We're on lock down here at Casa Bliss as are all chicken owners across the country at the moment.
In case you hadn't seen it in the news, cases of bird flu have been confirmed in the UK and as a precaution, all poultry owners have had to make sure their birds are kept indoors where possible.
And if that isn't, then to take precautions to keep them away from wild birds. I'm not able to keep my three indoors, but they have an enclosed run so they've just been kept in that. I hate it though. This run is big enough for them, but I preferred to just keep them in it when we weren't around and let them roam freely when we were. Not being able to give them this extra freedom hasn't been too bad over the winter as they prefer to stay in their coop during bad weather, but now that spring is just around the corner they've started to become restless.
This lock down is in place until the end of February, but this date has been pushed back twice already since the they first announced it back in December and I suspect it will again.
If this is the case I'm going to make them a larger enclosed run so that I can add more things to keep them entertained. At the moment I'm relying on straw for them to scratch about in and various treats.
It's doing the job, but it's a pain having to remove the food scraps each night. And to be honest, I think they just miss the company. Keeping them under the apple tree is great to shelter them from the worst of the wind and rain, but it's at the bottom of the garden and they like company. It's why bantams make great pets and are so tame, anyone remember Snowball jumping on my shoulder last summer for a snooze?
Fingers crossed it doesn't last much longer, I miss having my girls bumbling around the garden. And Titch is extremely pissed off about the situation. Chickens have personalities and while the other two are fairly laid back, she is not happy and likes to make sure I know it. Mainly by shouting at me. Look. I even caught her in the act. After three months of being cooped up, she wants more than straw and turnips and I can't say I blame her.
On a brighter note (and a sign that spring really is just around the corner), Tufty Sue and Snowball have started laying, no more shop bought eggs for us! Alessi loves going to the coop each day to see if there are any waiting in the nesting box.
She asked me to take a photo of her with the chickens the other day and was all ready to give me the thumbs up, but when I took the picture what I'd actually captured was all eyes on her snack! Even Titch was momentarily quiet.
So all in all the chickens are getting on great, considering they're cooped up. Their first winter was a lot milder than I had thought it would be and the coop has stood up to the elements well. Fingers crossed we'll be able to let them out again soon though.