After all the drama of the last fortnight or so, I’ve not been down to the allotment to do much at all.
That’s not the case for MrT though.
He has been there for several days while I was away with the ladies celebrating a hen party. While I was off getting drunk and dancing to S Club Party, he was toiling away trying to make my chicken run fox proof and make it look so different that I wouldn’t worry about the new girls when they are ready to venture out.
He has cut back all of the hedging down the back of the coop. It was made primarily of thorny horrible hedging and brambles, with some nettles thrown in for good measure. He’s completely cleared it.
Then he started to build me a fence down that side. It wont keep the foxes at bay, but it might make it a little more obvious when they dig under or climb over if we can see their muddy trail.
He has also begun shifting a huge amount of slabs ready to lay them around the edge of the run to provide an extra layer of protection. This will hopefully stop the rats from burrowing in too. He found their entrance while sorting through the mess. I know we will never stop the rats, but at least there will be no easy-access.
Carpet gripper strips have been installed on the nesting box to deter any would-be invaders from using that as a neat little springboard over the fence. By the look of his hands when I saw him the following Monday, any fox visitors will have some holey paws after jumping on that!
All of the clippings, waste wood and the remains of the old chicken shed have been broken down and left in a pile ready to burn when he next gets a day of work, but sadly he is now on 10 days straight so it’ll be a while yet!
Following all of his hard work, I popped down for my only visit on Monday to take a look at his accomplishments.
In the daylight, we could see the exit route (and therefore probably the entry route) the monsters used to get in to my girls. They have climbed up on to the nesting box, then managed to squeeze between the overlap in the pheasant netting roof and the heras fencing side panel. It must have been a stroke of luck really.
They’ve then climbed over the roof of the coop, had their way with my beautiful flock, and then dragged Jimmy kicking and screaming back up the side of the coop and out. Its easy enough to see the scratches up the side of the coop where they’ve tried a couple of times to make the jump and scrabbled up the vertical side.
Lets just say that now I know how they have managed it, they will never get the opportunity again.
Sadly, I have heard since that one of the other Old Boys has had his flock decimated too – less than a week after mine.
They must be very active this year…
Keep an eye on your birds!