Sunday, September 24, 2006

Renegade chicken

Molly has become a bit of a renegade chicken of late. As mentioned previously, the evenings are really drawing in now and the light sensitive auto-door is closed by about 7.15pm these days. In the time they have been with us, the chickens have amazed us at their ability to 'take themselves to bed' at dusk. The last two nights however, we have found the auto door shut and Molly running around outside, having obviously missed her chance to go to bed! It is fortunate that it is Molly as we can catch her and put her into the coop (this would not be possible with either of the other two!). Maybe she's having trouble adjusting to the changing seasons (I know how she feels!).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Winning the red mite battle

Have purchased some PoultryShield ( as the primary weapon in our battle against the evil Red Mite. Last weekend we sprayed the whole coop with the stuff and this weekend, the red mite colony was much smaller, I think we're winning. We sprayed the whole coop again and hopefully, this should only need doing every 6 weeks or so now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Auto door fixed

The Auto door has now been fixed and has been fine for the past two weeks. It is a clear sign of the changing seasons that this evening I went into the back garden at 19.15 and the chickens had tucked themselves up in 'bed' and the light sensitive auto-door was closed.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Toast pincher!

On returning from work, Alan always has a couple of peices of toast. These are invariably 'taxed' by Abi but on this occasion they were not. Al was sat on the floor eating his toast and Molly strolled in the patio doors, strutted up to Al and just helped her self to the peice of toast in Alan's hand! (he was not entirely amused by this!). The following evening Alan sat just inside the patio door (with door closed) and waved his toast to the chickens who had assembled just outside. In Alan's own words, this was not his proudest moment!

Monday, September 04, 2006


When we thought Molly was ill (it seems she had her eyes tightly shut for 5 hours because she had a massive double yolker trying to get out - her first egg) we started administering anti-biotics in the chickens' water. This meant throwing the eggs away which was quite tragic. We left it for a couple of weeks after stopping the anti-biotics and are now back to consuming the eggs. Hooray!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Chooks locked out!

On arriving home at about 7.30pm on Saturday evening we discovered that the knot had slipped again on the auto-door and the chickens were locked out and sitting in the run. The weather was foul, lashing with wind and rain. Leia was on the run perch and Molly and Kiev were huddled under the coop. We opened the door for them and expected them to go into the coops and out of the horrible weather. What we had failed to appreciate is that chickens are simple creatures who have a very strict timescale related to daylight. They had missed their opporutunity for going into the coop at dusk and were therefore going to sit tight until day break! Before we turned in we physically lifted Molly (she's the only one we can easily catch!) and put her into the coop, figuring that the other two would follow her in 2am I came down to see and Leia and Kiev had not moved an inch, Leia was clinging on to the run perch, being blown all over the place and getting soaking wet. Stubborn creatures! They didn't relent until day break, when they finally went into the coop.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Egg in the bath!

When we got home today I was baffled to find an egg in the chicken's dust bath (the large flower pot containing dirt that they have in their run). As I bent down to retrieve it I could hear a sort of whirring sound and to my horror, noticed that the cord/line for the auto door had snapped (later to discover that in fact the knot had come undone). This must have happened some time after the first chicken had laid her egg (probably Leia as she usually lays the first of the day) and the time the second chicken wanted to lay their egg. The second chicken must have been unable to get into the coop as the door was shut. I picture them hobbling around the run with their legs crossed until the forced indignity of laying an egg in the dust bath! Oh dear. Alan has had a go at fixing the auto door.