Unfortunately the Spring weather also started the inevitable battles between the two cockerels remaining from last years hatch and the confinement to the run escalated the problem. This meant that the Faverolle boy was dispatched, with hubby learning the broom method from me as an 8 month bump gets in the way somewhat.
The ladies are actually coping with confinement very well. The only time they were “imprisoned” before they screeched at the fencing and generally made so much fuss I gave in and let them have all the garden back. I’m guessing the fact the ex-barns are getting on a bit means they are happy in a smaller run, as long as they get their daily treats and dust baths of course.
The run itself was built to keep the chickens in and not Mr Fox out. Although we do have foxes around here (in fact it is best to assume that in rural and urban areas alike a fox wont be too far away) we opt for getting them locked up before dusk and a little later in the mornings to avoid the main fox attack times as opposed to full fox proofing of the garden.
The fact that it was made just to keep the ladies in meant we were able to use up all the various weld mesh mesh we had lying around of different thicknesses. The result is a slightly higgledy-piggledy run, with a fair few cable ties thrown along the joins, but a functional run nonetheless.
The lawn needs a little while to green up and a few spots may need going over with grass seed again once it is established, but I am overall very happy with the progress and looking forwards to the summer sun with a nice green lawn and also the chickens not managing to get at my potatoes/tomatoes/plants quite as easily.
I’ve been making a start on the seedlings and this year have made the sensible choice of one for me one the ducks/chooks when it comes to tomatoes and lettuces! The ducks in particular love fresh chopped tomatoes and it is an excellent way on enticing any flighty bird to you for a fuss.
The chickens are fond of whole lettuce or cabbage heads to peck at so am making sure they will have plenty too, and with them being confined to a run it is a very good idea to add extra greens as well as items to keep them entertained to avoid any aggression problems through boredom.
With the baby soon to arrive there wont be any hatching this year here, although we are going to get two new point of lay girls to add to the chicken flock as we are only getting an egg every few days between them due to the oaps’ age, the legbar girl Meep-Meep only laying 2-3 a week and the little deformed Orpington girl Cheesy Poof struggling to lay with her hip displacement. I’m thinking of hybrids and am going to make sure I take a set amount of money to stop my two new ladies quickly turning into more!