This could be a fable by my mortal enemy Jean de la Fontaine (you may recall from previous posts that I hate, despise and loathe this long-dead fablist because of the torture he put me and my young son through when having to learn his awful, interminable rhymes for devoirs). But it’s not. It’s Lambo and Big Freaky, the cou-nu chick, who has shacked up with him. In a moment of insanity, I invested in two cou-nu chicks nearly a month ago, since they were all the chicken seller had on offer and I had come in a chicken-buying frame of mind, fiver at the reader, to start building my flock up. Silly me, I’d forgotten just how ghastly this breed of chicken is. It didn’t take long to remember!

The pair of chicks spent three weeks in the Eglu and then I bought two better looking chickens from another market stall. So I moved the newbies in with the cou-nus, who still seemed too ditzy to be let out to join the main flock. But the cou-nus turned out to be savage little beggars and were making the new chickens’ lives a misery, despite the fact they were dwarfed by them. I let them out. They were fine, thank goodness, and very quick learners that I’m the food lady, so they began following me everywhere! Then the weather turned ghastly and the two half-bald critters spent a lot of time huddled up in various sheltered spots, desperately trying to conserve body heat. It was then I moved them both into Lambo’s stable. But the smallest of the two, Little Freaky, was still trembly so I risked putting her back with the newbies. Peace reigned, apart from a very small amount of initial getting-to-know-you pecking. The three quickly became firm friends. Clearly it was Big Freaky who was the psychotic one and leading his little sister astray. (I’m convinced BF is a cockerel.)

So Big Freaky is now Lambo’s constant companion. The pair of them trail around after me and launch themselves into the hallway every time the front door opens. Lambo wants to come in and pee (he prefers indoor toilets!) while Big Freaky quickly worked out that I kept the sack of chick crumb just inside the door and he makes a beeline for that.

Yes, I have a sack of chick food in my hall. Also currently about 90 pairs of welly boots, a chain saw and a vast assortment of tools. We go for the practical rather than the aesthetic here! There’s a tubby dog in there usually too. Nessie the once sleek Border Collie/Alsatian cross, has let herself go over the winter and is now very well insulated. She’s on a diet at the moment, and she’s not massively impressed. Her downfall was the cats. Nessie lives in constant fear of the cats eating her food. Up until recently she helped herself from her sack of cheap and cheerful crunchy dog food which we have aptly renamed farty-crock. If ever a cat approached, whether she was hungry or not Nessie would plunge her head into her sack and attempt to eat it all so that her feline enemy couldn’t get it. She also sought to get her own back by eating their food whenever she could. The self-service restaurant has been closed and Nessie’s victuals are strictly rationed out – when we remember! She has the odd unfed day when we’re sidetracked, but with fieldfuls of campagnoles (small rodents) out there for the crunching, she won’t starve. She’s very partial to fresh mulot.

Lambo is nibbling grass, hay, dandelions, nettles (but only briefly), cow parsley and our fingers now so he’s on his way to becoming a proper sheep. We hope to have  him out in a field soon, just as soon as this wet winter weather clears up. If it ever does …