After yesterdays tear stained post you deserve something a bit jollier to cheer things up. Life goes on and all that, the mundanities of day to day living keep on happening regardless of the worries that are going on in the background.
Yesterday was a case in point.
The above picture shows Mildred the chicken. Our only white chicken now as the other Martha died quite suddenly about 2 weeks ago. No fox or other preditor involved, she was just very withdrawn and quiet for a few days then keeled over and died. Alas poor Martha we knew you not long……..
Anyway I digress. That leaves us with the grand total of 4 chickens. Now the average person would think that a small flock like that must be easy to deal with. Can’t make much mess etc. Wrong, great big huge WRONG!
Chickens may lay rather yummy eggs ever so useful for omlettes, scrambles, baking and curds, but something rather unpleasant comes out of them as well. Yes friends we are talking a load of shit here, chicken shit.
Now let me tell you about chicken shit for those of you who are fortunate enough not to encounter the stuff. It is hellish, sticky, smelly and downright disgusting stuff. Oh it is very popular with gardeners, just think of the composting power, but uuurrghghgh it is repulsive.
Chickens produce a lot of this stuff. They are somewhat indescriminate about where they put it as well, basically they shit everywhere.
Now the idea of free range chickens gently pecking round the garden is all well and good in the pages of Country Living and other such glossies and on those cutesy blogs that are forever featuring children cuddling them, but I am here to tell you that nobody in their right mind wants the damn things roaming around their garden if they have any desire whatsoever to step outside the front door and set foot in the place.
I have scraped more poo off shoes, the carpet, the cat and the furniture in the past month than I care to think about.
Something Had To Be Done.
I invested in some movable chicken netting. Now this stuff is big and unweildy and comes in a 50 metre roll. It is meant to be elictrified (oh don’t tempt me I love roast chicken!) but I am hoping it will contain the little ba%$tards without power.
Anyway the huge package arrived yesterday and as it wasn’t raining Idgy and I decided to put it up right away. I was thinking along the lines of us getting outside and doing something hands-on would ease some of the stress we are both under – when will I learn?
There was no instructions (well okay there was an A5 single side sheet in three languages and I couldn’t even read it with my glasses on) worth mentioning but how difficult could this be?
We unravelled it up the garden and then came the tricky bit of trying to get the corral shape so all the posts could be on grass or soil to plunge into the grouns. It had to reach the hen house, swoop around the garden avoiding the paving areas that the sods were crapping on and loop back to the hen house again.
Put it this way. 50m is a lot of wire to get tangled up in and it was windy. One of us lost the plot completely. One of us was a screaming, shreaking banshee after catching their foot in it and falling over for the third time. I am ashamed to say it was me.
“Get a grip and go into the house, I’ll manage” said my trusty teenager. I gladly obliged only slightly resenting the authoritative tone and knowing full well the tables were turned.
I put on the kettle and scraped more shit off my boots as I watched her nimbly unrevel the mess I’d made of the wire, carefully stride out the measurements so she put the posts in the right place, and basically build the corral and shove the birds in there.
She returns to the house triumphant. We High Five and watch the chickens pecking round the boundaries. I know they are already planning their escape, but for now they are in there and we will be able to step out of the front door secure in the knowledge that something nasty won’t adhere to our feet.
My daughter, fence builder and star.
Love you loads.