The new chickens weren’t seeming too happy in their new home. Despite lots of grass to scratch about in a little day shelter and plenty of food and water they seemed nervous and kept retreating back into their coop for large chunks of the day. It seems that they had a bit too much space and they are also rather nervy of the cats (who are also rather nervy of them having been regularly attacked by the ex-barn girls in the past!).
Moving the Chicken Run
We decided that in order to make them feel a little more secure we would move them round to the back instead of side garden, pen off a slightly smaller area and also make sure there were a few bushes for cover in the penned run.
The result is instant! Far happier chickens and they didn’t hide in the coop at all today. They still have a very large area for two hens and when we add to the flock at the beginning of next month there will be plenty of space for everyone, but we can also rotate them regularly if they do scratch the ground over with the smaller space.
Next month I’ll be popping along to the local poultry auction and may well add to the flock while there. Poultry auctions are a fantastic place to add to the flock, but you need to be cautious. Make sure you know your birds, check how the birds are being kept while waiting to go to auction (a good breeder will make sure the birds are comfortable and have fresh water available) and if uncertain don’t buy. Unfortunately I do a know a few people who have been caught out and found that their new hen from the local auction was actually a cockerel!
Broad Leys Books
While I love watching the chooks scratch around in the garden, and could do so happily for large chunks of the day, we have been very busy here the past few weeks. Last year we took over the Broad Leys catalogue of books and we have been all systems go with revisions, printers and general planning. I love the Katie Thear poultry books as they were the first books I got when I started keeping hens and even now if I’m stuck they can prove a wonderful resource.
I’m rather lucky though that while working on the BLP books I get to enjoy a lovely view from my office window and this evening this absolutely stunning sunset. It certainly makes working more of a pleasure when you can see the sea!