Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kiev's comment

The previous picture shows an expression on Kiev's face that suggests how she's feeling about the whole thing. When Alan had put the lid/roof on, she made the following unambiguous comment:

Custom built Sin Bin

Alan has spent the best part of the day hand-crafting a bespoke Sin Bin for Kiev. Lovingly crafted from the best materials that B&Q can offer (2x4 batten & chicken-wire), this Bowens original boasts a unique design based on tried-and-tested designs from all over the world (hooray for the Interweb!).

Features include:
  • made-to-measure - just big enough (bigger than the Chimenea!) but not large enough to offer any degree of comfort.
  • wire flooring (not very comfortable)
  • raised flooring (encouraging a draft around the bum)
  • securely fitting removable lid/roof
  • newspaper beneath to catch poo
NB: water and food was added after this photo was taken. This photo reminds me of something.......what is it now.........

Shut her out

Another technique to try and persuade Kiev not to be broody anymore is to hoick her out of the nest box and close the gate into the the run, so she can't get back into the coop. This is quite mean as she then spends the rest of the day strutting round and round the outside of the run, trying to find a way in. She is like a machine that will not be distracted from her purpose (she has the demeanour of a person who REALLY needs the toilet and can't get into the loo!).

A broody chook

A broody chicken is a fascinating thing. Kiev is a Buff Orpington, and is prone to this behaviour, sure enough she was broody about the same time last year. She will sit in the nest box from dawn until dusk, day after day, not eating or drinking and not moving or exercising in any way and not laying any eggs. This year, in his valiant attempt to 'snap her out of it' Alan has tried a number of approaches which have included building a partition at the end of Stalag Chicken for Kiev to remain in solitary confinement ..........which she did............for about 3 minutes. We don't even know how she was escaping, I stood one morning with a camera to photograph her escape. I know I'm starting to sound like Mr Tweedy again but I swear, she saw me and hid behind the coop, there was a slight wobbling of the nylon netting that formed the barrier between her 'confined' area and the main part of the run and there she was, no longer in solitary! I have no idea how she did it! Another time Alan, Abi and I were all lying on the grass the other side of the run fence and none of us saw how she got across the barrier! Alan has been reading books and consulting websites and yesterday I found him shoving Kiev back into the Chimenia (see blog from June 2007), our improvised Sin Bin. When he removed her at the end of the day (covered in soot) she stomped straight back up the ramp into the coop where she remained.

Man vs. Chicken

For the past three weeks, a battle has been taking place in our back garden. On the one side you have a big, fat, caramel coloured chicken called Kiev who is driven by laws of nature as old as the species, she wants to sit on an egg until it hatches and is determined to let NOTHING prevent her from doing this (not even the lack of an egg!). On the other side is Alan who has been waging a spirited (if not entirely successful) campaign to try and stop her.