The Barnevelder girls seem to be settling in well, although that thunderstorm a couple of days ago didn’t go down too well. At the first clap of thunder they ran every which way, colliding with one another and ending up in a heap at the back of the coop.
I had anticipated the rain and had put one of those blue plastic tarpaulins over part of the roof of the main yard:
It worked pretty well and they could get out into a dry area and scratch around, but mostly they just sat in a heap in the doorway of the coop and looked out miserably at the rain. No-one had told them there would be days like this.
Only one of them has found her way into the nestbox side of the coop at night; the other 2 are sleeping up on the perches in the outer coop. I’d already closed in the end wall to give them some protection from cold winds, but after lying in a warm bed, listening to the rain and wind and feeling guilty that they were out in it, I decided to close in the back wall of the outer coop and half the front wall as well. I found some leftover cement sheet under the house which worked a treat.
I’d cleared away a bit of the bush behind the main run, fenced it off with a low fence and covered the lot with a bird net to stop them flying out. I’d put a small hole in the rear of the main run and installed a lift-up gate so they could go through into the new run:
I hadn’t planned to let them into this new area until they’d settled down in the main run, but I wanted them out from under my feet while I worked on the coop, so I lifted up the door, called them and waggled my hand in the open doorway to show them that it wasn’t a wall anymore, and waited…..
And went to the letterbox and came back…..
And went and made a cup of coffee and came back…..
They walked right up and stood by the doorway, but couldn’t seem to understand that they could actually go through it into another area.
Eventually I opened the main door and went into the run and as they moved away from me they suddenly found themselves in the new area.
Oh, wow! Here were some tufty bits of the remaining bush understorey. Here was a large log and some branches, wedged into the fence to perch on. Here was a huge pile of weeds someone had thrown in and which had attracted a mass of creepy-crawlies under them. They had a ball.
The sun came out and, exhausted with their new play area, they sprawled in a heap and took in the warmth, the thunderstorm just a dim memory.
I think I’m going to like having chooks.
Under the shade of the cherry tree (well…when it grows)