Vera’s View – Flockdown Again


I don’t believe it!

Just as it was starting to quieten down here and the campers where thinning out we’ve been locked up. This is the 3rd time I’ve been into Flockdown (Temporary Avian Flu Protection Zone) and I don’t like it one jot. Hopefully it won’t be as long as last time.

Sorry, I just need to vent my frustration.

When I last got Michelle to write up my blog for me it was the Queen’s Platinum anniversary and there was pretty bunting everywhere and the days were long and sunny.  Now it’s the beginning of September and the nights are drawing in. I know she has been very busy and not had time to listen to me go on (ed. and on and on). So, I made a few notes of the highlights so I didn’t forget them.

Flock News

First the sad news. Flora was living here when I arrived so she’s older than me, but as I said last time, she was starting to find it quite difficult to get around. She seemed to have some sort of tumour that was gradually causing her more pain although she never lost her appetite. Eventually she died peacefully in her sleep. Shortly after that Dora also died of a fever but she had never really adjusted to life outside the cage.

The good news is that Nellie has made a remarkable transformation and got over the fowl pox without giving it to the rest of us. She is now a beautiful blond and bigger than me! Gertie is my real partner in crime and we both try really hard to get inside whenever a door is left open. One time Michelle was showing new guests into the lounge area and we had just walked through it from the patio on to the deck. As I suspected it’s a great view from up there. Strangely Michelle wasn’t very impressed by our achievement. 

Chickens enjoying a paddle on a stream trickling over a granite boulder

The nest hide and seek game continued right up until I got shut in. I like to change the location every 2 or 3 weeks but the others have largely given up and lay in the nest boxes. The last location was by the stream in the back garden.  I’m still making every effort to escape in the morning to lay my eggs.

Heatwave and Drought

I don’t know about you but I found the heatwave quite exhausting. At times we were sprinting from one patch of shade to another but at others we enjoyed a spot of sunbathing.  I even started plucking out my feathers to try and get my temperature down and the others have plucked a few too.  We should all start to grow them back unless we find getting on cooped up together in the run too stressful.  

Vera and Nellie Sunbathing

Michelle and Kevin have created a lovely new pond and water feature.  It was great for paddling in during the hot weather and the local wild birds also seemed to like it, particularly the wagtail family.

They also took the opportunity during the dry weather to clean out the old pond and put a liner in the bottom.  It was lovely and squelchy and we all got very mucky in the process.  The rain this weekend has finally filled it back up.



I’ve made a point of introducing myself to all the new campers and B&B guests during the season. I even managed to persuade one young camper to let us out early as he was on his way to the treebog first thing in the morning. I heard that he got quite a long telling off from his father afterwards and a lesson in the Countryside Code. Apparently its not the done thing in the countryside to let livestock out of enclosures without asking the owner’s permission.


There were a few more pizza nights during the summer,  including one where the rain came early and we all had to shelter under the sail and another where they made over 30 pizzas in one evening.  Unfortunately not much ended up on the ground for us.  The last night was great fun as one of the B&B guests helped out with stretching the pizzas.  There was one burnt vegetarian pizza where Kevin got distracted for 30 seconds, that was yummy but a bit overdone for my taste in places. 


I still see the black farm cat hunting so she is doing her best to singlehandedly keep the rodents under control. I never see the older tortoiseshell one.  She must only come out at night when I’m tucked up on my perch.  The fine weather has even tempted Shadow (the house cat) to come outside hunting.  His technique is more opportunist ambush than practiced stalking but occasionally he has a success.

Black Farm Cat Stalking
Shadow relaxing on the deck

Living Dangerously

I’m not a great fan of dogs. We ask that dogs be under your control and supervision at all times. It is simply not acceptable for me to be chased around the garden and lose half my feathers in the process! This happened in twice in one week and it puts me right off my laying. 

Vera exploring the woodpile

Sometimes I have no fear and the urge to scratch for grubs takes over my common sense. Here’s a shot of me getting in the way while Kevin and Michelle were chopping logs with a chainsaw and axe. I guess while we are locked up they will be glad of a bit of peace to get on with jobs without interruption and their veg should be safe from being dug up.

We love red things

My flock mates and I cannot resist anything coloured red: strawberries, tomatoes, red nail varnish – its all the same to us, it’s all worth a peck just in case its edible.  Gertie has discovered she quite likes picking blackberries too.

Ongoing Projects

I can see that the next major job will be apple picking and pressing.  The windfalls are starting to accumulate and I can’t wait as I love an apple core.  

Next time....

I hear Kevin & Michelle are going away on a well-deserved holiday in October and the B&B will be closed during that time.  They have asked a friend to help out Mum to look after us while they are away.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.


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