Tuesday 6 December 2016

Safe House.

First Class travel for 5 hens and a rooster
If you had half a dozen chickens needing a babysitter would you pick as your first choice a bloke who has just lost half his flock to the fox through giving them too much freedom? No... I don't think I would either. However, my friends seem to have more faith in me than that and I am currently babysitting the single young hen 'Billie-No-Mates' (whom you met in the last post) for a chum down the lane and now 6 more chickens from another friend - no names no pack drill on that one.

The eagle(s) have landed. Now I just need
to sort out a run for them. 
The latter friends were in a right pickle and we had to move fast. Due to our own foxy shenanigans, we are currently trying to not leave the place un-manned while our birds are out and about, so I have started to keep them in till mid-morning while I race out and do any 'away' jobs. On the morning in question I nipped round to collect these birds at 08:00 and the lady had sensibly also not let them out, so that we could easily wrangle them into my big dog crate and a kitten basket, into the car and home.

A bit tight for the 6 but better than being exposed to the fox.
Our fox trap is just visible in the background. 
I do not have the perfect solution to this as the rooster is quite a big and feisty chap. Hence I can't let these 6 go free-range with my lot for the 2 weeks, but the lady is happy that they live in a rather confined rabbit run which is made from 1 inch 'weld-mesh' so is fox proof. As they wear out the grass under foot we simply move the run a metre sideways to new grass.

Sussex Ponte 'Enda' is not keen on this
being kept indoors till mid-morning
malarkey. She wants OUT.
On the fox, though NO NEWS. Since 'we' shot the young one on 1st Dec I have seen only one fox and that outside the east field fence. It fled as soon as I came round the house corner 50 yards away. I don't know whether I am delighted with this (have we solved the problem?) or sad that we still have a fox at large. Local expertise has it that the weather warmed up, so the foxes had no need to come into risky farmyards. They will be back, I am advised, as soon as the cold comes back. For now we will leave the trap down even though all we have caught for 6 days is the half grown male kitten, Chip, three times.

On the last go today, he went in as it started to rain and got very wet before he could attract our attention. His sister, unhelpfully, came in 20 minutes earlier and curled up quite happily in the warm probably knowing that he was stuck but choosing not to cry for him for a while. With friends like that...... He was very cross, as well as wet! Maybe now he has learned his lesson.

All 4 of our cats assess whether this bed
will fit in this 6 foot trailer. It didn't. 
In my brother, Mark's last blog post, he complains that all the family over there have been struck down with colds. Well, by the power of the Internet (it went 'viral'?) both Liz and I now have the same and we are mooping around waving tissues like surrender flags and dosed up on Lemsip Max. However, no peace for the wicked here and we come to the weekend of the annual village auction.

A 365 picture of a barn at night (dusk, anyway)
All the villagers who have anything spare bring it along to the hall  and then go in and bid for other items, with the money raised going towards the village 'hall' (The "Development Co Centre" no less). There is always a good range of furniture, children's toys, household stuff, tools, electrical goods and 'bric-a-brac', plus a Craft Fair runs in another room and Liz was even selling the calendars.

We took along a put-me-up bed (one divan slides under another so that it spends its down-time as a settee) which Liz tells me sold for €49 and Liz bought some Christmas present bits as well as some furniture for the spare room (pine wardrobe, chest of drawers and a small bedside dresser, total of €15). She then put in a bid of €5 just to be nice and start the ball rolling on a black leather reclining 2-seat sofa. Ooops. Sold to the lady selling the calendars! It is now brought home, cleaned up and in our Sitting Room, looks very smart and feels very comfortable.

Because of the lack of news on Mr Fox, I am going to park that story for now. If you don't hear any more then just assume old Mrs Fox is still at large and I am bored with writing about her failure to oblige us. I am also currently trusted with the baby sitting of 21 bullocks but that's another story.

No comments: