Sunday started bright and early, the dogs dragging us from our beds with the tip tip tapping of their claws on the wooden floor of the living room, a sound that means, let us out we need to go .... NOW!!
Once up, dogs fed and walked around the paddock and us suitably wakened with coffees, and tummies fuelled with poached eggs on toast we piled into our oldest clothes and set too on our quarterly deep clean of the henhouse.
I clean it out daily moving all the poos, moulted feathers and mess, laying fresh newspaper under the roosting bars, so that they live in a clean environment, which means this big clean can be done every couple of months or so, usually with the two of us working together to speed things up.
We have been having some problems recently and dealing with them as they occurred, a small outbreak of red mite, thankfully nipped in the bud as soon as I spotted them and also Scaly Leg, which makes the chickens very uncomfortable as the scaly leg mites burrow into the scales on their legs causing them to lift and be very sore.
The birds are now used to seeing me armed with a spray and run for the hills, so I have sneakily taken to going in at night just as they have settled and systematically working my way around their legs spraying as I go. It's getting better but will still need some more spraying and monitoring.
But we decided a thorough clean of all nooks, crannies an crevices and all new bedding material was now required and so we set too. Me scraping and wire brushing perches and boards and Lovely Hubby having a thorough sweep out of all surfaces and nesting boxes. Once the house was completely empty I sprayed it from top to bottom with an Anti Mite aerosol, it's powerful enough to get deep into all cracks and crevices and we left it to sit sealed completely for the length of time it took us to drink more coffee and relax on the patio to ease our aching backs (you can't quite stand up in this house, so working in it for any length of time really gets to you).
Then I powdered the house with my Diatom puffer bottle and put in all new bedding material and fresh newspaper. Then and only then did we open the doors for the girls to inspect our handiwork. As you can see from the picture they were quick to resume residence in the nesting boxes, and Daisy tried out the perch for comfort.
The other girls decided that if the house was nice and clean that they would be too, and went for a communal dust bath round the back of the house.
A couple of them checked out the Eglu bedroom which had also been cleaned.
It's always a good feeling to step away from Chicken World knowing that everything is nice and orderly. The drinkers full of fresh, tonic dosed water and the feeders full of fresh Layers Pellets, even the grit dispenser was refilled and fresh treat bars hung from the branches of the Plum tree.
While I was upstairs changing ready for a quick shower, I spied Lovely Hubby already in action with his chainsaw, cutting through the pieces of Oak that were too heavy to move on Saturday. Carefully deciding what he would be making out of each piece and cutting it accordingly.
Once I was clean and dressed I was back into action giving everything else around the house a shower, a much longer one than I had had. Unusually we have not had any rain now for weeks and the newly planted bed was looking parched as were all the pots and tubs around the house. So the hosepipe was sorely needed to be put into action.
A couple of hours later there was a resounding cheer from the hillside as Lovely Hubby started work on the last of the fallen trunk, we should be able to make good use of all of this magnificent old Oak tree thanks to his hard work.
A busy weekend .... but my goodness what a productive one.