Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The chicken gang come calling.....

Look who came calling yesterday......

........ the Orpington cockerel and his favourite hens, the three Barenecks, so called because they have no feathers on their necks, which does make them look like a bit like vultures. But they are good egg layers, good meat birds, and have a lovely nature, so we like to have them as part of our chicken flock.
.......... However, .......... the chickens are supposed to be free ranging round the rest of the farm, and most definitely not in the courtyard which we want to keep free of chickens, because:-
1) we do not want them scratching around in the raised beds, which would upset me a  lot,
2) we do not want to have chickens laying siege to us at our front and side doors, as has happened in previous years when the chickens were kept in the courtyard.......
...and here is the evidence from 2010 that this is what they used to do.
As soon as the door was open they used to barge in, and the door was open a lot because most days we had builders here.

3) we not want to tread in chicken poo as we walk across the courtyard. I have not very fond memories of visiting friends for lunch in their chickenless home only to notice that I had chicken poo smeared along the side of my shoe, which was most embarrassing.
So Cockerel Boy and his gang of three hens were chased out of the courtyard, and the gates firmly closed behind them. But I do love to see the chickens around the place. They give such life to the farm, and it is fun to watch their mannerisms.
Update on John, who took a tumble straight on to his head when he was helping Lester worm the sheep a couple of days ago.....
I phoned him last night to ask how he was doing, and he said that he was 'vertical as we speak', which means that he is alright, which is good, as we were worried about him. It was quite a fall that he took. Being barged into and knocked down by a ewe not wanting to be wormed is not an experience one would ever want again, but John, bless him, said that he was 'raring to hep out again next year'.
Coming home from a meditation group I belong to.... it was late evening, and my first time of driving in the dark since last winter. I must say that it was quite scary driving through woodland down a steep, narrow, lane which twisted and turned this way and that. And as I got out of the car I could smell the sharp cold of snow in the air, which means that there has been a snowfall in the nearby mountains, but winter has still not quite arrived here at the farm although this lovely flower died last night....
I have forgotten the name of it, but it was planted last spring, grew sparingly, did not bloom all summer, but went into a burst of floral prettiness when I was in hospital and has bloomed ever since.

Millie, in a mood and complaining loudly about being put in the side field with the sheep. She had to be separated from her mum because she is still drinking milk from her udder,  and we think that she really ought to be weaned, but she does not think so, and was voicing her angst about being denied her sips of milk.
Piano rehearsal yesterday afternoon, which went well. This time I was sat beside the conductor so was closer to the choir. It took a while to get used to concentrating on playing whilst having the choir singing in four parts coming into my ears at the same time, plus having to keep a watch on instructions from the conductor. It was fun.
We had rain this morning so it will be too wet to do anything outside, so catch up time in the house.
Bye for now,


Coco said...

Is it a morning glory? Heavenly Blue, perhaps? Glad your helper is OK and rehearsals are going well.

Lovely chickens. I´m still dithering about where to put a chicken coop.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Good to hear your sheep helper is o.k.! I'm pretty sure your flower is a morning glory. -Jenn

minwks said...

Hi Vera, Glad John thinks he is well. The fact that he is rearing to help next year would make me reserve my opinion on that. More observation may be required.

Your plant is Morning Glory (convolvulus), commonly known as bindweed and a pest in Canada. I would check with a gardening neighbour to find out if it is of the variety that can become rampant and destructive. On that happy note.... there is one I know of that is an annual but I think it has a more petite flower.

Regards Janine

Ally said...

Yes, Morning Glory. The most wonderful blue. Have a lovely day x

Vera said...

COCO, the flower is morning glory, not a favourite of mine, but Lester likes it.
We dithered for a long time about what to do with the chickens, which is why they stayed so long in the courtyard!

JENN, you are right.....morning glory it is!

MINWKS, we are surprised that John has offered to help again next year as well! Morning Glory is of the bindweed family but the temperatures here do not suit it very well, so I think it unlikely that it will become rampant!

ALLY, thanks, and you are right....the blue is such a vibrant colour.

Rhodesia said...

Good news about John and it sounds like you are doing OK as well, Love the morning glory, I planted some and Nigel came in with a grin all over his face saying he had pulled all the bind weed out of my flower box!!! Well I guess it does look a little like bind week LOL. Take care Diane

12Paws said...

Morning Glory for sure. Unless you want a thicket of them next year do not let it set seed. The mature seed on the ground survives for years & every single one of them will sprout. I planted a small plot of them in 2004 and this past summer I was still pulling them out. Their blue is enchanting if only they could discipline themselves!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I loved when we could let our chickens roam free, but we just have too many predators. Owls and possums and raccoons. So now we have a chicken tractor we move around instead.

Vera said...

DIANE, I would be surprised if this came up again because it struggled for most of the summer and only cheered itself when I was in hospital!

12PAWS, I don't think it will have much luck reseeding itself because it was planted in a bin which had hard ground underneath it. But my husband was thinking about using up the last of the seed in the packet by planting them out in our veg garden next year. Maybe,....just maybe.....I might 'lose' that packet before he does!

LISA, I want to get our chickens into chicken tractors as well, because it does make sure that they don't go anywhere they didn't ought to go!