Both the girls’ bumper bits have stayed on and there doesn’t seem to be any feather plucking. After some initial head shaking and beak bashing they seemed to have settled to wearing them and don’t seem to be in any discomfort. Just the way they are worn made me feel that any pecking would hurt but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Admittedly they are not finding it that easy to peck off the ground or at hard vegetables but they don’t go hungry as they wait to pick up the leavings on the ground kindly pecked off by other three.
I have substituted layers mash for the pellets in the hopes that they will be able to shovel their main food more successfully and, in fact, all the birds seem to prefer it. The mash which is basically all the seed ground into a coarse mix rather than formed into pellets is supposed to take longer to eat and also help to prevent feather plucking. At least I have not had to douse the girls in the smelly stuff again and they all seem really content.j
The extraordinary amount of rain we are having is doing wonders for the garden, although its cutting down on the amount I can do out there. Nevertheless have bought some new shrubs: an olearia, flowering raspberry Red Bross, a miniature lilac, Coprosma Pacific Sunset, as well as a pretty Japanese painted fern. Oh, and a new Rosemary bush to replace the one I had to rip out to site the chicken run.
The greenhouse if getting fuller by the minute: so far the tally is; 66 tomato plants (four different varieties)!!, sweetcorn, cabbage, pumpkins, runner and French climbing beans, dwarf French beans, romanesco cauliflower, leeks, sweet basil, Thai basil, dill.
In the ground the potatoes are just showing through, the onions are about 4 inches high, peas are up. Carrots, turnips and parsnips have come through but slugs have been making their mark so may have to resow. I gathered a load of birch tree twigs from the ground on our walk this morning – they will make good pea sticks. I also need defences for them as the chickens are a bit partial to nice young leafy growth.
I had to take Milo for his kennel cough vaccine yesterday – a job I hate – I get really nervous taking him. Mainly, because he hates the vets and tries to bolt out of the door as soon as we get there. I keep him occupied with clicker training and took the opportunity to do a bit of muzzle training. As he gets really stressed I muzzle him to make the whole process, quicker, easier and less stressful for all. He has to be held down which makes him buck wildly and air snap. Don’t think he will bite but I’d rather the vet didn’t find out! Did I mention the vaccine is syringed up his nose? – perhaps you can now see where I’m coming from! Sheena the vet, is great with him. She is very compassionate to nervous animals and takes her time to greet him, gives him treats and put him at ease. OK the procedure puts him straight back into fear mode but no sooner was it finished then he went straight to her for a treat. Then I breathed a sign of relief.
Very coincidentally I bumped into an old dog agility friend. Her dog had had exactly the same operation on her elbow as Milo had two years ago. So her dog will be in rehab for a few months now.