improves. 

Of course if Dan hadn't helpfully provided detailed pictures, I wouldn't know how ar behind my starter is.  Never mind.

I might have to make a quick-and-dirty-overnight-leaven loaf in the meantime.  I'm just tasting that crunch as I type.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


It' looks like s a gorgeous day outside, sun is shining, and standing here by my lapt it could be summer.

Outside though, it is bitter. 

I'm off to see the allotment chickens in a moment. Its so cold I think I need to wear that scarfey balaclava thing that I bought last week.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Stuck in a rut

I try to watch the Girls bedtime routine, via camera, to see what the Littlees are up against.  There is a very established bedtime routine, which is fine as long as everyone does what they are expected to do, when they are expected to do it.

Bedtime normally starts when Milly, the oldest and most spiteful hen, goes to bed.  She's followed by Custard, who spends ages on the ladder before she goes in.   Next we have Florence.   During this time, Roobarb strolls around, and then sits on the doorway into their T of their run, brushing her teeth.  She spends ages doing this.

Once the three hags have gone in,  Tilda, my special needs chook, emerges from her hiding place,  has something to eat.   Roobarb eventually says goodnight and hops up the ladder and straight in.  At this point, Tilda  brushes her teeth, and then climbs the ladder herself.  Sometimes the old witches let her in, sometimes they make her stand there at the top of the ladder,  until she can't stand it any more and rushes in. 

Since the Littlees tried to go in a week or so ago, the bedtime routine has been starting later and later and later.   Presumably the Big Girls are stringing it out so that the Littlees have to cut their losses and go in their own Cube.

Tonight was ridiculous.  Milly seemed oblivious to the falling dusk.  Custard and Florence circled round the bottom of the ladder, seemingly desperate to go to bed.  But Milly wasn't ready. And if Milly doesn't go, no one goes.

Today the Littlees went to bed, in their Cube, before  Milly.   

I suspect that was rather the point.


Tilda (my special needs chook), Florence (Australorp), Custard (Sasso, Tilda's bully of a sister) and Milly (super spiteful Cream Legbar) are all moulting.   

Tilda has been moulting for months.  Florence has been moulting for several weeks, and looks like she's wearing a moth-eaten fur coat, which has seen better days.  Milly has onluy recently joined the ranks of the deplumed, and at the moment it's mainly showing on her head.

Roobarb, sensible girl that she is, completed her moult ages ago. 

I've been feeding them all extra protein, to help with the refeathering.  I had an Ocado delivery the other da, and I let a stack of tuna in spring water fall into my  virtual trolley.. and I opened a can for the Girls today.

I split it into two bowls. One small bowl for Tilda, who has trouble in the scrum even when she is at her peak,  and the rest for the others to "share".   I don't put it on the ground, I hold it, and offer it round.  Florence, who possibly needs it more than most, has  a neck like a giraffe; she seems to be able to contort hersef so that wherever the bowl is, it's within reach of her beak.  The others aren't so flexible.

The LIttlees used to miss out a bit on these occasions, as they like to spend a moment inspecting potential food before they nibble it.  By the time they would decide to give it a go,  it would be gone.

I've noticed that in the last couple of days they tend to join in the scrum a bit more.  Poppy, who is half Australorp, gets away with it because  with a sideways glance she looks a bit like Florence.   Lotti doesn't get away with it at all,  but she still manages to get her beak in and grab a piece.

They all seemed to relish the tuna.   No surprise really.

We had some mummy cuddles today.  Lotti on one arm,  Poppymanaging to get up on the other.  Gorgeous girls.   Tilda consented to a quick cuddle.  No chance with the rest.

Progress of a sort

The Littlees are still going to bed in their Cube and, each evening when it is fully dark, I go out and transfer them into the Big Girls Cube.

They've moved out of the nestbox now and on to the roosting bars, so I guess it's progress of a sort.

Of course it may be an attempt to thwart my efforts at moving them. Poppy (Australorp x Indian Game) has been trying to sit towards the front of the Cube.... which is hard to access through the roof.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Last NIght...

...the Littlees went into their own coop.

