So it appears that the chickens may be listening to my grumbling at the lack of eggs over the last month and have started to lay. Only one today and one yesterday but I hope this will carry on!
The additional wooden planks which Geoff has put down have been invaluable as they cover the wettest area of the coop, enabling me to walk across to the pallets without sinking waist deep into the mud. One complication is that these planks lie directly in front of the quail coop, potentially restricting access to the door when the mud levels rise. Fortunately, when the mud is cleared, the quail coop can be got at (I would say easily but at 36 weeks pregnant, anything involving bending down is difficult!).
I fed the chickens this morning, forgetting the usual morning count to ensure everyone was there. As I was feeding them a slice of brown bread (never white) I noticed there were only 3 Warrens. I recounted. Still only 3. Where was Annie?! As panic set in, I called for her and with a squawk of indignation she shot out of the shed, the second she realised she was missing out on the bread. Silly bird!
By some miracle, I managed to clear out the quail coop before putting in new bedding. In view of the colder weather, I put in an extra box full of sawdust shavings to keep them warm. The colder weather has driven them mainly into the inside portion of the coop as the outside is exposed to the rain. The old bedding has an additional bonus in helping absorb some of the excess wetness from the coop.
The new arrivals are doing well but still have yet to be integrated with the main flock as we are hoping to get someone to help us with sourcing and building a new shed to keep them all safe and warm over the winter.