We’ve had our chickens for a week now and things are going well. We’ve solved our problem of not being able to tell the two small hens apart from each other by putting a poultry leg band on one. Now that we can tell who is who, the chickens have been named – Betty is the larger, lighter coloured bird; Ada and Maud – or the twins, as Alex calls them – are the other two. Ada’s the one rocking the funky green leg band.
Having kept the girls locked in their run for a week, we let them out for their first scratch yesterday and again this afternoon. I was slightly nervous we’d not be able to get them back in. It turns out I was being silly.
We’ve been enjoying sitting out and keeping an eye on the girls, though. ‘Chicken watch’ is kind of fun.
When we want the girls to go back into the run, we throw a small handful of scratch mix into the run and encourage them back in. They’re not that worried about heading back in, and are pleased for their treat. I guess it means they’re happy in their home, which is nice.
The other big development of the weekend is the girls learning to head up the ladder and into their coop to in the evening to roost for the night. We went out last night to do our usual catch-the-chickens-and-put-them-to-bed routine, only to find they’d gone up themselves. Hurray!
Our next challenge will be eggs – making sure the girls have the right dietary mix to lay well, and teaching them to use the nesting boxes. I wanted them to learn to roost on their perches, not in the nesting box, so we’ve blocked off the nesting boxes for the time being. I’ll unblock them in a week or two, or as soon as we see an egg…which ever comes first.
Have a happy week!