Things had to be done tonight. I intended to do more marking than I actually got around to, as there were more chores than needed to be done than I expected. The chickens soaked up a lot of time this evening. I have come to realise that chickens are quite low maintenance. Maybe that is why they are so useful an animal? They merely require their food topped up and water in constant clean supply. Originally we kept them in their coop with an extra run attached to stretch their legs. Then we let them out occasionally to be truly free range. However, freedom has its problems; poo. They would poo everywhere and without a care in the world. At least the cats tidy the area of the crime up a little and do it in discreet locations, until you have to plant vegetables or do some weeding. After the chickens made their mark on the territory around our wee cottage, we decided that enough was enough and we put them back in their coop and run combo.

We are not all bad though. As part of their varied diet they like a little grass once in a while, or they like to scratch the turf for grubs. We let them work away at their ‘patch’ for three of four days at a time. Then we move the whole prison and fenced yard along about a foot. This means they get a fresh patch twice a week. I estimate that we can keep moving them along for about thirty five weeks. By that time their original patch should have recovered and have soaked up its topping of manure. Our grass looks like some strange swatch in shades of green with each rectangle a shade greener (or browner) than the last.

Tonight was the weekly complete clean of the coop, and a big move; the beginning of a whole new row of swatch. I took my time, as the sky was clear and the moon was hanging bright in the sky. While I cleaned and moved the chicken’s house they scuttled about the garden in their deranged freedom, drunk with moon light. They ran about, made strange noises at each other, and even had a few brief flights over the low hedges. They are not really pets for us, or livestock; they are items of constant amusement.

Then the cars needed looked at. I decided to check the oil and water levels and such things. I believe it is called marking avoidance, but I am glad I did it. It turns out that the lovely Sharon’s car had no oil in it! She is usually quite good at keeping a check on such things, and I think she is more annoyed with herself than anything else. She muttered something about pregnancy and having a baby, but there is no excuse for poor car maintenance.