Chookdown

I nearly couldn’t be bothered to do the chicken shed work today, but then I read that there was an avian flu outbreak at Attleborough and that’s closer than I would risk. It’s 16 miles by road but less as the bird flies, of course. So I put on my wellies, coat and a mask (I always wear a mask when clearing out the hen house because it gets dusty and just did the job. Today was their last day of freedom before lockdown.

I’ve been wanting to buy more coops for them to lay in, but I haven’t had much luck online. I haven’t found anything of the quality I want – this doesn’t imply anything fabulous, just durable and value for money – and I’m not in the mood to trail round shops on the off chance. So I’ve been using sturdy cardboard boxes and, when they collapse or get dirty, I just chuck them on the compost heap. But I’ve taped some together with bamboo sticks and that should make them less likely to collapse, whilst being just as disposable. This may seem a little casual, but the chickens do like the boxes.

One hen has been sitting for the past couple of weeks and protests loudly when I remove eggs from under her. She is not going to be allowed to sit on eggs. I can’t face the thought of more chicks and this is the consolation for me, for their frustration at not being allowed out any more. No laying away for the duration.

Wink’s house has been emptied, apart from a few items that she is giving away and needs until she actually leaves. She’s seeing a few friends before her final departure and is due here for lunch on Wednesday. She has a bed, a dining table and chairs, a cooker, her computer and printer and that’s about it, apart from a picture she forgot to wrap, so she’ll bring it in the car. Her cleaner is coming in on Tuesday so that everything will be left immaculate. She’s left me in charge of organising where the removal men are to put everything tomorrow morning – they were driving up to Bury St Edmunds, an hour away, this afternoon.

So doors are closing and opening here at the Zedery.

3 comments on “Chookdown

  1. Glenda

    Now even the chickens on lockdown!! What an awful time. I guess all we lack are swarms of locusts and flying monkeys

    Reply
  2. Blue Witch

    Ah, I should have read here yesterday – I only read about the hen confinement by chance this morning.

    Do you have a hen house with perches or are you using just carboard boxes? I’m now wondering whether cardboard boxes might be a better idea for a while as ours will have to go in half the new greenhouse, and the current hen house (which is one of those huge Keter plastic boxes for storing outdoor cushions etc, that Mr BW made a metal stand, a ladder and a door for – much better than an Eglu, or wooden ones as it can’t harbour red mite) is quite large. They might not like not having perches though. Mr BW has just been out to get some bales of horse bedding wood chip for covering the concrete floor.

    We used to use those plastic ‘dalek’ compost bins for young hens – with a wooden perch put in. But, all our daleks are now full of compost as it’s too cold to just have wooden compost heaps as we used to.

    Reply
  3. Z Post author

    Unfortunately, avian flu has had outbreaks every winter for the last few years. It’s just miserable – just want to keep my girls safe. The thought of having to have them all culled is awful.

    Blue Witch, I have perches too. They do like perches, I’m not sure they’d be happy without. If you use cardboard boxes as coops, it is a good idea to strengthen them as a couple of hens sitting on top will buckle them quite soon. And once the tops get dirty (they’re underneath the perches) they can just be chucked. I put a newspaper on top so that can be removed and replaced a few times – I’m lazy and take the easy option!

    Reply

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