Monday, 6 September 2010

The Second Morning

Got woken up at about 6.15 by squawrking.  Leapt out of bed (as much as "leaping" is possible at my age), grabbed my dressing gown on my way out of the bedroom and charged downstairs.

The Big Girls were all up and about.  The Little Girls were refusing to leave the Cube.  I'm guessing the fuss was the Big Girls getting out and biffing the Little Girls out of their way.  

I should probably explain that the Orange Cube and its 2.5m run join on to the Walk In Run at right angles, and in the middle a bt like this -| The orange "- " represents the CUbe and its run.

I stood outside the run for a little while, observing (hose in hand).  Tilda eventually skittered down the steps, but her sisters stayed behind.  This meant poor Tilda had no backup, and she had trouble going into the main run.

I went and stood in the Run, thinking that I might put a partition between the two sections, so that each flock could breakfast in peace and without fear of molestation.   I found the separator. I'd used it to hang feeders on, so I first had to take everything off. Then I had to try and get it out - it was wedged between the kick board and the side of the run.

This was more difficult than I anticipated, and took me ages.  By this time, the others had decided to leave the safety of the Cube and come in to the main run.  There was squabbling.

Triumphantly, I finally extracted the mesh, turned round to put it in place, to find that the 4 little girls were at one end of the main run, and the 4 big girls were at the other end.  I rolled my eyes, and stood the mesh near the entrance, so I could get it quickly when needed.

I was tempted to just open the door and let them all out.  It was about 6.45 by this time.   However, the Big Girls are very astute, and if I gave in and let them out, they would be vocalising their need to be freed at this time for the rest of the year.

I came back into the house.

When the terrified screeches started, I ran back out, picking up the hosepipe as I ran.

There is a bit of chasing going on, and the Littlees seem to screech in anticipation of being pecked.  They usually aren't pecked (mainly because they get out of the way).    I also realised that the Big Girls sometimes screech when attacking.

Screeching doesn't necessarily mean someone is being pecked to death.

I moved an extra feeder into the Cube run, so there are now  2 Grubs (double feeders) and 1 Glug (double waterer) in there;  in the main run there are 3 Grubs spread out (double feeders),  1 Glug,  and 1 superglug (4 nipples).  Everything is spaced out so that wherever anyone ends up, there is water and food available.

I came in and made tea, and took a cup up to my DH.  

Lily started That Noise.  I mean the calling noise that chickens make when they want attention.  It's a shame that chickens don't have beautiful bird voices;  ours starts with a very mournful moan,  builds up to a crescendo  of harsh, coarse, rasping.

I went down and squirted her with the hose. I hate doing that. I feel really mean. And by the time I've picked the hose up and aimed it, they are usually walking around with that ButterBeak (Butter wouldn't melt in my beak) face on.  I realised I needed a water pistol.

I found an empty (and clean) washing up bottle, and filled it up with water.

I left them to it while I had a shower and got dressed.

Should I have tried introducing just 2 of the Big Girls?


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