I moved them into the Big Girls coop when it was very dark.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cocky chap

I was busy checking feeders at the allotment today, when I heard a chicken outside our Aras-fenced plot.  I looked up, and saw a black and white cockerel running up and down and bokking excitedly. It was Spike (Lotti's brother, an Exchequer Leghorn).

I ran as fast as I could and shut the door, and then did a head count of the remaining youngsters. Only Spike had escaped.

Spike didn't want to come and eat corn from my hand, thank you very much.  Nor did he want to be caught. He was having far too much fun being on the outside, and shouting for his pals to come and see what he was doing.

Now, I know from experience, that there is no point in running after a Leghorn.  They are speedier than Speedy Gonzales,  run faster than Roadrunner,  and are slipperier than a snake.  So, I walked behind Spike as he circumnavigated the Allotment. 

Fortunately, he followed the fencing, rather than making a break for the expanse of other allotments. 

We eventually got back to the door, which of course I'd shut,  and he stopped.  He couldn't get in, so he started his circumnavigation again...except this time, he was on the inside of the electric fence.  I did the fencing up, do he wouldn't be able to get out - worst case would be we sent the day going round the fencing together until someone came who could walk the opposite direction for me.

I then managed to get past him, and made him turn round.... back past the door.

I then opened the door so that it blocked that route,  ran past him, turned him back,  and he happily hopped back on to the plot.   What a relief!

He was rewarded with a big peck on the head from one of the smaller females.

My own fault for letting them out on to the grass outside through the door the other day.  I normally make them go through the shed,   or carry them out, but I had been short of time....  and I had reasoned that the Boys would be in their own Cockerel Corral within a day or two, so wouldn't be able to get to the door anyway.     

The door had got caught on the electric fencing, and I hadn't checked it was closed.  Obviously I will be checking carefully from now on.

What happened next


Eventually, Milly (superb*tchy hen) went to bed, followed by Custard (superbully).  The Littlees hung around.  

Florence went up next.    Roobarb moved out of the way, and stood so her back was to the ladder, and so she was not in between the Littlees and the ladder.    She stood patiently for a long time, as though she wasn't paying attention to what was happening behind her.

Lotti ran up the ladder, which is no mean feat when you have one screwed up foot.  She tried, and tried and tried to get in, but whoever was in the doorway was having none of it.  She flew off the ladder, and Poppy tried. And failed.

I could see on the camera that the door was partially shut,  so I ran out and whipped it open.  Poppy and Lotti tried again, and were again rebuffed.  They went into their own run. 

Roobarb turned round, and went up the ladder.

The Tilda, my special needs chicken, went up the ladder. And the horrible chicken at the top (not sure who it was) wouldn't let her in either.  Then Tilda made a lunge for it and was in. 

Somehow I missed what happened next.  I got the camera to pan, but I couldn't see the Littlees.  

When it was properly dark, I went outside and had a peep in their Cube. Empty.

I opened the roof of the Big Girls (BGs) cube....and there they were. The two of them in one half of the nest box.

Wonder what will happen this evening?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chickens Revenge

So, tonight - nohen is going to bed.
It's dusk, all 5 Big Girls are hanging around at the bottom of their ladder. No one is going up.

They are blockading from the bottom.

That will teach me

Last night we had the now usual dilemma.  Lotti and Poppy hanging around at the bottom of the Big Girls (BGs) ladder...then going back to their own Cube.

However, yesterday they went up their ladder and back down again,  and hung around again at the BGs ladder.  

I crept out into the dusk, and cruelly shut their pop hole.

When they tried to get in again, it was closed.... and they had to go in with the BGs.  

Didn't they?  No.  They didn't.

They stood at the top of the ladder, trying desperately to get the door to open. They were getting stressed.

So, I went out again into the icy dusk, whipped open the BG's Cube roof, shone torch through, and called them.  The BGs weren't too happy. I leaned in, and held my arm against Florence, Roobarb and Milly to push them out of the doorway and to stop them blockading.

Custard, who had been dozing in one half of the separated nest box, started to move. I shouted for my DH to come and help.  He did, but he's a bit slow and by the time he got there, Roobarb was down the ladder and I was desperately trying to restrain two sets of hens and hold a torch.

What followed was an epic pantomime.  Milly broke free and charged down the ladder.  The Littlees, in panic, ran back to their own run. It was getting dark, and the chooks can't see very well.   My torch ran out.  I went back to the house to get a replacement.

