As some of you know eighteen months ago we bought six chickens (the girlies) and Claude the Cockerel home to live with us. They needed re-homing and for six months they were all really happy. Sadly in the October one of the girlies died and in the spring we believed that we may have rats as the girls stopped laying eggs and some became eggbound, and despite our best efforts another three died. We were left with just two girlies and Claudy boy.
As some of you may know (See a murder in the hen house) one of the chickens was killed by the serial killer of all things small known as Wiglet…
I know! How can you not love her? But last month she murdered one of the last remaining girlies, and almost killed Claude, but the boy lived to see another day, so then we were down to two chickens.
As you can see the chickens had a massive enclosure that took up a large part of our garden and they also had half of the old goats shed as their home – it was huge, and poor hubby was trying to squash his many garden acoutriments into one half of the shed whilst two chickens chose where to sleep each night because they had so much room! It just didn’t make sense, and at times Claude and his girly just looked lost.
So this weekend Hubby set about making them their own retirement home – we thought that the remaining girly was too old to lay eggs but we were wrong (and that will be my next story). So, as you do, on a limited budget, you make use of what you have. Off Hubby went oo his barn and found out some old wood we had ripped out of our kitchen and an old bathroom cupboard we had in our bathroom (no surprises there!) which had legs on it and set about making the chickens a new pied a terre.
Firstly he had to make them safe from said serial killer so he shut the chickens in the Chicken Hilton whilst he built there new enclosure. But Wiglet the Serial Killer leave it? No would not leave them alone and kept digging to try and get into them! After numerous attempts by hubby to block the door: He locked it, put wire inside it, wire outside of it, put a piece of corrugated iron against it, followed by an old door, all whilst he was trying to get on, he gave up and he caught the serial killer, who is a little bugger, and locked her in the newly built enclosure; so he could get on and build the chickens new house.
It was a big job to take the old enclosure down as to stop said killer getting to the chickens when they first arrived we had put huge pine logs against the double fencing, and they had to be moved..
Along with the fact that the grass had grown through the fencing, effectively pinning the wire to the floor. (She still got through in the end though! Took her seventeen months but she found a weak spot!)
Hubby did good though and in the end the chickens downsized, as you tend to do when you get older, and moved into a pretty little beach style cottage, placed in the sunshine, with a little plank up into it (easy access for when you get older) and some lovely new hay.
It is fair to say that they are as happy as happy can be in their new home.
We did make a discovery though, the poor girl had not stopped laying, we found broken eggshells in the Chicken Hilton and five eggs that she had hidden under the straw – all an indication of rats!
And that is another story from our adventures of living in rural France!
Have a wonderful weekend folks – remember this is the sequel to the prequel so keep reading in to have hope that things can get better
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