Spent much of the day Back Bliping to the 1960s. Rather enjoy it despite the time it takes researching. Keeping finding very worrying gaps in my memory.
So the call for the evening dog walk was a chance to get out and exercise the feet. As I set off, quickly took a photo of the hens as they prepared for bed. Well about half of them, the rest had already disappeared to their perches. Hens always come to the fence at this time of day in the hope one will throw over some scraps, even though they have 24/7 grain feed available.
Late afternoon, we tend to feed kitchen scraps as they love these more than anything else. A few loud bangs on a metal container and they come scurrying from all over the fields and forest to see whats on the menu. Ideal for locking them away in their outdoor fenced run. From there they can go into the large covered run and finally, according to the pecking order, into the hen house where the door automatically closes at dusk.
Reverse procedure in the morning and they are always standing at the gate to get out on the fields and get the worms before they escape daylight.
On 1st January had to complete the annual "Animal Plaque Tax" form listing how many "farm" animals we have: horses, pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens..... information on cows are collected on a separate system. Still waiting for the bill. Chickens cost €0.045 p.a. So for the 30 we registered €1.35 plus two horses @ €1.20 each. Tax is more a form of insurance as it recompenses owners if animals have to be slaughtered due to any form of plaque - foot & mouth, bird flu etc.
Driving out to the walk, met Mr&MrsB on their drive home. We had a long overdue chat through opened car windows and caught up on MrBs hospital ízation recently. He had an eye infection and they insisted on keeping him in for 5 days. He seemed to have enjoyed the fuss.
So it was pretty dark by the time we had finished the walk but with the benefit that dinner was waiting on the table as we returned.