I wasn't prepared, simple as that. We let all the best birds get away (meaning sold) from the backs of lorries at the few farmers markets that we attended back in Spring. Mysterious and unmarked vehicles with bartering farmers, it was an interesting spectacle that brought out a lot of population of our town. Not many events over the calendar year actually do this, which shows the importance still of having a backyard or garden full of chicken and rabbit droppings.
And now, an abandoned enclosure with untested fox-proof fencing will remain vacant for another 12 months. Thickening nettles beginning to take over and encroach into the stilted wood shack that would have housed five feathered creatures. Spiders and insects instead enjoy the place they probably see as an undisturbed palace.
Everytime there is a guest arrival at the cottage an excusable explanation is required for what that overgrown area of the garden was supposed to represent. No squawking hens, only silence or the occasional patter of paws as one of our inquisitive cats enters the compound.
Finishing touches will be added to the area when it is cut back in the autumn. It's just a shame that something that seems so simple to look after and is the ultimate livestock necessity for so-called "self-sufficient life" has to wait a little bit longer.