To The Rescue – an Update
It’s now nine days since our girls left their overcrowded barn and came to live with us. We’ve all been amazed by the difference in them in that short time.
Their feathers, stuck out at odd angles and rough to the touch a week ago, now lay flat for the most part, look shiny and feel soft. Doris has new feather growth on her head, and Mabel has new feathers beginning to grow on her back. They’ve grown in confidence too. When they first arrived, if we opened the door to the coop, they would scatter. Now, if you don’t want to be chasing chooks back into the coop, you have to distract them with something tasty first! We have started letting them have some supervised adventures in the yard though, whilst we plan how and where to make them some secure outside space.
They’ve laid two dozen eggs between them since they arrived (not bad for chickens who were destined for dog food because they didn’t lay often enough), though we were prepared for them not to lay any for a while. Doris likes everyone to know when she’s laid an egg, so she clucks as loudly as she can and keeps doing it until you go to see her. Once you open the lid to the nesting area, she proudly gets off her egg and looks at you. I love that she does this! They haven’t got the hang of laying in the nesting boxes though. Each day, at least one egg will be laid on the floor of the house.
One other thing they haven’t conquered yet is roosting. We’d been told to expect that they may take time to roost, and might never do it. Living in the crowded barn, they couldn’t roost so it must seem strange to them now. At the moment, they generally settle down on the floor of the house, and they seem to take it in turns to sleep in the nest boxes. Every time I go to check on them, they’ve pushed the roosts to the floor.
It’s so nice to see them making progress. In the coming weeks, we’re going to start experimenting with treats. Our old chickens used to love spring greens, sweetcorn, home-made yogurt and porridge. It will be interesting to see what the new girls prefer.