Wednesday 13 January 2010

Through the keyhole!

Did you ever see that television programme which was on many years ago, when you were shown glimpses inside a house and had to guess who owned it?  Well here's your chance to do the same with not one - but two little homes!

The post lady has just been, and I have fixed my camera - and just dashed out very quickly as it is snowing yet again - to take pictures.

This was taken accidentally when I was messing about with the camera, otherwise I would have tidied the cushions, removed Patrick's remote - yes he sits there and take the surviette off the sofa arm!  But as it was on the camera you might as well have a sneak peek at our little lounge and the snow beyond.

This is what I have spent quite a few days assembling.
Peckingham Palace des res with covered playground, and their favourite roosting bar too!

It probably doesn't look much work to  you now that it is complete, but putting it all together in stages whilst it is freezing cold, and snowing was quite a feat for me.  Especially as I had to shovel several  inches of snow away each day before I could even continue.  Each piece of the frame is clipped together with plastic clips which I found so hard to snap together - a combination of cold hands, old hands, and cold clips I guess.  All around on the outside I have attached one long run of lawn edging - thanks for that tip Clare.   All of which had to be punched with holes - my Cropodile came in handy, and wire inserted top and bottom, then I was crouched on cardboard on snow, whilst it was snowing, attaching all the wires to hold it to the cage.  I did the same with some clear plastic around the sides and rear - cutting it all to size - punching holes, adding eyelets - colour co-ordinated of course - and leaving ventilation so that there is plenty of air to avoid any condensation forming on the inside of the plastic. 

The floor I have covered with almost a bale of dried hemp so that they can scratch and roll about in to their hearts' content, and it's nice and dry and warm too.   The far side is the water container on legs - so that stays clear of them scratching any hemp off the floor into it - they do scratch about rather enthusiastically.


There is a basket hanging on the cage with cabbage leaves for them to peck at, when they are confined to barracks - which is not often, just when they want to be and overnight of course. The feeder is hanging next to it suspended from a 'bungee' and they rather enjoy it being beak height and moving.

Ttohanks to a very kind delivery driver who had to abandon his van and walk down two roads to get our house with the 'special' glass clear tarpaulin cover to keep them snug and dry in this appalling weather

The 'steps' up to their swanky insulated penthouse will remain clean and dry, and the inside has had a 'makeover'. Out with the old wooden roosting bars and in with super, up to the minute soft and grippy plastic ones - in colour co-ordinating grey to match their interior! I am making this sound like a 'nutty' fashionista throwing money at pampered pets - but actually the reverse is true. 

In my experience the Omlet housing is the easiest to clean and maintain, the healthiest environment for the chickens, and the best of both worlds for the chickens and for me. The fact that I could choose a colour that blends in with my garden was, and is just perfect.

I have cleared all the paths of snow - so when we opened the door in the morning, were out like rockets daintily marching one after the other single file, then flying over the gravel paths that still have snow, on their daily inspection of their 'estate'!

After a few hours out and about, they marched themselves back in when the snow started coming down again heavier.  They are so funny to watch  - as there is a strick pecking order.   Gozzie, the rare Rosecomb is still Queen of the roost and goes in first - stopping for a bite to eat, then a drink, whilst Daisy, the fluffy black and white Pekin,  follows doing the same, and poor old Scrabble, the pure bred Wheaten Modern Game Bird goes in last.

They will be joined by two more bantams in the near future - weather permitting - which I am so excited about, as my three are getting old in chicken years now.

I am feeling pretty good.  In the past week or so I fixed a problem on my computer, dismantled and cleaned and rebuilt Peckingham Palace, built and attached a run, and covers, and fixed my camera!  Not bad for an old pensioner if I do say so myself.

I might take a break for a couple of days, need to re-charge my batteries - but I will be back before you've missed me, looking at your blogs, and crafting again.

Thanks for looking