Hot weather

We’ve had a mini heat-wave – up to 30C or more in the garden – and the hens have taken shelter where they can. Under the fig tree there is dense shade and it’s quite cool, but I like to see the girls around the garden,

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so I enticed them out with a tray of water and some frozen peas and corn!

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Even the broody bantams joined in for a while – until Clare gave them the ‘eye’ and they retreated. I’ve been watching the girls to see who is top of the pecking order and I can’t quite make it out – but Clare is definitely 2IC (second in command), the top hen has no need to be so aggressive to retain her position!

Carey used to be top hen, but she isn’t so well, walking with a limp and currently moulting … so she sits a lot, taking the weight off her leg whenever she can.

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I can’t see any sign of bumblefoot. It may simply be the result of scaly leg mite, but if it’s been successfully treated it should resolve during a moult and it hasn’t. So I’m mystified. And sad.

But she still gets around. Clare and Charlie are always together,

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The wooden ‘gate’ is across the back door to stop uninvited guests – it didn’t work and it’s now been replaced by a much taller wire panel, which frustrated the cats at first but now they’ve learned to jump over it from the bench!

and Carey joins them for treats or to explore something new or a shady place – water melon is a real treat, juicy and the seeds help control gastro-intestinal worms!

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We haven’t seen Connie out and about for a while now … she’s sitting firmly in the nest box, not exactly broody – at least she’s not hissing yet – but semi-recumbent anyway. She’s never really been part of the pecking order, she keeps her distance as much as she can.

Bottom of the pecking order is definitely the un-broody bantam – not in these photos, but she’s often hanging around the big girls for company and she is tolerated, most of the time. But I noticed Carey give Charlie the eye, just the once, but that suggests she has maintained her position at the top of the order. It’s all very entertaining!

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