What do you do when disaster strikes your hens? If your garden is a home to hens then this bit of news from Debbie the gardener will delight you.
Sadly a fox got into our fully enclosed hen run recently and left a trail of carnage behind. We rescued a badly injured young Yokohama cock and later discovered a hen sitting on a clutch of eggs behind an old door. The cock slowly recovered and was joined by an old hen donated by a neighbour just to keep him company. After keeping hens for over twenty five years on that site we decided to give the run an overhaul while we were able to without hens getting out and digging up the nearby flower beds. The soil in the run was over two feet of wonderful peat like compost and fellow allotment keepers soon joined in digging and filling bags, all on a strict timetable to ensure social distancing. One neighbour even came in at 6am for several days to ensure his share.
What was a heart-breaking time for us, some of the hens were very old friends, turned into a celebration of their lives as we see the wonderful crops growing in the soil they manured over their lives. Very much the circle of life.
The cock has now made a full recovery and is crowing again but sadly the eggs didn’t hatch as the hen did not sit tightly enough probably due to the trauma.
The odd trio are very happy together and we recently hatched some Speckled Sussex chicks to join the flock.
We now have a fresh delivery of hard wood chipping to line the cleared run and after checking all the wire and struts still don’t really know how the fox got in. The hens are now locked up every night in their house and the run is also double locked.
Update on the asparagus:
My asparagus bed was the best ever this year and I have added some new plants to fill in gaps. So waiting five years was worth it!