Wednesday, 30 July 2008

No escape?

Milly continued to escape, but now it was by determination rather than by accident. We had bought extra fence poles, so the fencing was pulled tight. She patrolled up and down, testing a hole here, a hole there, until she found one she could jump through.

Close meshed garden netting helped. We draped it over the taut fencing. She found the bits we hadn't draped. We found more mesh, and covered all the fencing. She managed to get underneath the mesh and out through the fencing.

And so it went on. In the end we came back from the garden centre with some semi rigid plant support stuff, and DH cable-tied it all the way along the bottom of the netting. At least we could take off the close-mesh stuff, but the fence is much more of a nuisance to relocate now.

We're still moving the girls every two days, keeping them so that they are close to the Big Girls. Despite keeping the Eglu on the move, the poor "lawn" is looking a bit sorry for itself now. Mind you, it's not just the chickens. All the grass is looking starved of water.

The Littlees are not so little now. Had their second weigh-in yesterday, and thay have each put on more than 10% of their bodyweight in the last seven days. Hopefully it won't be long before Milly is too big to squeeze through the netting, as we've only reinforced the 7m length of it! At the end of this week, when they are 16 and 17 weeks, i;m going to move them off the "lawn", and put them at the chicken end of the garden. At the same time I'll relocate the Big Girls, so they are all in the same area - but still separated by netting-with-no-hens-land (NHL) in the middle. But the size of the NHL will be drastically reduced.

Jasmine's comb is shaping up beautifully. It's still very small and dainty. Her wattles are growing too, and no longer look like turned-over-lips. She weighed 892g, up from 810g. Sadly she no longer cheeps like a chick, but she's not bokking like a hen either.

Milly's nobby bits are now in a line, and I know from Jasmine's growth that they are the basis for a comb. No wattles yet that I can see. She weighed 620g, up from 559g. She's taken to screeching like a baby Pterodactyl.

Scarlett has taken to whingeing, making a sound like a frantic goose, for minutes on end. Honk honk honk honk honk honk. It starts off OK, but the volume keeps creeping up until it's very annoying. I'm sure it's attention seeking; maybe she regards me as a member of her flock and gets concerned when I'm not outside. I'm hoping she'll stop it when they are all down the other end of the garden.

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