Here on our little patch of land we have two paddocks, one is nearer the road and is just laid to pasture, with a wonderful old tree in the centre complete with two swings. we 've nicknamed this Far Paddock, the other is nearer the house, so it's name to us is obviously Near Paddock. They are split by old rickety fencing and the old tumbledown stable block where we store our wood pile and fencing supplies and tucked away inside the stable buildings themselves are some of our landlords outdoor belongings, stored safely until his return.
Chicken World is situated in Near Paddock which is approximately 2 acres (as is Far Paddock) in size. Every couple of months (depending on the state of the grass) Chicken World is moved up a quarter of the field, so that we have four moves possible in the field, this gives the grass time to recover from the assault of chicken digging and hungry geese.
The birds love moving day, the fence is taken down, the houses are cleaned out and then attached one by one to the back of the truck to be dragged slowly to their new positions. The girls don't mind any of this, in fact yesterday Lovely Hubby did the move with three girls sat a laying their eggs in the nesting boxes.
All the feeders and drinkers are scrubbed clean, as they are every week, but somehow on moving day it always seems right that everything is spotless and checked over, then they repositioned in new Chicken World.
All the houses are re-inspected by the girls to make sure that we haven't changed their actual accommodation.
The Eglu now has it's full length rain shield in place, it offers a permanently dry patch of grass for rainy days. The girls always look like little old ladies huddled together in a bus stop when they shelter from the rain in there.
This time with the weather getting steadily worse we have re-purposed our old patio table, it was getting rickety and wouldn't have lasted until next Summer for our use, so it's been requisitioned as another wet day shelter by simply stapling heavy duty polythene on top and weighing it down with a couple of tree offcuts so the wind doesn't take it across the field. Rather handily the bars underneath make an ideal perch for the girls and they tested them out immediately. We placed this over the site of an old bonfire in case some of them don't want to sit on damp grass.
The far end of the paddock, which is the position for the next couple of months rather handily has a large old tree stump so this was turned into an 'adventure playground' for the girls with their usual tree perches being leaned up against the stump.
The final jobs include getting all the electric fencing back up around the new site, and then enticing the girls back behind it to safety. Rounding up the stubborn ones sometimes takes a while although the majority come running to my 'chook chook' call knowing that Mum must have some tasty food if she's shouting 'dinnertime'. The final task is to put in the tensioning corner posts, which LH hammers firmly in and then he attaches the battery to the corner nearest the gate to keep the fence 'live'.
While he did that yesterday I scooted back to the house to make a start on some well earned lunch....
.... and the girls all settled down to a little afternoon siesta in the warmth of the September sun.
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What did you get up to yesterday?