Bantam crying wolf

We’ve been sowing seeds in the greenhouse this week, which is always a cheering and hopeful thing.  Though I have made the fairly momentous-feeling decision not to use the big greenhouse for plants any more.  It’s 40 foot long by 14 foot wide, it’s very old and the wood base is not in good condition at all, so the glass tends to slide gently down and leave a gap at the top – there aren’t too many panes that have done that, but a few.  And the strimmer has thrown up stones and broken two panes and – well, in short, I don’t really need the space, I’ve got the 30 foot by 12 foot one and I’m going to get a roll of fruit cage netting to cover the whole greenhouse, construct (not me personally, I’ll get it done) a covered path from the chicken run to the greenhouse and let the bantams use it.  I am not sure if I’ll let them range completely free again, but not while I still have the cock.  I’m afraid his days may well be numbered.  All those chicks in the past eight months or so, 42 in total, have broken my spirit.  I can’t bear it again.  Apart from the nuisance of feeding several coopsful of chicks and having to move the coops on to fresh ground every few days, I’ve then had to get the cockerels disposed of when they’re a few months old, and it’s made me unhappy.  Eleven more hatching on the 1st February was the last straw.

One of the bantams has been poorly for the last few days.  Roses sent me a message, when I was down at LT’s house, to tell me so, and we thought she was probably going to die in the night – but she didn’t and was still ambling around, looking rather sorry for herself, when I got home.  The next day, she was lying on her side, moving her head feebly.  I was going to go and pick her up, but when I turned round from feeding the cats, she was up and about again.  Today, she was lying immobile and one of the brown hens was standing by her, and I thought she was dead – but again, when I got back from feeding the cats she was up and about again.

Clearly, I know nothing about nothing, as we say in Norfolk.

Anyway, more seeds to be sown tomorrow.  I love growing plants from seed. LT and I were completely happy, pottering about getting muddy.

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