I billed and cooed and coaxed, and eventually Lotti managed to find me, and the followed DH's torchlight up into the Cube.  Milly and Roobarb didn't know what was going on.  Poppy, now on her own, was batting desperately atthe closed coop door.  Eventually, she flew down, and then hopped up onto the Cube wheel.

DH continued to try and coax Milly and Roobarb back up the steps.  I went round to the back of the LG's cube, opened the door (thank goodness we put doors in all over the place), intending to try and coax Poppy to come to me so I could carry her back round into the main run.  She fled.  I locked the door, and ran round into the run.

Several hours later, or so it seemed,  Poppy mounted the BGs ladder, and managed to get in to the Cube. We shut everything up, and left them to it.  We re-opened the LGs pop hole, just in case there were midnight shenanigans and the littlees needed somewhere to go.


This morning, everyone was grumpy.  Lotti was chattering away to me, obviously very wound up. She followed me everywhere, chattering away loudly.    Poppy hid under a bush and wouldn't come out.  Later, I saw Milly actually peck Lotti, and then actively chase her. I haven't seen her do that with such venom for a long time.

I've decided that forcing it was a Big Mistake.   Tonight, we'll let them go to bed where they want, and then manually move them in together if they choose separate coops.   The BGs seem to understand that being airlifted in is beyond the LGs control, and does not represent them making a stab at snatching power. 

I do know they are only chickens.  But the pattern that gets set now is one that will stick, and I don't want to cause aggro where it can be avoided.

Bless 'em.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Nerves Wracked

I watched the chooks on the canera at dusk.

The big Girls queued up, doing their beauty routines, rinsing their mouths, the usual. One by one, with a gap in between, they climbed the wooden (well, pastic) stairs to Sleep Street.  As the 3rd hen, FLorence, was waiying at the top of the steps,  Poppy took herself up to bed in the other run.  Oh no!

She came out again and stood at the top of the ladder. Lotti was on the gournd and they were obviously having a discussion.  Then, she flew down, and they joined the queue.

Tilda went in, number 5. And then I couldn't see the Littlees. Either they went in very quickly after Tilda, which seems unlikely, or they snucj back round and went into their own.

I'll jabe to wait until it's properly dark to go and check.

Boys and Girls

DH mentioned that some of the boys are cock a doodling,  and one of the boys started sidling up to him on Thursday.  They were 19 weeks old on Thursday, so it isn't surprising.   

We don't want to separate the boys and girls until we have to, partly because we still aren't entirely sure about some of the chooks.  However, this strategy means that we may have to separate them in a hurry,  so I wanted to make sure that everything was ready.

We discussed whether to keep the Girls in their current pen, meaning we had 3 separate pens, or whether to let the Girls merge with the Big Girls.  I had originally thought we'd have 3 pens, but I had also assumed that we would be doing the separating at 14-16 weeks, when the Little Girls would be too immature to be mixing with the Big Girls.  At 19 weeks they aren't exactly mature,  but it might be best to get all the upheaval over with.  They will keep their current coops,  we'll just remove the fence which currently divides the two flocks.   The area is big enough that everyone should be able to keep out of everyone else's way; there are at least 6 Girls (maybe more, as I said there are a couple we aren't sure about) to be introduced to our 7 existing,   so that should even out the bullying.

So, today,  DH enlarged the area that will be the cockels' pen.  While he did that, I rigged up a temporary grazing area outside our allotment,  and caught 8 chickens and put them out.  I then got on with the mucking out etc,  and then I swapped the 8 grazing for the other 8.   It was a good way to also take a look at each chook, checking it was healthy, seeing what its temperament was like.

Much later,  we turned the coop around ready,  and we started to put up some of that roll-up fencing stuff along sides which face onto the Girls pen. The idea is to provide a visual barrier between the cockerels and the hens (not great, what it really needs is blackout material).   We also created a no-hens-land with some moveable netting, to further separate things.  We need to get some very large stakes to support some of the fencing,  so we couldn't finish.

Once this was done, we were watching the Littlees, trying to see if we could sex the few we aren't sure about, and we saw one of the boys jump one of the girls.    So, that's it then.  Once one starts, they all get the idea.

