7th January 2013

I’ve wished my hens a Happy New Year with a good clean up in their run. All this rain has resulted in a quagmire, so have been pondering the best carpet. Dried leaves are good, but can be slippery, gravel is rather expensive, straw is messy, so have bought 5 bags of chipped bark and laid it good and thick. I’m assured it is just bark, with no additives. It has a slightly antiseptic smell, but that’s just the pine resin.

The hens quite like it and have been scratching around. Hopefully it will rot down over the summer and will either improve the drainage in the run or I can rake it out, and with the additional droppings, it will make a good mulch on to my flowerbeds. I’ve popped down a few strategically paving slabs to make my journey to the feed bins a little less perilous.

I’ve hoovered the house, removing the spiderwebs in the roof, dusted with anti-mite and laid a good thick wodge of broadsheet – the Sunday Telegraph is best. The nest boxes are lined with dried moss in the hope of eggs in the near future – Valentines Day is not that far away. So with drinkers and feed bins scoured, the dustbath topped up with wood ash, and everything neat and tidy, let’s hope we have a productive 2013.

All this activity in the run and garden is just to escape the chaos in the house, with a hole in the roof, and a thick layer of dust – I could be better off in with the hens. Here’s to better times ahead.