IF you’re lucky enough to have an allotment or veggie garden that’s brilliant, it’s even better when you can share your space with some chickens.

They are great down on the plot. They help eat weeds and pests, give you manure and make excellent friends (not forgetting to mention beautiful fresh eggs).

But it’s not without its worries. Predators such as cats and foxes can cause serious problems. So can wild birds.

At the moment, there is an Avian influenza warning in place, which requires the immediate and compulsory housing of all chickens, turkeys, ducks etc.

Basically, it means if you have chickens/birds you must keep them in their runs and away from all wild birds for the next 30 days.

So far within the UK there hasn’t been any reports of any Avian Flu (H5N8) but it’s now we need to be extra vigilant.

I built my ‘ladies’ a huge run as I cannot free range, obviously, because it is a shared allotment and they would gobble up my neighbours cabbages.

But with this news I will be making sure there are no little gaps a sparrow might squeeze through.

I’ve also put a plastic box by the front door of the run so I can hose my boots and disinfect them before I go in. I really do love my hens and I would be heartbroken if they were to become ill. So yes, call me over reactive if you like, I don’t care.

I made a promise to those hens to keep them safe and love them. I intend to keep my promise.

They aren’t just ‘things’ that make eggs, they are Hilda, Zelda, Gertie and Bizarro - my feathered buddies.

My allotment to-do list:

n Keep an eye on your chickens, any signs of being ill, call the vet.

n Check netted cabbages in case a roaming hedgehog is stuck in there.

n Make sure sprouts are well heeled into the soil, they hate wind rock.

n Make a start scrubbing plastic pots to get ahead on next Springs jobs.

n Check around the greenhouse or polytunnel for slugs and snails hiding out over winter.

If you have an allotment query, you can email vixlot@outlook.com