Tomorrow we will finish the work and put all the definitely boys in the cockerel pen,   and take out the separation between the two Girly pens.  And then we'll keep an eye on the unsures and move them as we can.

I cried a bit on the way home,  because separating the boys means that we will soon have to start culling them.    A couple are a good weight already, but the two that are, are (currently) quite docile., soft things    Ideally we want to take out any aggressive boys first.  I reminded myself that this was the whole point, that they have had a good free range life, blah blah blah....   And if we hadn't hatched them, we wouldn't have ended up with Lotti and Poppy in the garden.      I know I'll get over it, but it is hard.

Oh dear

Last night, as soon as it was properly  dark, I went out to move the Littlees from their Cube into the Big Girls cube.  Head torch on, down the garden, louse powder in hand.

I stood behind the two cubes. Couldn't hear anything.  I opened the Littles egg port (they sleep in the nest box), and saw a lonely Poppy sitting in the corner. 

I opened the roof on the Big Girls' cuve, and slid the roof forward.  Lotti was sitting in one half of the divided nest box.  

I had noticed that Poppy tends to go to bed in front of Lotti.  She must have gone to bed expecting Lotti to follow her in..only she hadn't.   Poor Poppy.

Itransferred her into the other Cbe, pustting her in the nest box with Lotti.  I shone the torch on them for a few seconds so they could sort themselves out, but that made the Big Girls start to chunder.  I shut the roof, shut the other egg port, shutt off the torich and stood there in the pitch black listening.

A few squeaks. Then silence.  Then a really loud "ow" as I managed to get whipped across the face by a climbing rose (or it might have been a bit of the pear tree,  they are interlinked).

Let's see what tonight brings.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


We were out for most of yesterday. We left the Girls with several cabbages,  a couple o fappleas, and 4 hanging treats.  We weren't back before chooky bedtime.

As soon as we got home, we checked on the Girls, and manually moved the two LIttlees into the Big Girls (BGs) coop.

Tonight, I thought that the Littlees would try to go in by themselves, They were hanging around in the Cube run attached to the BGs coop. They hung around for a long time... but didn't try and get on the ladder.  And then Poppy just walked back into the Cube run attached to their coop, jumped on the ladder and went to bed.  Lotti followed.

So, I'll manually move them over again tonight.  Tomorrow I might try closing the pop hole to "force" them to run the gauntlet of the BGs coop.

I should probably have called this post impatience.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012



A couple of days ago, I had tried making apple sauce in the Vitamix.  I blended it on very high, and ended up with a smooth pulp that reminded me of the Heinz Apples baby food from my childhood.  I decided to make a lot more, and do a combination of canning some and turning a lot into fruit leather.

The day I decided to do it, it was a bit late to start  the dehydrator.  I the meantime I read the maual, and learned that I should only have been using a procesing speed of no more than 5. Good job I checked before going through a crate of apples.

Yesterday I was working and ran out of time. So, I started today,  Washed the first batch of apples, quartered them, cut out a small part of the core, and started to process them o a low speed, gradually oving up to 5.  I even remembered to puti a teaspoon of lemon juice.   

There was a lot of apple at the top of the container, which my tamper just wouldn't reach. I wiggled and woggled it, to no avail. Then the lid popped off.  As I wasn't delaing with liquid, I didn't suffer the cartoon-like deluge that normally happens. But I did realise that I could push the apples down now.....

...CRACK! ...

Oh s**t I've broken the blender, I thought.  But no, the blades were still whirring away.  There was chopped apple all over the workstop.  What had happened?

And then  I saw the end of the tamper. Or rather, where the end of the tamper used to be.

What a stupid woman!  

The whole design of the lid and the tamper is to prevent the tamper coming into contact with the blades.  I fished out the bog bits of tamper, but I could see that there were still bits missing.  I had to assugn the jug contents to the compost heap. What a waste.

At least I know that tampers aren't that expensive.   I went online to order one.  10-15 days delivery (seriously?  What sort of crap service is that?!).     I then thought that I could get a smaller wet jug which comes with a tamper - the tampers are, alledgedly, the same.  I had been considering getting the small jug, but it seemed such an expensive outlay. Mind you, I'm about to outlay for a tamper, so if I am going to get one, now would be the time.  I have a Lakeland fairly close by, so I could be back in business by this afternoon.    Or  I could order online and pay for next day delivery.    

