Things have been quiet and routine, which suits me fine. Losing Bob was drama enough to last me a long while. I’ve still not worked out how Chocky and Queen Charlie keep escaping the big run. I’ve gone round it looking but can’t see a hole. If I’m near they stay in the run but if I’m not, I come back to find them out and about, happily kicking the mulch from the border onto the path and making a fine old mess.
Charlie’s no problem, she just comes running to me and is content to sit quietly in my arms as I stroke her and tell her off in a very gentle tone. Chocky however pretends to ignore me until I get too near whereupon she runs off with great glee. Still, she can’t resist the corn bowl trick and follows it back into the run.
They do keep me laughing, though. They were out in the big run whilst I cleaned out the coop which I’ve got down to a fine art now. I hung them a cabbage in the secure run so they came running but were on the wrong side of the wire. You could almost see the gears turning in their heads and eventually they clicked that they needed to come round and through the door.
But there was a snag, They’d get a few feet along and realise they were moving away from the cabbage, turn around and run back. Then they’d start back for the door, get halfway and run back to the cabbage.
After ten minutes of watching this performance, I took pity on them and did my pied piper trick with the corn bowl to get them back into the secure run where the cabbage was hanging.
With the weather being so changeable and quite rough at times they’re spending more time in the sheltered secure run than I’d wish for them. It does have a roof and windbreaks though. The Charlies really don’t have the sense to get out of the rain and I don’t want them getting chilled.
Even with there feather duvets on, being wet in cold weather with strong winds chilling them down is risking it. Cold isn’t a problem with their fluffy feather coats but when they’re wet..
Avian Flu Update
The latest news is that a few more infected wild birds have been found but no problems with kept poultry. The Prevention Zone across England and Wales continues in force. If you come across dead birds that may have been infected, ring the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77 I’m sure they’d rather have a false report than no report
There’s a really simple guidance leaflet / poster you can print out – it’s a PDF – here. Avian Flu Protection
The best source for information is the government web page on Avian Influenza
Complying with the regulations is not difficult – please remember they apply even if you’ve only got a couple of hens in the back garden. They apply to all poultry including ducks, turkeys and geese.