Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Day 5

The girls were clucking at 6.45am, so I went down and let them out.  My oldies all marched into the omlet run, it was very tempting to shut them in there and let the newbies have the main run, but I think there would have been war if I'd done that, so I shooed them out, and Clarice promptly attacked Madge!  She was vicious.  I got Madge into the run, and then Bramble.  Alice needed persuading to come out, and I don't blame her for that, and she dashed out of the coop and into the run and I shut the door.
I started hammering more wire round the top. I did it in three goes, and now its completely enclosed.
This evening I sat in front of the run with the door open and a pot of treats.  My oldies made several sorties to get in with the babies, but I turfed them out, and when the food was gone they retreated to preen and eat cabbage.  The little ones got quite brave and came very close to me, even Alice.
They all came out of the run tonight, Madge went straight in, Alice did what Clara did when she was a baby and tried to go through the floor!  She was next in, and I had to lift Bramble in,she hasn't quite got the hang of going to bed.  There was a bit of squawking, and then they started to settle down.  There was some grumbling for a while, and eventually they all settled down and went to sleep.   Ahhhh.

Day 4

The girls all got up and in their proper places with only a bit of pecking.
John was working on the roof today, putting the corrugated plastic on. It took him all day, but it looks great.
There is just a bit more to do putting more screws across the front and up the far side.
We had to move the omlet run over so John could get to the roof.  So I emptied the run, and moved the logs and food for my origional chickens, and we carefully moved  the run and chickens over.  Its nice being able to see them more easily, so Im leaving them there for a while.
The eglu run moved over.

Then to get the guttering on, and install a water butt.Alice now puts herself to bed, the other two havent got the hang yet, it probably the thought of the four girls waiting for them!  and for that I dont blame them.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Day 3

It all went relatively smoothly today. The new girls were easier to get out of the coop, and the original girls were back to normal noise level, just a bit of a cluck when they'd laid an egg.
I gave them all spring greens from Sainsburys, and the 4 polished theirs off quickly, while the newbies weren't sure what to do with a cabbage hanging from the roof of their run.  They got the idea eventually, but there was still half left in the evening.  I gave them all rice in the evening with meal worms and poultry spice, but I gave the new girls a bit less and added corn and they ate the lot.
At bed time the bluebell went first, rather reluctant to face the 4, then the ranger, but Alice the Sussex escaped into the run, and when I tried to catch her she ran into the coop on her own.  Clever chook!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

New Chickens day 2

After all the fuss and bother yesterday I opened the coop door with some trepidation to find the bluebell now called Madge sitting in the doorway, so I picked her up and carried her to the run.  She fussed a bit, but I got the chance to stroke her and talk to her and she was ok.  My four came thundering out, and I went to get the next hen.  Alice and Bramble had hidden in the nest box, so I had to lean right in and persuade Bramble to let me catch her.  She wasn't impressed, but I carried her out to the run and went back for Alice.  She put up quite a fight, but I'm the head hen, and she eventually was captured and I put her with her friends.
My four started keening again, so I covered the new girls and went to do my paper round.
When I got back I uncovered them again, and my girls got noisy, but John was getting on with the roof, so they were ok with him out there.
Slowly over the day they became used to each other being there.  Even the cowardly Henrietta got brave when she realised they couldn't get her and postured and chased up and down the cube run.
I gave them greens in the afternoon, and rice and mealworms in the evening and when we went in for tea they stayed quiet.
At bed time my girls were already in and I collected the new girls one by one and put them to bed. A successful end to the day.
New roof for the run

27th Augush 2010
Weve had the chickens, Clara, Clarice, Spice and Henrietta for 10 months, and I decided to get three more hens.  We went to Newlands Poultry in Malvern and bought a white sussex who Ive called Alice, a bluebelle and domino ranger, yet to be named.
We bought them home in Daisy our cats travel cage, and with a handful of mealworms carried them out to the run.  I threw the mealworms into the run, and my girls freaked out at the sight of the new girls in the cat cage. They ran for the bushes at the back of the run, and ignored the mealworms!!
I put the girls in the prepared eglu cube run, and opened the lid of the cage.  Alice bolted up my arm, and before I could catch her out with my original girls.  Not the best start.  So I got the other two out of the cage, the bluebelle sat on top of the cage and I went to see what was happening with Alice.  She wandered round, with the others looking at her, Spice my little one went and stood beside her, then she went and ate some of their food, and Clarice tried to start a fight.  At that point I tried to catch Alice who was having nothing of it and ran into the bushes.  So I propped the eglu run gate open and managed to herd Alice in, the other two stood and watched.
What happened next surprised me because my original chickens started keening really loudly.  It was horrid.
Only food seemed to stop them, so in the end I got a sheet and covered the eglu run and my origional girls stopped and started foraging.
The sheet slipped at one end after a while, and my four just carried on quietly.  I went to the allotment and left my husband John working on a new roof for the run.
When I came back my four had gone to bed, so I went in and took out the bluebell and ranger and put them in the cube, but Alice was going to be difficult and after a lot of wing flapping shot out the door.  Now that would have been ok, but  I had inadvertently left the run gate open and she was out.  I nearly caught her twice, then to my horror she flew onto the run roof, and from there onto the pergola roof.
We tried to get her down from there and she glided into next doors garden.  They were great, and helped me to get her somewhere where I could pick her up, but again she had freedom in her mind and she went back over the fence onto the run, and then onto the pergola.  She stayed up there, the light was failing so I decided to wait till dark and get her.  I dont know if you've noticed, but it doesnt actually get dark in suburbia, and she was still aware of us.  We got the step ladder out and I couldnt quite reach her, (I was going to throw a sheet over her and hope to get her that way) So using the sheet I herded her towards the run roof, she obliged and landed on the wire.  Then she started walking to the side, and when she got to the edge I managed to reach through and hold her feet, my husband got hold of her and we got her in the cube.  I was scared she'd get into the trees at the back, and that would have been a BIG problem.
Inside the cube one of the chickens started clucking, very loudly!  It was Spice who was totally fed up with these new comers invading her space.  She settled down eventually.

Henrietta  Spice

Clara Clarice

I was up at 6am and opened up at 6.30.  I got the ranger out and in the cube run, my other girls came out rather surprised to see me in the run, and I tried to get one of the others but they were hiding in the nest box. Eventually I got hold of the bluebelle and carried her out.  Alice wasnt coming without a fight, but Im the boss and I managed to get hold of her and put her in the run with the other two.
The others started their keening again, so I covered up the run and went and did my paper round.
Now John is working on the run again, and the girls are quiet.