Freezing February

The past few days and nights have been bitterly cold, snowing on and off but not enough to settle as it did last month. Despite the cold I forced myself outside to do some jobs in the garden yesterday, first up was tackling the area behind the chicken runs which became a dumping ground for things such as off cuts of timber, chicken wire and other bits and bobs we collect throughout the year with every intention of using them. After a good sort through most of it went in the outbuilding, the area is now clear and ready for some new compost bins that we plan to build using pallets very soon. Next on the list was cutting back wild brambles that had tangled themselves around the tops of the apple trees, I found this very easy to do with a pair of long handled loppers. 

We still have quite a few parsnips in the ground and I managed to pull some up for dinner even though the ground was semi frozen. The vibrations from wiggling parsnips free from the soil brought earthworms to the surface, I was aware the whole time I was being watched by the resident Robin, eyeing up an easy meal.

I often work in the garden alone but I’m never lonely, the chickens are usually under my feet and our dog is my shadow, she loves being outside with me whatever the weather (actually that isn’t strictly true she dislikes rain and so do I). She turns 12 in August and slowing down, until she sees a squirrel. 

Chickens on Lockdown

We’re not the only ones on lockdown, the chickens have been banished from the garden since December due to avian influenza. I really miss watching them strutting around the veg garden before tootling off to bed. 

At the moment they are all confined to the walk-in enclosures, which isn’t so bad really as they have shelter from rain and plenty of room to move around, they can see pretty much everything going on around them. Of course they disagree and look very sorry for themselves.

I miss the Fluffy gang

To make up for the lack of grass in their diet I’m feeding them whole cabbages and chard leaves overwintering in the veg patch, I’d much rather see them helping themselves even though I’d complain after they’d completely trashed everything. The garden feels empty without them following me everywhere, I keep checking the DEFRA website for updates.

Hopefully better weather is coming, spring can’t come soon enough this year. How are your chickens doing?