We have some new guests.....a few months ago we commissioned the building of the "Chook Hilton" The young man who is renting our old family home had built himself the most beautiful bird cage which I spotted while doing the quarterly house inspection. After greatly admiring his handiwork I asked him if he would build me a chook pen. It took a while with many design e mails flowing between us but here it is in all its glory :-) With the assistance of a friend they delivered and erected it in April of this year. I was going to wait until spring before I bought any chooks to live in there. It gets pretty cold and windy up here in the winter and I didn't want to kill off any new babies before they had time to settle in.
These lovely ladies belonged to Mama and the Princess. They are about a year old and have been raised from day old chicks. Unfortunately they are the ultimate escape artists. No matter what we tried they would always find a way to escape their run and massacre the garden beds. Originally there were six of them but one "flew the coop" and was never seen again. Their wings were clipped but somehow they always managed to project themselves into the air and over the fences. Somehow I don't see them escaping from "The Hilton".
A decision was reached....they would move to the country! I loaded them into the dog carrier which we had used to transport Tiggy home from Malaysia. Covered them with some hessian and packed them into the trailer for the one and a half hour drive up here. Into "The Hilton" they went with a strict warning to "toe the line". I full expected them to suffer shell shock from the trip and a certain amount of frustration at being restricted. No eggs were expected for a few days. Bless their little fluffy feathers next day there were four eggs and they haven't let me down since. Mind you.....they do live in "The Hilton" AND get great treats daily from the veggie garden. I just like to think that someone knows who is the boss !!!!!
We are going to build another tall fence around the run so that they are able to safely free range during the day when we are here and also have the added protection of one extra barrier to protect them from wild dogs (which we unfortunately have in the area) when we are away.
The weather has been glorious lately. Crisp and cool and beautifully sunny at the same time. I spent a few hours over in the veggie garden today weeding and generally tidying up the area (pictured behind the chook pen). Tiggy was sunning himself close by and the chooks were clucking away in the background.......life is good here at Bellavista :-)