I can hardly believe that it's been a year since the girls moved in to the Palace. I spent months trying to find the perfect coop for my pampered ladies and I have to say that I am delighted with my choice. However, perfection doesn't come cheap, so in an effort to protect my investment I decided to paint it. The recent warm weather made me think that today would be ideal. Naturally, the temperature has plummeted by around ten degrees and the wind has picked up. I also have two helpers at home, as the children are on their Easter holidays from school. Despite these possible hiccups, it went reasonably well.
I kept the hens in the run while I painted the outside, figuring that it's the outside of the structure which suffers the most weathering. I want to treat the inside as a red mite preventative, but what with the serama occupying the garage and my tomato seedlings taking over the greenhouse, I have nowhere to stick the pekins while it dries. So for now, the inside of the coop will have to wait. After giving the children strict instructions on the handling of the creosote substitute and putting them in some old clothes, we got started.
The creosote substitute (creocote) smells like creosote, but is thin and watery. So naturally it goes everywhere. The hens watched with interest as the youngest mostly covered his own shoes and arms in the runny mix, while I attempted to duck out of the eldest's spray. Doris kept up a running commentary in her baby seagull stylee, while the others muttered in the manner of little old ladies at bus stops that go 'Ooh!' about everything. After around twenty minutes of watching the carnage, I thanked my helpers graciously and sent them indoors to eat Easter eggs. The hens and I eyeballed each other, all of us grateful for the reprieve. I think the girls were tiring of dodging out of the way of random creocote showers.
With my helpers not helping, it was finished in no time. It doesn't take very long to slap a coat of creocote on to your chicken housing and can make a huge difference to both the longevity of it and also any red mite attacks. I heartily recommend spending a messy, stinky hour doing so. Just be prepared that you won't be able to smell anything else for hours as the fumes singe your nose hairs.
Now, I realise that I haven't mentioned Vera and the eggs yet. Apologies. The thing is, there is nothing more to tell. Tiny tapping sounds continue to be heard from the nest, and Vera continues her steady vigil. As yet, there are no chicks.
The waiting continues.