Day three of the Newby Adventure. The New Girls, aka the Chooklets, are settling in.
I opened the pop door at the far end of the run and allowed them into the first 2 square metres of the corridor that connects the new and the old system. I put a load of mulched bracken in there and they pottered away happily in there most of the day :
To get them used to me, I’ve installed my morning coffee chair beside them. They’re apprehensive at first but soon settle down. I prattle away, saying soothing chook things and tell them what good girls they are :
The first night didn’t exactly go to plan. They didn’t understand that ‘bed’ was actually inside the coop, and roosted on the top :
So next morning saw me, in rubber gloves, scraping poo off the top of my formerly beautiful paint job. I put a layer of newspaper there with a length of timber on top, to prevent it blowing away, and they settled there again last night, but at least it was easier to clean this morning. Lying in bed, thinking, it was obvious I had to prevent them roosting there pretty quickly, before the top of the coop imprinted on them as ‘bed’.
I have a plan for tonight. This is what the coop looks like :
As you can see, there’s no door. But as dusk falls, I’m going to wedge a wire panel in front of the opening and move the nestbox away from the side. That will make a narrow space between the coop and the end wall of the run. I’m hoping to herd them into this tight space where the only escape will be to go through the nestbox opening into the coop. Then I’ll replace the nestbox and they’ll be inside for the night. If I do this for several nights, I’m hoping they’ll prefer to go in there by themselves rather than be herded in. This morning, they all went in there and poked about in the wood shavings, so fingers crossed for tonight, ‘cos there’s no Plan B.
Later edit: It worked a treat! One of the Girls ran into the coop and the others followed. They’re tucked up in their ‘proper’ bed, and so am I. ‘night all.