Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Chickywicks aged about 33 days

The chicks have been sleeping outside in the Cube (with an Electric Hen, of course) for the past 3 nights.   They haven't taken themselves to bed yet - they didn't seem to want to stop running around and eating, even at 8.30pm.

Last night, DH and I decided we would walk them up the Cube ladder to bed.  They know perfectly well how to get up the ladder, they are up and down it all day.   They know that they come down the ladder every morning when we open the pop hole... but perhaps they haven't quite connected the dots.

So. Yesterday evening, 8.30pm.  I opened the door nearest the Cube ladder (thank goodness that we fitted extra doors to the Cube).  I leaned in, scooped up a chick,  and put it on the ladder.  It jumped off. Everyone else ran away.

DH tried rattling the treat cup from inside the Cube.  Vacant looks all round.

Deep sigh. (from me).

I squeezed my not inconsiderable frame in between the Cube and the rosemary.  I then manouevred myself so that I could crawl inside  the Cube run.   DH smothered a giggle when he realised where I was.   I really really hate chick poo.

From there, it was a smooth operation.  DH opened the egg port and held in a cup of Garvo Alfamix Chicks (which works superbly as a chick treat).  I caught each chick, and put it on the ladder. Once the first one had gone in,  they were almost all happy to be caught and placed and go in.  Except one Welsh Black, and one of the Exchequers. No surprise there, I'm sure these are the same pair that are last to be caught every evening.

The Exchequer ran round the Cube run a few times. It was impossible to catch himher, s/he's like Roadrunner.  Eventually, she took pity on me and ran up the Cube ladder of her own accord.   The last chick necessitated me squiggling about to catch them,  but as we were both confined to the Run and she was not like Roadrunner, it didn't take too long.

Getting out was worse than getting in as I had to kneel on the wire skirt. Ow, bluddy ow.  And my knees (or, specifically, the knees of my trousets) were covered in chick poo.   

I've made a bargain with the Chicks.  I told them today that once they have taken themselves to bed, I'll let them free range outside the Cube Run.

I hope they do it soon,  as it'll make it much easier to keep the grass in good condition.  This is because there will be 18 chicks over a wider area, so the pressure on the grass at any one time will be less.   They are on new grass at the moment, and two areas they've had over the last 6 days have been raked and watered (from our water butt).    They are on fresh grass today, and I've got one more piece of virginal grass available before we have to start re-using.

Fingers crossed.

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