Saturday, 25 August 2012

Alice in Wonderland

I posted an earlier blog called ‘Meet the girls’ where I introduced my hens including Alice, who should be pure white, but being the tomboy of the group is forever black from digging.  I know she enjoys getting dirty with constant dust baths and routing for tit bits but I discovered today exactly why she gets so grubby. I let them all into the main garden for a bit of company as I indulged in a spot of cutting back and weeding (weeds aplenty thanks to all the rain) and Alice led the way as she headed straight for her little wonderland, an area past the pond under the birch tree where it is sheltered and thick with soft dry earth. The girls love this spot and soon settled down for a good dig.

My first hens, six ex-battery girls, also loved this spot and would find a little area in direct line with a sun beam to enjoy a snooze or a touch of gentle pecking in the soil as they snuggled in. Anyway, I digress, not only was Alice digging to Australia in her enthusiasm and showering herself with soil she was also covered in the earth dispersed by Elsie May and Audrey Joy under their own earnest efforts and was quickly disappearing under a layer of topsoil.

So, now I know, although I have to confess that at the moment Alice is not only sporting brand new, pure and unsullied tail feathers, which are super white (but for how long?), but also a smattering of new lily white baby feathers round her wings and  she does look extremely pretty and extraordinarily white  for Alice, so perhaps this new pristineness will prevail once she shakes out all that muck.

Find the best spot

Settle down for a preen - Alice pristine and as white with new feathers

 A little ritual pecking and the showering of soil starts

A little at first ...

... then the full coverage - just a few tail feathers and wing fluff escapes ...

One of my little ex-battery girl Gladys a few years ago settling down there for a spot of gentle thinking 
As I have been typing we have had a quick but tremendous thunder storm - one second it was bright and the next black and with  a huge clap of thunder the rain came across the field in sheets - the lane is now gently steaming but the girls remain happily snug and dry under their beech tree.

Have a nice weekend.



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