Friday, 27 July 2007

Clipping wings and a stranded hen

It's been yet another day of torrential rain - our poor chickens have been looking utterly bedraggled. Their run had also become a bit of a mudbath, so we did an emergency cleaning operation this evening. Our friend George was here, so we enlisted him to help clip Honey and Dopey's wings, to avoid any escapes into the bay tree, or worse, next door! It was actually remarkably easy, and they were very co-operative. They seemed to enjoy their first experience of free ranging in our boggy garden, and weren't too difficult to round up at the end of the evening - Speckeldy was a bit resistant to going back in, but the blue tarpaulin soon persuaded her! Here are some pictures of our 'flock' loose in the garden, including some better pictures of Honey and Dopey.

The Bovan Goldline hens can be distinguished by their neck markings - Honey has a white 'ruff' around her neck, as seen in this photo - she is on the right, with Dopey in the middle and Ginger on the left. No eggs yet from Ginger or Speckeldy, although Speckeldy is looking more mature, with a much redder comb and developing wattles.

This evening, I went out to shut their pophole at about 9pm, and Dopey came out again, so I had to leave it until 11.30, as we had friends round. When I went out I heard a very forlorn clucking from the covered end of the run - Dopey was crouched down in there. I have no idea why she hadn't gone in - I wonder if she was surprised by the dusk, as it did get dark quite quickly. We lifted her into the hen house, and she seemed happier - she stopped clucking anyway. I hope she is ok, and just got confused, rather than being ill. She has certainly seemed well all day, if a little wet!

The flock enjoying their first experience of free-ranging as a foursome!

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