I love having chickens. Ever since I got my first chickens when I was four I have loved them because:
They lay eggs. Big organic, yellow yolked lovelies.
They are hilarious comical beings.
I like having animals around.
But these chickens are vicious. Truly evil. not just a bit 'hen pecky' really, really nasty. For the second time since we got them I have recently had cause to separate them . One of the hens had been ill and then started to moult and subsequently the other two began two tear her apart.
Sadly the truth of these lovely birds (or vicious dinosaurs as we refer to them as) is that once they have the site of blood they will keep on going until they have pecked the weak bird to death. So a temporary home was created out of our old pot store to put the hen pecked lady in to recuperate (the last time one was ill they lived in the greenhouse for a while - never again, it was a nightmare and made me jealous as the greenhouse is firmly my territory). She started to get better and last weekend we started to reintegrate them with disastorous consequences.
Now I expected a bit of sparring but not the all out blood fuelled assault we witnessed. Needless to say the hen was removed less than an hour after we started to reintegrate them.
So this time I am trying a different tack to diffuse our ongoing chicken wars. Some happy time living side by side (but not together) will hopefully pave the way to reconciliation (it had better because on a cold day two lots of water and two lots of food to sort out take the you know what and to add insult to injury only one of the damn hens is laying anyway).
The chicken run has been duly separated which means no one has a lot of space but no one is going to die of being pecked to death either. Each can stay in their own side and just get used to each other without the killing part. So to cut a long story short I needed a small, one chicken, studio apartment for the solo hen to stay in. No good leaving her in the run without a house as the fox would just love that!
To answer my chicken dwelling issues I made the mini house shown above and in situ below. It is made entirely of found materials. In fact the wood I used was the shed floor that came with the house when we bought it, was used as a wooden floor in the chicken run last winter and has been living under a forsythia for a while. Amazing what you can do with a few bit of scrap (but still in good nick) timber, a few screws and a lick of wood preservative (chicken safe of course). It is not a masterpiece but it is high level bodging and I am very proud of it.
It is also a timely lesson it taking things at your own pace. I am not in a very good way at the minute with all sorts of joint problems (got to love the cold weather coming on when you have a joint condition!) and consequently in lots of pain. I am also not very good at taking things slowly. But I am learning that there is no shame in going at your own pace, even if that might be a bit slower than everyone elses place. This woodworking marvel was possible (despite the knackered joints) through good planning, doing a bit at a time and most importantly accepting that while others may have made it quicker or better they didn't, you did and therefore you get to be pleased with yourself which is a nice feeling.
This is the design for the postcards I am ordering this week to advertise my new crafty venture.
I wish I had her poise when sewing, I think my back would appreciate it! I am afraid to disappoint my loyal followers by divulging that I sew in more of a 'hunched over in my lounge pants with the tele on' kind of way. Not in the alert pose this lady employs when crafting.
If only I could live up to my own romantic notions....
This lady likes cake (as opposed to my earlier lady who likes pie).
One of the things I was a bit worried about when I started to make a lot more craft was that I would get a bit 'bored' of doing it all the time. I have, what can only be described as a bitch of a cold at the moment, (my partner works at the local uni so it is undoubtedly a bout of freshers flu as the students started back recently - thanks kids) and it has knocked out my ability to do almost anything (this blog post is sponsored by vitamin C, paracetamol and sudafed).
This means no craft. And I am missing it - badly. My fingers are bored stiff. Can't wait till I can focus my mind and eyes enough to coordinate my fingers again to the required level to sew nicely (also does not seem nice to be sneezing all over things I intend to sell!).
So as I can't make anything at the moment I thought I would show you all something I made a little while ago. Fingers crossed (if you can coordinate yours) that my hands are able to start doing what they love again very soon.