Out of stock.

In the end, John Lewis had them in stock, and they do next-day-to-store delivery.  I also have a substantial John Lewis voucher, so the additional outlay isn't anywhere near as awful as it could have been.   Well, that's what I'm telling myself.

Stupid woman.

They survived

They survived the night, and this morning. When I let them out I did a quick inspection for wounds and found none.

Tilda isn't a happy bunny. She wouldn't come over to me, and sat clucking mournfully at the back of one o fthe Cube runs.  I'll get her in later and give her a treat. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Done and Dusted

I followed Sarah's suggestion, giving them all a dusting of louse powder so they all smelled the same.

I started by opening the nestbox and shaking powder over Custard who was, up to that point, dozing quietly in one side of the nestbox (we have a home made partition in our Cube nestbox).  She burbled and sneezed.

Tilda, who is bottom of the 5 Big Girls and, understandably, does not want to be bottom of 7 was perched on the other side of the nestbox with her bottom overhanging the next box and her front overhanging the roosting bars.  I dusted her next, and she complained loudly.

I wrenched open the roof - surprising how loud it is in the dark - and aimed some powder at Poppy. Lotti ran off.  I couldn't reach the others with the tub, so I poured some out into my hand (top marks for foresight, I was wearing a head torch) and then fuffled the feathers of Florence, Roobarb and Milly.  They all got up and moved to the pop hole.  I caught Lotti and dusted her.

There was a lot of squeaking and chuntering. I shut the roof quickly and turned off the light.  A bit of scrabbling.  Then silence.

Fingers crossed.

The Littlees were in the back corner.   Hope there isn't trouble in the morning, as they won't be able to get out past the three that were fighting to sit in the pop hole doorway.

Maybe I'll get up before it gets light.  Maybe.  Good intentions, and all that.

Watch this space.

Having doubts

The Littlees didn't even try to go in the Big Girls coop today.  I felt sad for them.

When it was dark,  I went out and moved them into the Big Girls Coop.  Tilda wasn't happy, and tried to peck Lotti repeatedly.  I pushed Tilda into the nestbox, and snapped off the torch. I waited outside to see if I could hear anything.   I couldn't.

I'm now inside the house, and regretting what I've done.   I should have left them to do it in their own time.

Maybe I should go out and separate them again.

Or would that make it worse?

Wish I hadn't done anything.Will leave it for an hour and then decide what to do.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

They tried

There was a noisy kerfuffle in the hen pen this evening.  I looked at the camera and I could see that the Littlees were pacing up and down, as if they wanted to get out the front door.

A few minutes later, I checked again. It was dusk and it was hard to see, but what I could see was Lotti and Poppy on the ladder trying to get in to the Big Girls coop.  They were rebuffed.  They tried again. They were rebuffed again.

Then they gave up and went into their own coop.

I considered waiting until dark and then moving them in myself.  However, DH and I agreed that we'd wait a couple of days (weather permitting) to see if they can get in by themselves.


Bloody cats

Sorry for swearing.

We have two gorgeous cats,  boy and a girl, littermates, who are the most gorgeous, friendly, affectionate cats ever. Well, with us. With others, not so much.

Washburn, who was the runt of the litter, grew up to be a lean mean hunting machine.  Isabel, who has extra fingers and toes, grew up to be a big fat hunting machine.

They sometimes, to my sincere regret, bring home birds, but that is quite unusual.  They do catch a lot of rodents, usually mice or similar, sometimes those larger rodents that we tend to refer to as "Big Mice".

They seem to have found a new mouse nest recently, as we've had quite a few.  We've rescued many; sometimes we are too late.   We (by "we", I mean of course DH) get out of be bed in the middle of the night to rescue a victim which is causing the cats to run riot over the solid floors.  We (see above) pad out into the darkness, down to the bottom of the garden, and release the little furry creatures over the fence.   Sometimes they are back again in the morning, either beautifully presented as gifts, or  the remains discarded.

 The other morning I came down in the dark to open the back door to go out and let the chooks out. I managed to tread on and squash an offering.  I didn't see it, I hadn't turned the light on.  Thank goodness I had bothered to put my slippies on.  That was possibly the worst mouse-related incident I can recall. Until today.

