The poor little sparrows are hungry on a rainy winter’s day (or any day) and come down to the feeder to forage. ‘Automatic feeders’, which make food available when the treadle is depressed, are supposed to keep the chook food safe from marauding sparrows. But the chooks are messy eaters who throw out the pellets as they search for other treats, and the sparrows come down to eat. So the scene of the crime was set.
The second feeder is metal. (I glued carpet to the treadle so it was more comfortable for their feet on a cold, or hot, day.) Food is less likely to be scattered from this one, but I have opened it on occasion and been startled by a trapped sparrow making a rapid escape.
All four chooks can feed from this second feeder at the same time – unless Popcorn gets bossy and chases the others away. When she does, the others walk off, the lid clangs shut, and Popcorn, who hasn’t quite got the knack of the treadle, stands bemused. Karma.
Today, we are toasty by the fire while the chooks huddle on the deck. They wander into the garage between showers, or forage in the garden.
In Winter, they prefer frosty mornings which are followed by sunny days. Then they can find a dusty spot under a tree and snuggle in.
On rainy days, like today, the dust baths on the lawn have become puddles.
The path to their house is swamped, and covered in cabbage tree leaves which blew down in the southerly storm last night.
It’s a hard life for chickens – and sparrows.