Free ranging

The four young pullets were three months old on Sunday and they’ve been hankering for an excursion into the big wild world, so I opened the door of their run and let them out. They are rather sweet, nervous little girls who don’t squabble with each other for food, but just help themselves to the plenty that’s offered, so they were wary about going out. I sprinkled a handful of dried mealworms, which encouraged them. Later, I looked again and they were pottering about happily and, later again, the other chickens were with them and there was no bullying going on. So this seems to have been a smooth transition to the grown-up free-range world and, in a few weeks, I expect they’ll join the others in the hen house at night. They are, at present, very biddable and go back into their coop when I guide them.

The younger chicks, who hatched on 31st July, are also impatient to get out, but they’re too young. With the predators we have about here, I can’t take the risk. So I give them handfuls of grass and scraps from the kitchen as well as their own food, and they’re doing all right. Of the five, I’m sure that two are girls but don’t know about the others. They may well be cocks, but they don’t square up to each other and bicker, so I won’t come to any conclusions yet, until they start to crow or they don’t. The other ones were accosting each other from a few weeks old but, just as Canasta and Scrabble, their mothers, have different personalities, so do they.

Indoors, we’ve been putting together a cabinet to hold drinking glasses. In the dining room, there’s an alcove that used to house a cupboard staircase until 1928. It’s not used except to hold a small corner cupboard with Russell’s collection of Goss china. I’ve been looking for a shallow cupboard for quite some time, but haven’t been able to find what we needed. Display cabinets for small collectables seemed to be promising but the glass fronted ones were too shallow and I just couldn’t find the right thing. Finally, it occurred to me that a CD cabinet might fit the bill, and that’s what we now have. It isn’t glass fronted, but that was not possible to find, and the shelves are completely adjustable. Of course, the cat will jump up there if she has a chance, but I’ve found a suitable curtain – there are advantages to having a lumbar room – and we can put that up to stop her doing so.

We’ve also finished the catalogue for the next auction and that will go on the website and be posted out within the next week. So progress is gradually being made. I still have sleepless nights about personal admin and so on, but I may manage to get through all that too, one of these days.

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