I've been on a bit of a housework blitz.  The gorgeous bright weather has made me fling open the doors to air the house,  and to empty the floor space (mostly) so I can clean the floors properly.

Eventually I reached the bathroom.   Raymondo,  our robot vacuum, was nearly empty of charge, so I thought I'd finish him off in the bathroom.  He doesn't normally getto go in there as he can't get round the toilet pedestal or the sink pedestal (will design it better if we ever refurb again). However, he needed discharging and had survived everything else, so I thought the bathroom was as good a place as any.

Not too much on the floor in the bathroom.   I picked up the cats water bowl.  I picked up the bath mat. 

And I found a very flat (and of course very dead) mouse.ike a cartoon splat.   It's imprinted on the back of the mat.    Yeeeeeeeurrrrrrrrrrgh.

Bloody cats.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Les Miserables

I first went to see Les Miserables in 1987 (or possibly 1988), with my then new best friend Gilly.  I found it really moving.  I went to see it 3 more times in the next few years, dragging my DH along.  I cried at every performance and he refused to go again after I started to weep quietly the moment Jean Valjean came on stage at the 4th performance.

I read the book, twice.  I cried at that too, partly because Marius' appalling behaviour to Jean Valjean upon learning of his true identity was so awful,  something not really covered in the stage version. It made me realise that I don't weep because of Fantine (Cosette's mother), or Cosette, or Marius, or Eponine.... what moves me is Jean Valjean and the sacrifice he makes at the end of the book so that his adopted daughter can be happy.

I've seen movie versions, and they don't affect me at all, so it has to be something to do with the power of the music in relation to the story.

 Every time I hear that music, I can feel myself on alert.  When I think about poor old Jean Valjean, then the tears start.  It's a bit of a liability, frankly.

And then I heard that they were making a film version of the musical (rather than a film version of the book), and I wondered whether it would be any good.  

And today I found the trailer on John Gray's Going Gently blog. I played it. I cried.  There is no hope.

I will book tickets as soon as they are available.  I will, of course, ask DH if he would like to accompany me, but I suspect the answer will be no.  I suspect he doesn't mind the story, the music is OK,  but it's just so damned embarrassing when you're sitting next to someone who has no blub control.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

ANother step

Tilda is looking better, but still not right.  She's well enoug to actively run away from me when I try to pick her up.  Of course, when I use the description "run away", when we're talking Tilda that really means "hobble away purposefully".  I could have caught her without any difficulty, but I could see that she didn't want to be picked up, thank you,   and I decided to respect her wishes.   She did come and stand by me a bit later on in the hope of some extra corn. I obliged, of course.

We cut a hole in the galvanised wire mesh which separates the Little Girls (LGs) cube run from the main covered run.  I rigged up a "door" so I could provide separation if necessary,  and I fully intended to deploy it this evening before I shut everyone in. Except I didn't.  Actually, none of the Girls seemed to notice that a doorway had magically appeared., which was quite surprising as they certainly came to watch and make a fuss while it was being done.

DH and I discussed whether we should close it this evening, so that there wouldn't be any trouble tomorrow morning.   DH was favouring the "leave it open" route; I was favouring caution.  DH said we'd hear if there was trouble, and he  would get up and sort it out.

We've been shutting the Cube door at night as it's been quite cold,  and DH has got up most mornings to let them out. (For clarification,  when I say he has got up most mornings, I mean he has got up most mornings and I have got up the rest,  not  he has got up most mornings and the girls have only been trapped in for the rest.)

Lottie flew onto my arm today even though I didn't have any corn.  I came in to get some for her.  She's such a dainty thing.     Poppy is finding it hard work to fly up now,  I have to get closer to the ground for her to get up.

Florence (Australorp) is looking very dishevelled. Her neck has moulted and she has the hedgehoggy spines of new feather shafts showing. Her tail has disappeared, and she has a few bald patches.   I'm surreptitiously feeding her rinsed tuna,  sneaking a few pieces to the poorly Tilda at the same time.

Roobarb, who had the sense to moult a little earlier,  is looking glorious.  I can't believe how much her colouring changes with each moult.  I guess she likes to ring the changes.