Sunday, January 16, 2011

A shed and a fence

Time to post something completely impersonal! I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at the interest in my previous post - so many more people read it than I was anticipating. It's great to get so much lovely feedback and support though, but being the focus of so much attention has never been an easy thing for me.  So, for an update on how other things are going around here.

The chicken fence is complete. I have to say the chickens didn't seem to be too happy about being restricted to a corner of the yard when they had been used to roaming freely wherever they wanted. Within an hour of being released into the new enclosure, Old Speckled Hen was over the top and wandering around her old stomping ground. I tried to tease her back by throwing some lovely green lettuce leaves into  the pen but it didn't work. She just ran up and down the fence line staring at it, but was not interested in going through the gate. I decided to let her suffer for a while! A bit later I went back with more lettuce to try again - this time I put it in the corner of the pen, so that when she did her headless chook run, she trapped herself in the corner and I caught her and put her back.



For the next few days I think she may have stayed inside, though I'm not completely sure as I was at work, but I don't actually think she is smart enough to work out how to get back in. On Friday evening though, there was a familiar tap at the back door - Old Speckled Hen had come to say hello. I had really been trying to avoid trimming their wing feathers. I know it doesn't hurt them, and it's just like having a hair cut, but I didn't want to do it, I really wanted them to stay as natural and free as possible. Old Speckled Hen just wasn't playing the game though - so I grabbed the scissors!

Wing clipping was far less traumatic than I anticipated, for both me and the chickens (I have since given Amber and Vera a trim too). I just picked them up (they seemed to hold their wing out naturally) and trimmed. They didn't even struggle, just seemed to be enjoying the cuddle really. They did ruffle their feathers back in to place a bit when I put them down, but that was it. I don't know why I avoided it for so long. I only did one side, but apparently that is supposed to be enough. We'll see what happens next!


The next thing to go up was the shed. I am quite pleased with how it looks and everything fits in with ease. The garage is now clear and the builder is starting work tomorrow.

Other things that are going on: I am doing OK at Rachel's Challenge, but is it a really interesting exercise too. I have been trying quite hard, with just one day of spending on things I didn't need to. So far this year I have spent £184.67 (that is, of course, not including the fence and the shed), nor does it include bills, such as gas and electricity, water, home and car insurance, clothes, phone bills etc. This is more than I thought and a good reality check seeing as I am soon to become an unwaged mum! I think it is good that I have had this focus and will continue to look at how to reduce my spending.
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