Yesterday was a miserable day, rain, freezing rain, sleet, all freezing on surfaces. The hens had been let into their run, not free ranging as I didn’t want them out in the weather and because Grandson and I had pulled up a couple Barberry shrubs the day before and there were areas of loose soil in garden beds that I didn’t want them digging up. When I went out at dusk to lock them up and gather the couple of eggs that are being provided now that molt is mostly over, I found my most timid Marans dead in the run with damage that looked like that of a hawk that couldn’t carry off a full grown hen. Today they were left in the coop all day.
We drove the hour to the city to take Grandson to the Pinball Museum and to get lunch only to discover they aren’t open on Monday, so a long drive in both directions for a mediocre lunch. On the way home, we stopped and purchased erosion fencing, staples, and cable ties to try to secure the run. Once home, first step was to tighten up the 4 foot fence and set a few more posts, removing the part of an earlier solo attempt to cover the run, securing the tightened fence wire to the new posts. The erosion fencing is being stapled to the top of the coop, just below the roof, his 6’2″ + height useful for this and having the extra pair of hands to pull fence tight and handing cable ties also nice. We didn’t finish, it was cold and reached dinner prep time, but about 2/3 of the open top is now covered securely. When we walked over to begin, the hawk was in the empty run where it had killed the hen the day before. It flew into a pear tree, then off to the lower field. Tomorrow is to be a bit warmer and hopefully, the remaining top can be covered so the hens can be released again.
The coop had been cleaned on Saturday, and the spoiled wood chips added as mulch to the daylily bed and I don’t want the hens scratching through that either. They have scratched there so much the soil in that bed is several inches lower than the stoop and the surrounding grass. It needs to be built up and enriched. The metal fence pulled down in our efforts today will be used to provide a protective ring around the young plum and any remaining erosion fence used to protect the daylily bed from deer and hens.
Yesterday did provide an afternoon to socialize with my two local spinning friends, enjoying hot tea, each other’s company, and a lesson in a new skill for one of them. One of the gals, as soon as she learned to spin, made two great Turkish spindles, an amazing feat that I couldn’t do.
Today my new hearing aids arrived, now wearing two instead of just one and these are bluetooth enabled so they can be controlled by my smart phone. It is nice to be able to be in a different area of the house and hear hubby or grandson speaking to me.
I hope we can finish the hen run tomorrow. I’m toying with putting a temporary fence around the compost pile and an opening from the run to it on the other side of their fence so they can stir it up. When they are given access to it, a tarp or cover will have to protect them from the aerial predatory.
We continue taking one day at a time with hope that Wednesday morning, the Cardiology specialist may be able to open at least hubby’s most blocked artery.