After a very wet winter it's finally starting to feel spring like. A whole week of dry weather has reduced the sogginess, and everything is feeling the benefit.
I've been able to dry fibre faster than I can dye it, which is a first for this year. Over the past couple of months I've been reaching the point where there isn't a single spot I can put damp fibre, on a very regular basis. With a bit of sunshine, and a slight breeze I've been drying stuff in 24 hours without even having to bring it in to the house.
The chickens have also been most appreciative of the drier weather. After a whole winter of refusing to get out of bed because of the rain, there's now a rugby scrum of fluffy bodies in the rush to get out of the door every morning.
They've also been able to indulge in some much needed maintenance, an afternoon dust bath and snooze in the sunshine is just the ticket.
The dust gets in to their feathers and cleans out all the dead skin. It must feel wonderful to be able to have a good scratch after so many weeks of dampness.
After a while all the itches are scratched and they just close their eyes and enjoy the sunshine. The first time you come across a pile of bodies, lying on their sides with their feet stretched out you tend to think the worst, but hilariously they are just napping.
Of course the sunshine and longer days have the additional effect of kicking reproductive systems in to play. We're now getting eggs again, which is lovely.
But the boys... they're being boys.
I am weak willed, and have 4 cockerels because I raised them all from eggs and couldn't bring myself to get rid of any of them.
Froome, my chocolate brown cockerel has his own little gang of 2 grey ladies, and they keep themselves to themselves. Big Bird is top cockerel, he bosses over a giant gang of all the other ladies, known as the Dark Side. Dusty is Big Bird's henchman, he hangs around with the Dark Side flock, but doesn't challenge Big Bird's position. Poor Millar belongs nowhere though, Froome is certainly not going to share his ladies, and Dusty isn't willing to let another male in to their flock. As a result Millar is always on the edge of things, trying very hard to convince the girls that his smooth good looks are what they want. In winter this is fine, but spring has bought rising testosterone levels, Millar and Dusty are scrapping for seniority, and the right to hang around with the flock.
My cockerels are looking a little like they've gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson... Millar is now living in his own house until the rush of spring fever subsides and they can all get on again.