Tuesday 9 June 2009

Not so rosy in the garden

Returning from the half term heat the hens started a-laying. Scores so far: Clucky 5, Kebab 1. Kebab’s single effort was egg-shaped but it’s pushing even the little-un’s great imagination to call it an egg. Her genetically hybridified heritage (Kebab’s not the little-un) to lay virtually all year round is being most firmly rejected. She becomes more crazed daily and the bad joke about the bad korma of her name haunts me. Last night Crazy old Kebab ‘went’ for the dog. Ever courageous, the dog dived on her favourite dwarf (old bath toys now get recycled as dog toys) and instead of standing her ground both dog and Dopey went hurtling into the bushes.

Now they’ve both stopped a-laying - the chickens not the dog. Obviously. Because if the dog ever laid anything other than in my way then the whole world would know about it. Anyways, instead they are a-scratching. Fine when they confined themselves to lawn moss. Foolish me welcomed the gardening help. A flowerbed of foxgloves was their next territory. The same bed which had trouble recovering from the little-un’s weeding expo. They need a dust bath I thought, perhaps we’ll get more eggs if they are happy free-rangers. Let them have their bed! And yet, my mantra returns: give ‘em an inch and whaddayaknow? They found their way under the netting: my pathetic attempt at veggy protection. I shoo them and they find new nectar: what was once the spring bulb patch is now a mulch of mud and dust. Nowt remains under the roses. They have scratched and pecked around the newly planted sun flowers. The tallest sunflower competition has, unfortunately, fallen at the first hurdle.

Now what we need is for He-who-must-be-adored, freshly returned from boozing/working in Spain, to spend sometime, outside his office, building a mega-chicken run to stop all this free ranging malarkey. Then the chocks can recover their layabilty (wouldn’t we all like to?) before it’s time for their summer moult, during which time, apparently, there generally is no a-laying.

Hey ho for the happy life on the urban farm!

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