A wet and windy day

Well, it is November, so I suppose you can’t expect too much; but yesterday, the sun shone, and in the shelter of the hawthorn bushes it almost felt like summer. Today the chooks are clinging to the ground and walking sideways to avoid being blown over. Yesterday, we trimmed back the hawthorns in preparation for the fox-proof (we hope!) fence being built in the coming weeks. This will give our six ladies a large, sheltered area safe from predators and allow us to enlarge the flock next spring. We have kept hens for over two years now, starting with three black rocks and expanding six months later with  two bluebells and a warren. It was love at first sight for me. They are very engaging birds, and I delight in watching their daily routines, their squabbles, the way they preen themselves, the hilarious flapping run up the drive to keep up with the leader, their dependence on each other as well as their independence. They are under my feet when I dig in the garden, and follow me to the kitchen door in the hope of getting a handful of sunflower seeds as a treat. They love dustbaths in shady places in summer and hate winter snow. Last winter the snow was so deep that they sank into it, and after the first foray refused to come out of the henhouse until we had cleared a path for them. I had the dubious pleasure of Dolly climbing onto my shoulder to avoid having to put her feet in the snow.

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