I built the first wooden frame for an aviary panel today. Major achievement! This is to extend a chicken run that is too small for my four hens. I have two chickens in the cat run and two in a wooden coop with attached run. The wooden coop is the type bought by new chicken keepers from eBay, because they are reasonably priced.
It wasn’t long before I wanted two more hens and had to upgrade the run. This is very common as chicken keeping is addictive. At around a month after buying your first chickens you will NEED to upgrade to a bigger coop, a walk in run, an Omlet cube or Eglu. Or even, Eglu then Omlet cube. I admit it. I am such a person, but I actually read all about this and still went for the wooden ebay coop. I am now the proud owner of an Omlet Eglu.
I’m making aviary panels for a walk in run so that I can put all four chickens together. My first attempt at putting in a screw made the length of wood split. I tried another bit of wood and that split too. I then spent a while rummaging in the shed to find a drill bit smaller than the screw to drill a hole in the wood first. This worked until one screw stuck half-way in. Why do they make 3mm drill bits so short? The screw head became threaded by my efforts to push it in. I was rather worried when the drill started smoking so I downed tools. What I really wanted to do was scream, throw the tools around the garden and swear a lot. I just did the latter as I’m sure my neighbours already think I am crazy. It was freezing so I was quite happy to give up and go inside.
I made another trip to B&Q today. I live there. I bought a pair of aviator tin snips to go with my side cutters, a set of pliers to try to twist the screw out, and a professional type of wood screw where the packaging states the wood will not split, self piloting and the head is stronger. So why do they sell screws that do not work? I tried all three of the pliers and none of them helped to pull out the dodgy screw. I tried to drill out the head, but none of my drill bits managed to do this. The good news is the professional screws worked first time.
I also bathed my lavender aracauna today, and then dried her with a hairdryer. She actually liked it. I posted some photos of her here:
Next, I treated all four chickens for lice with a couple of drops of frontline on their necks. It’s not yet licensed for poultry so I will not be able to eat their eggs for seven days.
All this chickening fun has not left me with much time left to work on my Creative Writing MA. I have until the beginning of January to edit two short stories and to write a three thousand word essay about symbols in Little Red Riding Hood.