Animal crackers

We were sitting having a peaceful cup of tea when Rose knocked on the window. The cattle were out! I hastened into boots and coats and fetched a stick, but it was less trouble than it looked. When the single bullock saw me, he jumped the fence back in with his mates.

We spent a while mending the fence.

By the time everyone comes to the blog party this summer, there will be a new fence. Probably a wooden picket fence, or rather, a series of them between the brick pillars. Jonny Farmer is going to come and talk to me about it on Sunday.

Sadly, one of our young hens has been taken by a fox – probably. A few afternoons ago, I shut the hen house when they’d all gone to roost and was taken aback the next morning, when I went to feed the cats, to find the smallest white pullet in the dutch barn with the cats. She returned to the other chickens when I opened their shed, but she didn’t roost with them that night either. I’m afraid that she thought she was being clever, but she wasn’t. I haven’t seen her since. I suspect that she came down from wherever she’d roosted at first light, when foxes were still about.

This means that I only have one pullet from Scrabble’s brood, which is a pity. I feel anxious when letting them out, but they’re so much happier being out and about in the garden. They’re really happy little chickens and we love to see them pottering around.

Their greenhouse needed some running repairs the other day. When I shut the chickens in their shed, I noticed a broken pane of glass. The next day, I realised there were two broken panes and that the gate through to the field was open. Evidently, one of the bullocks – probably the same enterprising chap who fetched up in the drive this afternoon – had managed to open the gate, come through, found his way barred and kicked about a bit before returning. So LT and I put wire netting up and Wince has done more maintenance too since then. And we’ve wired the gate so that they can’t tease it open.

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