So, this morning the 5 dinner chicks and the three boys were transported to their new home at our allotment. We put up some extra heras fence panels last week, so they are secure against the existing flock. Their new "paddock" is enormous, they have fresh grass plus a lovely shaded area. They will have a very happy free range life, coming and going as they please, not having to be confined to a small run because we are going out.
I left DH monitoring them, and I came home to sort out the Girls. It was appallingly hot, and I struggled in the heat to do everything necessary. I had mowed the grass this morning. I had raked up the poo from the previous chick area.
I had to heave the Go, with Fleur (the Marans) and Fay (the Fayoumi) still "in" it, out of the way. Then dismantle some netting. Then I had to dig out some upright paving; and thenI had to manouevre the Cube and it's long run into position. The two youngsters had to be evicted as I couldn't guarantee not to run over them. They were heady with the excitement of garden freedom.
It involved hills; it involved lifting the darn thing because it was impossible to turn it round on my own; it involved reversing and an only-just-wide-enough bit of parking. Next, I had to clean it out, ready for the new occupants. I then had to catch Larna (the Appenzeller) and Sasha (the Aruacana), and pop them into the back of the Cube; then I had to try and catch Fay and Fleur, who were still in the Go run but didn't want to come out. Eventually, all 4 girls were shut in the back of the Cube.
I spent 5 minutes sorting out the feeder and drinker and the final bit of netting, and I let them out. Larna and Sasha, who are used to the Cube, came tumbling out; Fay followed; Fleur sat in the back of the Cube looking unhappy. Eventually I caught her, and popped her in one of the run doors.
A bit later I discovered they'd made a dustbath in a bit of dodgy grass, and were all dusybathing together. There was no fighting, no squabbling, no pecking. Much later, I opened all the run doors so they could explore the new area. This was new to all of them, and they have the luxury of both grass and fruit cage.
Eventually - another day - I will open up the netting and let them free range around the garden. They aren't ready to meet Gloria and Poppy yet.
We might restrict Gloria's wanderings now that the chicks are alongside her original run.