The Chook Palace has been successfully relocated. In the end, we had to call in the services of our lovely drummer neighbour to help move it. My assertion that I could lift it turned out to be, frankly, wrong. Like any self respecting Palace, it weighs a ton (If not literally, it's not far off).
Now that its reached its final resting place, I can begin to landscape around it. I would love to plant swathes of beautiful flowers, but the pragmatist in me knows that what I really need are unappatising, chicken proof shrubs. The chooks have taken the move well, and even obliged by putting themselves to bed last night like sensible hens. Partly, this might be down to the fact that it is absolutely freezing here again. I peeked in to the sleeping area to find all six pekins huddled together, the chooklets sensibly putting the fearsome Mabel between themselves and the social climbing Maeve. The silkies were a mass of fur in the nest box, and at some point I will be addressing this bad habit.
In digging out the flower bed to make a flat base for the Palace, the ever tolerant husband has created a large pile of earth. This needs to be moved, and I managed to distribute four wheel barrow loads last night before my back threw a tantrum and stubbornly refused to haul any more. The hens are in raptures. Its a veritable smorgasboard of squirmy things, and they are gorging themselves. Indeed, Maude has gotten a little carried away, and managed to dig herself a crater. All that can be seen from this side of the mound is a fine spray of earth being furiously thrown up and behind her ample rear end. Occassionally, a hapless hen wanders past and gets a faceful of dirt. The protestations can be heard from the house.
Kiki is broody, so ignoring all of the activity. I turfed her out while the Palace was moved, and she diligently kept pace with it as it was transported up the garden. As soon as it was landed, she sprinted back up to her nest box. I imagine that when she finally wakes up from her maternal spell, she'll look about her at the cavernous Palace and go 'Huh?! Where am I?!'.
Something, while up to my elbows in chicken poo, I often ask myself.