Saturday, 28 August 2010

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.

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