Thursday, 20 December 2012

Changing rooms

Well, I didn't do it.

Ot at least, I haven't done it yet.

Yesterday I tried to catch Milly to do the deed, and she ran into the Littlees cube (LC) run. The whole arrangement is rot of F shaped, with the two horizontal strokes representing the two Cubes and their runs, which attach to a covered walk-in run.

I put some mesh over the opening so she couldn't get out, and then I made sure she had food and water.   Because our Girls free range most of the time, there is still lots of grass in the Littlees run, so I thought she'd be OK for a while.

As I came back to the house to get the shed keys (to find a suitable broomstick) I saw Custard jump on Tilda.  So, I put Custard in with Milly.  I wasn't ready to despatch both Girls at once,  and I saw an opportunity to try an alternative.... well, for now, anyway.

With the two out of the way, Tilda was happy going into the run, grubbing around, dustbathing etc.  She ate out of the feeders, which I haven't seen her do for some time.

Evening came.  There was a lot of confusion.  Milly (who normally goes to bed first) was running around in the Little Girls run.    Florence was in the other Cube run, waiting for Milly.  The Littlees couldn't get in to their run at all.

It got darker.

Eventually, Florence went up the stairs to the BG Cube.   Milly went upstairs into the LG cube, Custard ran around in confusion.   Roobarb stood with her back to the BG ladder, whistling, pretending not to notice that Lotti was trying to get on to the ladder, Eventually Lotti got on to the ladder and spent ages at the top, apparently unable to go in.  I wondered what Tilda and Florence were doing that was preventing her.  After what seemed like an hour, but was probably three minutes,  she popped in.    Poppy came and eyed up the ladder. Roobarb walked past the bottom of the ladder, and Poppy ran away.   Roob, rather kindly,  walked away and then stood looking out of the Cube in a very obvious  I-can't-see-the-ladder kind of way.  Poppy bobbed up and down and eventually took the leap.  She hesitated at the top, and went in.

Over on the other side, Custard zoomed up the ladder and straight in.

Roobarb calmly went up the ladder. in the BG run.

Fifteen minutes later, when it was properly dark, I went to check on everyone.  I checked that Milly and Custard were actually in the Cube - OK.  I went in to the walk in run, just to check. And I found Tilda sitting under one of the garden benches.

Not sure whether she didn't want to go into the Cube, or whether her recent B&B status had confused her ans she was expecting to come inside.  I decided to bring her into the kitchen for the night.

I think I'll repeat this for a couple of nights until the Littlees are happily going in to the Big Girls Cube of their own accord.  Then I'll start moving Milly back in when it's dark... unless she takes matters into her own claws of course.

This morning I fenced off a bit of outside for Milly and Custard so they can get out of the run of they want to, but are still separated from the others.  Fortunately we put doors in the Cube  run sections on the side and at the bac, gives us a lot of flexibility.

Not sure how long this will carry on. We'll see.  

On the up-side,  we were going to have to remove access to  the Little Girls run at some point, as we'll need the Cube in the spring for next year's hatch.  I guess this is a step on that path.

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