Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Penning up the poultry

Avian flu has struck again.  When we heard the news of the outbreak from DEFRA, we snapped into action to pen up our poultry.  The hens were simple – they are quite easy going and adapted to their newly straitened circumstances philosophically.  But the geese are a different matter.  They like to spend all day grazing, choosing different areas of grass as the whim seizes them, and in the process keeping the grass down in the orchard.  Last winter, we built them an enclosure and they were clearly unhappy in it – it is hard to describe what an unhappy goose looks like, but you only had to observe them to understand that they were miserable.

We decided we had to make a bigger enclosure, much taller, and moveable.  And so we spent a very ‘Transition Town’ morning doing what Transition Towns do best – working together, coming up with solutions to a problem and using materials which are to hand.

There were five of us and we pooled our ideas and eventually settled on a design.  Len rushed home for some extra tools, we hauled out four long sturdy poles from behind a shed, a couple of weeks previously Kathy had brought up some spare netting from her garden, Mike popped home for some of his wife’s spare macrame string, and we all got on with it, refining the design as we went, chatting and laughing.  It’s fun to work together.

We cannot claim that the geese look much happier in their pen, but we are able to move it to fresh grass every so often, and beyond that all we can really do is look forward to spring.


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