Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chickens and ducks

A week or so ago, Dim Sim discovered that if she stood on the roof of the duck or the chook house, she could fly over the fence into the rest of the garden. This is not absolutely convenient, if only because the orchard is as fox and dog proof as we can make it and the rest of the garden is not.  So The Under Gardener raised the height along the back part of the fence.

Yesterday morning I was stood outside, chatting over the fence to Debby, when I looked down towards the orchard and thought: "Good heavens.  There's a chook in the cherry tree."  At which point Dim Sim flew from the middle of the cherry tree, over the fence and into the rest of the garden.  Accompanied, it must be said, by some very grumpy quacking from the ducks who can't fly, can't climb in the trees and therefore can't escape!  We have run out of fence wire so the Under Gardener is going to put some netting up to see if we can stop her escaping.  We don't want Steve and Debby to be having to chase around after her while we are gadding about in Australia!

And if she goes over the fence the other way, into the garden of the new bungalow - then she's on her own!  She may lay regular, pretty, very tasty eggs, but we are not chasing around all over Tupton looking for a chook!

We have been giving a bit of thought to getting a pond or a bath or something for the ducks to play in.  They don't seem keen to get into the fish pond and we can't work out whether it's because it's winter, or because the fish pond is covered with pond weed or whether they just don't like it. But in any case, they aren't able to wander around in the garden all of the time and although they have a baby bath in the orchard, it's a bit small now that they are full grown.  So we've been looking into getting something a bit bigger for them.  Then someone put a bath out by their wall on Ward Street a week or so ago, with a note on it saying that it was free to a good home.  Someone else took the fittings, but we didn't want those.  The bath, on the other hand, was just the thing.  So we brought it home and the Under Gardener has dug a hole and sunk it into the ground by the pear tree.

The ducks don't like this either, as you can see from the pure, clean water.  But they'll get use to it!!
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