If there is one thing, or should I say 15 things that have kept me going this year, through all the stress and tiring train journeys from home to London so many times, then it’s my feathered friends.
Whatever priorities in life I have, for the chickens and geese, they matter not at all. What matters are a refilled pond because us geese have made it muddy. Mole hills have to investigated and beaks cleaned; and in the excitement we poop in our water. In fact we poop everywhere! We need watermelon, lettace and rubber shoes to chew. We do not care about your stress. Geese have needs.
The chickens demand their favorite tomato and kale treats, being let out of the coop to run amock in the garden and steal goose grain. It’s so much nicer stealing some one else’s food even if it’s the same. Straw in the goose pen must be thrown about and my wildflower bed scratched up for worms. (Luckily the flowers are over now).
I had barely arrived back, when 12 chickens and 3 geese were creating a noisy din. I tried to sit with a cup of tea and cake for five paltry minutes but the cake was grabbed and Apple and Poppy decided they liked tea too. Thanks guys…I was enjoying that!
I have failed miserably to keep on top of blogging. Everyone else is posting away furiously day by day, but I just couldn’t muster more than a brief post a few weeks ago enroute through Paris…again.
My life has changed radically over this last month. We have at last funding for some dream plans which will mean we can finish our barn and set up work spaces in our local town. More of that once I have had time to breath.
I only managed to return home for a short while in September. The chooks and geese appeared pleased to see me. Well I believe they were by the general flapping, perch hopping and honking from Bumble, Barley and Bonnie.
Once the fifteen were fed and watered I wanted to spend some time re-bonding. A few quality hours in the garden needed. The chickens need grit to help digest their food as they have no teeth. We have almost 9 eggs a day, so egg shells mount up. Full of lovely calcium, they can be crushed and fed back to the chickens and the geese.
Apple supervised to ensure quality control. Although in her excitement to sit on my bucket, we had one mishap! Naughty chicken.
The shells do not need to be boiled first. We simply leave in a bucket for a few days to dry, then crush finely and add to their grain or in a separate container to peck at as they want.
Washing a few cloths next. Collette adores water. Any excuse to splash about. Now what is that in this bucket…food?
But hang on, who is this with a muddy beak. Bumble don’t you dare! You’d think we were running a spa.
Looks like Bonnie has got in first. I am not sure this is the kind of help I wanted.
The excitement of having a few spoilt days with lots of treats before I left again, did me a world of good too. When you have a garden full of busy poultry being chased by territorial geese it’s like a three year olds party. Chaos. But funny and distracting. Bonnie absolutely hates chickens on her patch. With neck outstretched she hisses and heads off at speed like a torpedo locked onto it’s target. The chickens deftly hop aside everytime. Silly goose. Far too clumsy and far too fat with those silly rubber feet.
It takes an hour to get everyone back in. It’s chicken humour to defy capture. My goodness don’t they manoeuvre quick! Plumb has a second sense to know what way my arms are going to grab her and Eloise just runs off into the forest patch squarking. These broody hens are crazy. Bad enough getting them out of their egg box in the first place but once out they run around as if on helium shots…all puffed up and hormonal. She will be back later.
So back to the coop. Geese do not help. Why is it that when the last chicken is in, you find you have geese in the coop too and they won’t come out? Now we have to chase them about.
Geese have a mysterious personal space. When your about to feed them, they are stamping all over your feet or tugging on your jumper sleeves or physically bumping into you to get food. But try and grab a goose and they honk and hiss. Your in my personal space! Your within three inches of my feathers! Such tantrums. It’s like the world’s about to end.
A lot of flapping arms and scolding and geese are out.
Bedtime and peace. Rake up poop. Tidy straw in goose pen. Give chooks a quick meal worm treat and make sure Eloise is back in her egg box.
And now I am back in London again for the final push to pull the plug on England. It’s taken three years but worth it. I miss the hustle bustle of countryside life and even the poop scooping (it’s great for the garden).
I will try and post again soon. Lots of adventures happening, so please stay with me.