A rum ‘un

Rummy is a keen ratter and often asks to go into the chicken’s greenhouse, to crouch by the rat holes – and he’s caught quite a number of the blighters.  But after a couple of times when we’d had to go back to let him out, he found a way out by himself and this has been puzzling us for several weeks.

This afternoon, I went down to water the other greenhouse, the one used for its intended purpose, and a black chicken was standing on a seed tray just outside.  I shooed her and, instead of stalking off as I’d expected, she crouched down.  I double-took and realised she was one of mine, not Rose’s black bantam Polly.  I picked her up and then noticed the big brown hen.  So I took the black one back to her greenhouse, the brown hen followed and so all was well, as all the other chickens were there, where they were meant to be.

LT and I searched for quite some time and we have not been able to work out how they got out.  I can only think that the door didn’t fully close, they got out and then a gust closed it – but I’m really careful and I don’t actually believe it: however, I have not found another answer.  Rummy, who had been entertaining himself chasing the barn cats (who are barely afraid of him at all now, only one still runs) came in with me and LT and I agreed we’d watch him to see where he got out again.  And LT spotted it – there are a lot of panes removed for airflow, and the gaps are covered with netting and wire; and there’s a small gap where, having jumped onto a feed bin, he can slip out.  So that’s clever of him and there’s no risk a chicken can get out of there, as long as it doesn’t get bigger.  A stoat or something could get in, but a chicken is only at risk if it’s trapped in a confined area and they’re safe on their perches in the shed.

Tim hadn’t watched as I put the chooks to bed for a while, and he was rather impressed by how good they are now.  I chuck in a few mealworms and they mostly go straight in, though there are always a couple who like to be chivvied.

In the hot weather, the plant greenhouse has to be watered twice a day and RasPutin was waiting for me this lunchtime.  So he’s had rather a lot of food today, though he’s still quite skinny.

In other news, we’ve ordered a name plate for the wall at the end of the drive.  There is the house name, but the sandstone it’s etched into has crumbled rather since 1967 and you can only read it if you already know it’s there.  This doesn’t really bother us as the entrance is easy enough to describe to potential callers, but we finally decided the time had come.  I hope it’ll be delivered in time for the blog party, in case we have newbies.  Newbies and old guard, equally welcome, as ever.

8 comments on “A rum ‘un

    1. Z Post author

      When people turn up, it’s open house – but those who arrive much before 12.30 will probably be given a job 🙂
      By the way, I’m hoping to talk chickens with you – I’m interested in buying the feeder you recommended but I still think the little Serama won’t be able to use it and I’m not confident the big ones will leave her any food, so I’m dubious. Advice would be very welcome.

  1. Blue Witch

    Just do it. The Serama will find her own way. You’ll be surprised. There’s no way the big hens will eat a bag (20kg) between them, so there will always be food available. A single large hen eats a bit over 1kg of layers pellets per week, depending what else you feed/they have access to. We fill up about once every 7-10days. Saves loads of time.

    Worst case scenario – which I can’t see – you end up with one hen to feed separately, and no rat problem. Which must be better than the current rodent situation?

    Get it now and *if* there prove to be problems, we can put our heads together to solve them on 21st.

    You’ll soon save the cost of the feeder when you’re not feeding layers pellets to rats. And let’s not think about all the diseases rats carry…

    1. Z Post author

      Can you remind me of the make?

      Where they used to be, there wasn’t really room for it, because of the shape of their run and they’d have had no access to food except when in the greenhouse. But that’s not an issue now.


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