🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A melt-down and a broken heart

I've had a melt-down. And I've got a broken heart. And so have my girls.

First, the melt-down. My girls have absolutely ruined my garden! In about two years they've reduced it to a barren landscape with all but a few of the hardiest plants gone. GONE! My prized Echeverias, which I started with just a few plants given to me by my dad shortly before he passed away in 1990, and which had grown into beautiful specimens which I had in various parts of the garden, are all but annihilated.

The same area as above before the girls arrived.

I've managed to rescue a few of my Echeverias and planted them in a basket and placed them in my bathroom court-yard garden. Hopefully they will recover to their previous glory.

Where there used to be a thick carpet of ground covers, now there's only dead leaves and a big mess. Not that Missy minds, she's quite happy to relax there with Artemis close-by, blissfully unaware of my melt-down.

Kiep takes time out on the rock just behind Missy.

Now for the broken heart part. I'm broken-hearted because I've banned the girls from the garden. Locked up in the chicken run. No more chickens happily doing what chickens do, scratching and foraging in the garden. Having gorgeous sand baths, chasing after grasshoppers and other bugs. One thing I must say, my garden is totally bug-free - no cut-worm, no fruit beetles, no plant lice. In fact, no anything. But I'm not so sure that's entirely a good thing either. I haven't seen a lady bug or a praying mantis for absolute ages. My lizard and frog population has also suffered tremendously. NOTHING is safe from these bug-devouring lovelies!

"Why, oh WHY can't we come out?!" In stead of scouring the grass for insects, the girls would spend hours at the gait, waiting for me to open up.

ChiChi and Snookums, who grew up in my studio, are totally puzzled with this new development. They've never been locked up and cannot understand what's going on.

A couple of months ago, I did start some landscaping inside the run and I presume that, shortly, there will also be nothing left of this.

Now, as I see the matter, I have three or four choices. One is that the girls stay locked up in the run forever. FOREVER! Or I can reduce the population and only keep three or four (that's not likely to happen!). Another option is that I adapt the garden to suit the girls - no beautiful, colourful borders, no tender Echeverias and give up my love for insects and all the other garden visitors.

Hmmmmmm... Decisions, decisions....



  1. Oh Maree, they really were so destructive, but, as you say, just doing what chickens do. Can you give them only shorter periods of time in there, and then put them back in their run? ... so then hopefully they don't have time to do as much damage.
    PS - I have just noticed the new dog has chewed all the fringe off one side of an old Persian carpet I have.

    1. It certainly is an option Kathryn, I'm a great believer that time will tell and sort it all out. Oh my, I also know all about the chewing of rugs and shoes. It seems we just have to put up with these things for the love of our animals!



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