I went out earlier, more than an hour ago, to feed and water the chickens and I have just now come in from out there. I gave them their food, cleaned out their water and refilled it and while some come and eat while I am there some stand back and make their little chirpy noise. I could hear this other noise in the background though didn't think too much off it until I had left that pen and was checking the older ones in the pen next door and could still hear the noise. After a bit of hunting around I saw a little chick huddling under the Strawberry Guava tree. Every time I went near it though it ran to the other side of the tree and as all the branches are hanging down, some touching the ground, I couldn't get to it. It wouldn't go in the direction of the gate to get out and I was just scaring it. But the silly thing had to be back with it's mum as I think it is still too little to be by it's self.
I ended up cutting some of the bottom branches off the tree so it couldn't hide under there and I manoeuvred it behind a sheet of tin learning up against the fence but it just ran up the other end and I still couldn't reach it. I blocked off one end, went in after it and after a few misses I finally grabbed the thing. It is now back in with it's family but didn't seem thankful at all. It just ran for the food dish and started gobbling. Not sure how long it had been out for, poor little silly thing.
With the trees, I like them to hang down as protection for the chooks, Hubby wants all the bottom branches cut off so it's easier to see if any snakes or skinks are in the pens.
He has a point and now 1 tree is already half done! I might do the trees in the chicken pens as these are netted over the top to keep the crows out but leave the ones in the pens that aren't netted.
We get crows here and they steal eggs and would take a chicken if they could get one but as I usually put the chicks in the covered pens maybe the tree pruning in them is a good idea. I also think that the branchier trees offer better shade and make things cooler for the older chooks but I would like to see if there was a snake in there...
Yesterday evening there was a crow sitting on top of one of the the netted pens eyeing off the chickens, I had to go out and throw something at it to get it to fly off but I know it will be back. It's a pity the nasty things are protected but I couldn't shoot them anyway. I see them and think of the movie *The Omen* and think that they will *come and get me* if I hurt one.
A walk in Derbyshire with my buddies
6 hours ago