Right then, chicken run news.
Well it goes without saying that Fizz features in the headlines, doesn't it. And not everything he's been doing is amusing.
For some reason best known to himself, he has started bullying Irene! Whether he's getting his own back for all the times in the past that she's sorted him out, I really don't know. So when I'm down there with them I sit with my mister full of water and squirt him with it when he attacks her. I'm not terribly sure how much good that's doing though. His head feather arrangement seems to act like a rainhat and the water just runs off his back. When he's been squirted, he stands looking vaguely confused. I suspect he's trying to work out whether he felt something, or if it was just in his imagination.
She's gone broody and I'm having a battle royal trying to stop her. We simply don't have room for any more chickens, much as I'd love some. The coop is certainly big enough for 2 or 3 more, but I don't want to overcrowd the run. So every morning I let 7 chickens out of the coop. Then I have to go round, open the nestbox up and remove Maggie. Then, much to everyone's annoyance, I close up the pop-hole until late afternoon. I keep hoping that Maggie's hot, sweaty breast will have time to cool down and that her hormones will think twice too. But no. As soon as she realises that the nestbox is accessible, she gallops back up the ramp and settles down.
Oddly enough, Tu-Tu hasn't joined her. She thought a bit about getting broody earlier in the year, but decided against it. Previously, she's joined Maggie in the nestbox, but not this time.
The other girls go and lay their eggs on the floor in the far corner of the cage under the spare coop. But not Tu-Tu, that's way below her dignity. She just clenches her vent and hangs on until she can get access to a proper nestbox. It's where she's always laid her eggs and she's too long in the tooth to change now.
Finally - a big, big thankyou to everyone who has bought the Mucky Cluckers ebook. I'm hoping to bring out a paperback version before too long and will announce it on here.
More news next time - and I promise not to leave it so long.