Friday, 19 July 2013

Too clever by half

You may remember from an earlier post that the dominant cockerel chick, Redhead, had started trying to crow and sounded like a Kazoo. You may also remember that one of the other cockerel chicks was also trying to crow but it wasn't as loud.   In addition, you may remember that we took them down to the allotment on Monday, because this dual crowing attempts early in the morning were likely to cause a nuisance?

Well. The chicks are very happy in their new environment. We've put away their garden home and netting,  I've raked up the poo, we've watered the grass and we're attempting to get our "lawn" back.   We miss the chicks, but it's quite pleasant not having Chickenopolis in the back garden any more.

But back to my original point

Turns out it wasn't one of the other cockerel chicks crowing. 

Nope.  One of our lovely ladies has picked it up as the "let us out" signal, and she's been deploying it every morning before 5 am.   We seem to get a biblical 3 "crows", then there is a short interval  while they  give us time to get up, get downstairs, unlock the kitchen door, cross the garden and let them out.  If we haven't complied within the allotted time-frame,  the rest  add their voices one by one, like a chickeny dawn chorus on steroids - i.e. with the sweet melody of birdsong replaced by harsh rasps and/or sorrowful whingeing (dependant on bird). 

It always amazes me that my chooks pick up habits that suit them immediately, yet habits that don't suit them are almost impossible to ingrain.

This morning as I rushed across the grass, trying not to wake up so that I could go back to sleep afterwards, I came up with the solution.     We're going to put an automatic door in the run.  Chicken-keepers will know that it's perfectly possible to buy devices to open the pop hole (the doorway which lets chickens out of the coop), assuming that you have  a vertically opening door.   We don't use one because we leave out pop hole open all the time (apart from heavy rain) - the coop is in a secure run.   However, we can adapt a pop hole opener to create a doorway in the run for the Girls to let themselves out in the morning.  

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