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Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Chickens and The Rain!

We have had a whole week - more even of rain - everyday - sometimes heavy, sometimes light.... but sooo much rain!

I am thoroughly fed up of walking to school an back twice daily in rain - and so is Alfie - he hates the plastic raincover on his buggy, but it really has been necessary this week.


Last weekend Jeremy and I went out for dinner at a very posh restaurant called "Truffles" in Fareham - to give us some time to talk alone.... without the children for once... and we discussed - the merits of pet chickens above the merits of pet rabbits.. (Lily had been requesting a pet rabbit for her birthday)....the conclusion being that rabbits just eat and poop and cost a fair bit to keep..... and chickens eat poop, cost little to keep and pay you back with eggs - to be eaten or sold!
So, by Sunday - we were driving to Longdown farm to collect ourselves 4 chickens - which were to be housed in the old ferret coop (which was actually a chicken coop to start with).

However, by about Wednesday - the old ferret coop was suffering greatly with all the rain - and I had single-handedly been trying to move it from place to place in the garden - trying to find a less water-logged spot..it was falling apart!  The door had fallen off the front of the bedroom and worse still - the floor came away at the front.
I scoured the internet - for an inexpensive replacement - but in the end came to the conclusion that a 2nd hand Eglu would be the best buy for our situation - and oddly enough - one came up on the Omlet website (http://www.omlet.co.uk/) in the 2nd hand section, which was within reasonable collecting distance - for only about a 3rd of the price of what a new one would have cost! 
Jeremy collected the "new to us" Eglu on Friday evening - and Gabrielle and I were able to set it up (in the pouring rain) on Saturday morning.
It is much more suitable for the chickens than the wooden one we had - giving them more space to run and being incredibly easy and quick to clean. 

We were told by various well-meaning friends and relatives that the chickens would ruin the lawn - but I have to say - the Lawn has been ruined already by the poor weather and children tramping through it in wellington boots!  It is quite boggy - I am really looking forwards to some sunnier weather and the garden drying out - so we can let our chickens free-range and spend some more time with them.

I have a feeling that Alfie in particular will be getting much enjoyment from the garden this summer - he really loves animals - and is in his element chatting to the chickens and the ferrets (who are now housed in a smart "new" two storey hutch - which we were given by one of Gabrielle's school friends after her pet rabbit and guinea pigs expired).

We are still waiting for the chickens to lay an egg yet - but it will be soon - the chickens are around 16 - 18 weeks old.

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