The electric fencing kit I ordered following last week's fox attack arrived very quickly but it took me a couple of days to digest the instructions. There was something grey and photographic which showed me how to unroll netting and stick stakes in the ground. There was something in very small type for the technically minded telling me where to stick the energiser (that's the thing which converts the power from the battery into pulses....I think.) and what to attach the various clips to. Finally, by dredging up enough schoolgirl French I could read what to do with the little light thingy which flashes in the dark to show me it's all working. Not too difficult after all.
I did a fair bit of pacing - I know my best-ever stride is exactly a metre - to achieve a square of my 50 metres of netting. Stakes were stuck in, ditto corner posts. I made a little gate too. Then because all the instructions stress that any vegetation touching the green netting would 'short' the circuit we laid plastic damp-proof course along the bottom. This of course showed that my 'square' was not exactly erm, square and wandered all over the place. (Alan did a lot of sighing at this point.) Alan did manly things like hammering in the earth spike and attaching guy ropes to the corner posts - all those years as a boy scout were not wasted after all were they? I should add that he came to help at the eleventh hour - as I was fixing the last corner post and had nearly finished the job. Apparently I shouldn't have done it like 'that' - I should have done it like 'this'. It's said that a little help is worth a lot of sympathy (by whom?) so I resisted clocking him over the head with the mallet and shut up. Patient, moi?
We attached the battery to the energiser and the energiser to the fence and 'thwack' - as Alan didn't let go soon enough and leapt back clutching his thumb we realised we had power. Hurrah.The hen houses were rolled into place and the birds released into their new home. It does look pretty good.
After a week's confinement in tiny runs I'd like to think they were delighted with their new surroundings. They're in the lee of the hill, have sun and shade and should be out of the worst of the prevailing winds. I've incorporated a big log pile for shelter and added interest.
I've left the small run in in case they need to get out of Mr Buzzard's way. Mr Buzzard has been hovering lately and won't be deterred by a bit of netting - he'll just drop in. We hope the birds will now be safe from the murderous fox too of course.
None of them are laying at the moment - the old ones are going through the moult and the young ones are not quite mature enough. Shouldn't be long though.
A clutch of Fabergé eggs would be very welcome. Can you manage that girls? It would go a long way towards to recouping my expenses.