That bloody chicken ! Dora and I are on the warpath. ( If you remember, dora l’exploratrice is what our neighbours call Dora, because of her fearless solitary explorings ). She has found a way to get into the south courtyard, and loves rooting around in my flowerbed. Which I wouldn’t mind, except she digs around in it, shooting leaves, wood chips and soil all over the place, and leaving her trademark deposit where I am most likely to tread in it. The chickens have free range of both orchards, the hangar, and down to the river, amounting in almost 2 hectares of land. But the areas where we live and walk, I have fenced off, so that we are not constantly poop cleaning. All of the other of our 30 odd chickens can abide by this rule and I think, rather generous offer. But not Dora. Every day when I hear the rustling of leaves, I have to get up, find the walking stick, and usher her back to the dividing fence, which I must lift for her to get back. How she gets here is a mystery. I have looked at all the possibilities. Mainly its the door that goes from the back area, through the workshop, to our south courtyard. As we have building works going on there, another door has been opened. So I put a pallet infront of it. Solved. She still came. The roofers told me that they spotted her on a window ledge there, where there is no window. Ok, so we have put a fence there. And now, it seems to be when someone forgets to close the door. Or is it ? I was sitting here just now, answering emails, and suddenly she walked past me in the kitchen as if it was the most normal thing in the world. And she was coming from inside the house !!! Having chased her back again, I then walked around the house and sure enough, found two large deposits. Luckily on the stone floor and not the carpet. As I sad- that bloody chicken ! So I hope the above video works.
There is a specialized tractor mechanic in the hangar with Jono. We have been waiting for months for this man. This morning I went to feed the chickens and saw a man emerging from our hanger. Ello ello I said. Well it was the tractor mechanic who had thought we might be sleeping still, so just went to get on with the job. Luckily he knew it was the David brown he was to work on. Well he had already fixed it ! There was an air pocket in the system. And its maddening, because we had bled the system or whatever you have to do to get rid of air pockets, so many times. He is good ! I invited him in for a coffee and on the way, told him that we also had a combine harvester that needed a tiny little thing fixing, and we are desperate to harvest the buckwheat. And also the seeder has some electrical wire that seems to be not right. He said that he was ours for the whole morning, and I felt that this is going to be a good week ! I hope it continues that way. Jono and I have a ton of things to do, but we have to do the combining of the buckwheat, and then do whatever it is that Monty wants us to do to the field ( not ploughing but I think crushing or crimping the left over stalks) - and then seed the meadow. Its a no-till method, but I have my doubts as to getting the drill through all that long stuff that will be there. Well what do I know. We will follow instructions, but I do feel like we are two old codgers wandering around in confused circles, while Monty, the other side of Switzerland, gives us instructions. As they say in school reports : Tried.
I had a bit of a laugh yesterday, as Said was here, helping me with a computer problem. Dora made her usual appearance and we got to chicken talk. I said that unfortunately 6 of the chicks born this summer are cockerels. And we would have to do the deed and put them into the freezer. And I wasn’t looking forward to it, but they were already being a real pest to the old girls. Said told me about his neighbour who had chickens on a very free range basis. They slept in the trees and laid eggs wherever they wanted to. In summers, some would disappear, and reappear some 21 days later with a flock of chicks. Many would be cockerels, and he remembers one summer, having several that had found a perch near his bedroom window. The neighbour was also suffering from the excessive crowing. They could not bring them selves to ‘do the deed’, so one night, they captured the cockerels and put them in sacks. They then drove to a far away forest the next morning, and released them there, saying ‘Good luck, at least you were not in the pot’. They never found their way back. Fantastic Mr Fox comes to mind. I wonder how many funny cockerel stories there are….. I know my father was driven to madness by one once but thats another story.