Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chickens forever

Ok Ms Tagalong promised you chickens! So what have they been doing now the weather is cooler?

Well not much really, the ground is still dust dry and they are scooping up as much moisture as they can. Ms Tagalong noticed with chagrin that the few scoops of water she threw at the Davidson plum last week have not sufficed. She thinks it might be a has-been but stranger things have happened, so not to be put off, Ms Tagalong crept under the bottlebrushes (getting trickier and trickier) to pour a compost bucket of water over the roots. The chickens of course were sure it was for their benefit and soon were beaks down, tails up around the poor expired plant.

Perusing the latest Organic Gardener I noticed that we have it confirmed that the little darlings are in great danger when faced with any day over 36degrees. Luckily they have a good shady run during the day, run being an operative word, as they weren't doing much running. In fact they were all smooshed up together huddling behind the Community Garden sign which is written on a door so thanks to our friends who have provided shade from the westerly sun.

Ms Tagalong was all for running out to the pen to check if their perch is far enough away from the roof. She didn't want to find that they had fallen off the perch literally due to stuffy nights when they are not 600mm away, but her common sense said that the perches were away from this death zone. Ms Tagalong spied the jostling that goes with the nightly going to bed. Our little laced neck chook is a bit of a bully actually. She flew straight up at one settled comfortably on the outer perch and they both fell off in a fluster of feathers and squawking. She then hopped up as quick as lightning and took prime position. When the former resident again took her place there was a bit of beak exchange and pecking until they topped and tailed with yet another and finally settled down.

Ms Chicken Whisperer and Ms Chicken Expert start planting the garlic please. Forget ratatouille and houmous it is the number one home-grown feed-crop for fowls, so continues the article. He grows more than a thousand garlic plants for the chicks! How many chickens does he feed? Ms Tagalong thinks our community garden members might miss the garlic heads.

And one more thing - nothing to do with chickens. Members of the book club spent a very pleasant evening sitting around the table, watching the bats fly in for the figs and idly discussing The Kite Runner. What a community spot!

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