Monday, 7 July 2014

Blue air

Now, if I have to catch the chicks on my own, the air usually turns a slight shade of blue.

They have reached the stage where the large trug isn't tall enough to contain them. By the time I have 4 of them in, one or more of them has flapped to the top and tried to jump out.   Moving the chicks is usually one, two, or three at a time and so it takes ages.

They are regular little Houdinis as well, often jumping out and then running round and round the outside of the cube run.  They are almost impossible to catch, as they have the speed of Roadrunner, and are tiny alippery things to boot.

Yesterday I could see that it was going to rain so I went to get them to put them inside the shed.  Much time later, the air was a very deep shade of blue. It was hailstoning, and I still hadn't managed to catch the last chick.   I was muttering threats of letting the Cats have himher, and declaring that I didn't care anymore.  But of course I did care, and I did carry on until I'd caugt the last ungrateful little scamp.

Even getting them out of the shed into the garden run is now a challenge which takes several trips.

We've started decanting them into the Cube, and then opening the pop hole so that they get used to going down the ladder.  That part of the strategy has been very successful,  although they have yet to bother going back upstairs.  

We need them to learn to sleep at night, for which we need to turn the heat lamp off (and leave them with just the electric hen).  In previous years this has been a fairly easy step, but this year the night-time temperature has been somewhat variable.   Even now, we've still go the lamp on a little bit (we have a dimmer switch, so we have more options than just on/off).    Once we can get them to sleep at night, we can think about moving them into the Cube (with an electric hen in the back).  I'm guessing they'll need to be 5+ weeks before we think about that, and even then we will only do it if the weather forecast is good.   They'll need the Electric Hen until they are at least 6 weeks old, possibly longer.

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