Hotsy Totsy!

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Good gosh this has been a sweltering heat wave! Apparently we normally have thirteen 30’C+ days in a summer. We have already had nineteen of those.

It’s all about water … Apparently our gang will ‘dunk’ for peanuts …

And it’s all about fans too …

I now have FOUR fans hanging on the fence line in the Chicken Palace. The flock would make short forays out into the paddock – and then make a bee line back to sit in front of one of these. I hosed down the soil and placed large bottles of frozen water in little shelters made out of bins set on their sides. The ice bottles were tucked into hay ‘nests’ – and then hens then tucked themselves in beside them.

Poor Lily this morning! Even well before noon she was way too hot sitting in the shade. Chickens suffer much more from the heat than from the cold. I have been making regular checks throughout the day to change water bowls, bring out ice, deliver cold treats, move fans and ensure they are in the shade.

Paddy has been doing a great job of herding the hens into the shade of the woods. He has managed to scoop Lindy and Roxie along with the rest. It really is good to have his help. It seems a group of hens does a lot better with a rooster – especially if they are free ranging.

Tweedle Dee is really quite a mess. She’s in the middle of a hard moulting period – so she looks like she’s been doing her own Covid haircuts. She was keen to get a few peanuts out of the cold water trough though. Both she and her sister, Tweedle Deb, have terrible ‘coughs’. They don’t have runny noses. And they don’t have runny eyes. I believe they are fighting a respiratory virus. I am sooooooo looking forward to the arrival of our new ‘coop’ in August. I would like to have more space to spread the hens out at night. And will keep our old small coop as an infirmary. Patience … patience. 😉

Today I kept the flock all in the run (aka the Chicken Palace) for the afternoon. I spent the time there too – hauling out the old straw bales from the winter and taking down the tarp walls so there could be a good breeze straight through.

This is Lindy. She is such a gentle little thing. I cannot imagine what it is like to have all those feathers in this incredible heat. I’m glad she is amenable to sitting calmly in front of a fan.

My junior farmers headed back home two days ago. I will miss how they inspired me to get myself to the beaches! My cool shower seems so conveniently closer when it is only me needing a dip.

I think we’ll be busy this next while bringing relief in water buckets to the flowers that have managed to bloom – and the critters that are riding the heat wave out with us.

Hope you are managing to stay cool.

Sending love from the Meadow Mice.

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