OK, perhaps we should have seen this one coming.
Last night we installed a protective tarpaulin over the pen, and left it looking reasonably taut, but this morning we discovered that an overnight downpour had created something closer to an inverted Mount Fuji.
So after trying and failing to push the water upwards and over the edge, we resorted to the time-honoured method of punching a hole in the middle and sticking a bucket underneath. Hopefully there’s enough water in there to prevent the chickens knocking it over, but they didn’t seem that bothered by yesterday’s rainfall so it probably won’t matter even if they do. They were initially mesmerised by this unexpected water feature, although three of them had wandered off by the time I’d fetched my camera.
Incidentally, this photo gives a better view of the soft bark surface that we installed on Sunday – it looks muddier than it is, but it’s actually surprisingly springy underfoot.
Update: I’ve also just realised that this photo resembles the bottom half of a giant blue chicken weeing into a bucket – you can see its wooden ‘claws’ on either side of the composition. Sorry about that, but I’ve got a children’s party to go to this afternoon, and need to practice being very easily amused.