horns of wilmington's cow

By anth

Bike Show

Y'know how I've mentioned before that for some reason I can't seem to get to enjoy something without there being something dark happen to overshadow it? Well more of that later...

First off, morning run to the farmers' market while Mel went to the opticians, before picking up A N Other form a cycling forum to head to the SECC for the inaugural Scottish Bike Show (something I was in touch with the Royal Highland Centre about three years back, but lacked the sufficient event planning expertise to bring to fruition sadly). A tenner is maybe a bit steep for entry, fiver would be good value, but it still wasn't a bad show (especially if you know one of the bike shops that is exhibiting.

Lots of tempting metal; a very interesting DIY wooden bike (spent a lot of time talking to the designer and going to do something in the next citycycling about it); and lots of BMXers provindg a few more almost blips.

So a good day really (with the Flickr photoset of 29 pics here. And then I got home.

Not only had the fox been back in the garden when the chooks were free ranging and while I was away, but he'd come in while Mel was in the garden, as well as other people in gardens around doing various noisy garden tasks. Now they're bold, we know that, but in almost 3 years of chicken keeping they've never been that bold. Cubs' mouths to feed are likely to be involved.

Skye was grabbed, round the back of the neck, but quickly let go as Mel ran towards the fox, hoe held aloft. She seemed fine. They were all put into their walk-in runs. And that was that. Except when I checked her over, hidden under her neck feathers a truly horrendous wound was revealed. Basically the fox has grabbed the feathers and in pulling has taken the skin with them. Couple of inches long and around maybe a third of her neck, the fat layer was perfectly exposed.

Well. I can't praise the e-vets service enough. I'm well aware many people will think 'but it's just a chicken' (I got that very response from some friends), but look at it this way. All four are pets. If the cat was ill then there wouldn't be a moment's hesitation to get to the vet. And so it is with the chooks. Maybe it's that people don't think of chickens as pets, or simply that they don't value their lives, but our choice was threefold. Go to the vet; wring her neck; let her die a slow, infected death. Which would you choose for a pet? Hell, a chicken is just a big budgie (with more personality).

Anyway, she's convalescing in the garage for the night, having been remarkably well stitched up, with a bare neck, and a little woozy from the anaesthetic. But by eck it had an effect on rendering the day a stressful one.

Like I said, I never seem to get to have a day just go unreservedly well. So if tomorrow, as we go searching for hares in the Borders, if we succeed in the task I fully expect the washing machine to blow up, or the roof to fall in, or a 737 to land on the house.

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