It’s still all about Wink’s move and chickens around here.
All the chickens went to bed together and yesterday was fine. Today, I discovered that three girls were out. I knew they hadn’t slipped past me and I knew Mary had been in yesterday, so there must have been a gap they’d found. It took me a while to work it out, but I did in the end. There’s a little space, quite high up – more than a metre – which Rummy used to use. He’d come in with me, wait for rats and, when he wanted to leave, there was a small gap between the netting and the door frame that he could slip through. At the time, the chickens couldn’t get to it but it seems that they’ve worked out a way.
I left them. I didn’t feed them, I wanted them to want to come home. This afternoon, I went down about 15 minutes after sunset and one chicken was waiting outside. I let her in, fed the barn cats and looked about. One young and nervous pullet had roosted inside the (now open at the front, but covered over) old chicken run. I ambled in there and sidled towards her. When she finally started clucking in fright, I dived at her and grabbed. I’d aimed right and got her. So she was put indoors safely.
Mary was still out and I thought I’d have to leave her. A single chicken is unhappy and wants to rejoin the flock, so there was a hope. But, on my way back to the house, I noticed her squatting on the roof of the toolshed. It’s not a very high shed, so I fetched a bamboo pole, hoping to chivvy her down towards me. She retreated onto the wall instead and then into the field. But that was still all right. I went round the other way, rather than frighten her by following, opened the greenhouse door and encouraged her towards it. Once she was in, I covered over the gap in the netting with a random spare door and we’ll put in some staples tomorrow to block it off.
Wink has been unpacking and putting things away. About 8 or 10 boxes have been emptied. The drawing room is looking good and the kitchen is much less cluttered. The hall will come next. She’s coming in here for meals, apart from breakfast, at present so that she has as little as possible to bother about other than moving in. Tonight we had an Old Hall Farm takeaway and we’re going to their restaurant for Sunday lunch – so we’re all relaxing and taking a break.