Saturday, 19 April 2014

Early Progress (days 2 & 3)

Friday, April 18th. After getting back from a run around 7am, in full daylight, I headed to the coop to let them out. To my surprise they hadn't worked out how to get down from the roost. I picked up Harriet and put her on the middle shelf, upon being separated from her friends she immediately jumped back up to the roost. Not a great start to the lesson. Clearly we needed one of the more dominant chickens to make the first  move. Robert managed to get Greta to stand on his hand and lowered her to the bottom shelf. Harriet then jumped down. Lumi, as the largest, and apparently silliest, took quite a lot of coaxing to jump down, she succeeded after a time.

Later in the morning I set out to the coop armed with lettuce and grapes to continue the bribery. It was slow going. Late in the afternoon, after many, many visits with tasty treats Lumi finally ate a long stalk of grass from my fingers; she didn't want to get too close. Greta and Harriet were still completely indifferent to my treats unless I threw them over.

We locked them in the coop late afternoon. They had to put themselves to bed as we had plans. They already did it once, surely that was enough to understand the process? Apparently not. Harriet was the only one to make it onto the perch, Greta and Lumi both slept on the poo shelf under the perch. Good job girls.

Saturday, April 18. They were all down on the ground when I returned from my walk this morning. Much better!

Today I armed myself with grated carrot and grapes. Lumi started taking stalks of carrot from my finger tips, eventually upgrading to off my palm by mid morning. This was better than I could have hoped for, progressing from terrified to eating from my hand in three days.

Yoghurt was my in with little Harriet, she had resisted everything, but early afternoon accepted yoghurt scooped up on an extremely long piece of straw. By late afternoon she was taking grated carrot from our fingertips. 

The only progress with Greta is her looking at the treats we offer her before hurrying away. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

They spent the last part of the afternoon running and jumping around the yard, it looked like they were frolicking. Agnes and Ripley never did anything like it, I can only assume it's because they were spoilt rotten from when they were 3 days old, and free ranged from when they were old enough to safely do so. These three however have clearly been brought up in small pens and weren't even able to roost for the first 4-6 months of their lives, which is sad. At least they can do whatever they like now :).

Lumi was the only one to make it onto the perch tonight. We had to lift the other two up, their angry clucking indicated this was not ok. Hopefully they understand better tomorrow night.

No comments:

Post a Comment