The chooks are unimpressed. Frequent downpours keep the garden a soggy mess, and my delicate feather-footed girls really dislike the way the wet makes their feet straggly. They examine the streamers trailing from their toes with disgusted mutters, and shake their feet with irritation as they become one with the longer grass. As they have just come through their moult, this problem is at it's worst. Their new foot feathers are particularly long.
Betsy and Vera are not affected by this problem. However, being silkied, they are not really designed for wet and windy conditions. On their brief trips in to the garden, they are buffeted about by the inclement weather and frequently retreat to the garage to poo all over the place and perch on the step ladder.
In an attempt to cheer them all up, I threw an apple out on to the lawn. The pekins watched it roll past, looked at me, and then went back to sulking. Even the greedier hens couldn't find the enthusiasm to stuff their beaks. The serama considered running the gauntlet of many garden obstacles, but then thought better of it. I think we're all missing the sun.
I noticed this afternoon that Betsy and Vera were scratching and shaking their heads, much like the pekins were just a few weeks ago. I wouldn't be surprised if the cause of this irritation was a mite, possibly of the ear variety. As the tiny chooks have been spending time in the Palace run, I am beginning to wonder if this beastie is living in the horse bedding. So this weekend I'll be clearing the run, scrubbing the slabs and dusting everything in mite powder. In the meantime, all birds got another spray with anti-mite and a light dusting of powder. In fact, I managed to gently dust the serama while they perched, looking up in wonder at the gently falling beastie killer.
It was quite festive.