Five eggs by 10 am! Yay! We are in the egg game.
It’s funny to lift the lid when there’s a hen settled in the box. It’s kinda like walking in on someone in the bathroom. Oh, sorry. This time, she was just keeping a plastic egg warm. They all lay in the corner box now.
The hens let themselves out to range today. All the hens. I made an ersatz coop extension so they could have a bit more shade and entertainment. It hasn’t worked in the past, but I did it again anyways, propping and wiring up some window screens.
Late afternoon I found all of them out, scattered about, very, very happy in the long grass. I wish I could leave them out already, but I don’t trust them to return to the coop at night, and they are not allowed to camp out with unsavoury characters around. The rooster was the only one remaining inside, not thrilled about it. Luckily. I opened one side of the coop, gave him some falafel, and he gave it good reviews; the hens came running. The ones that went to the wrong side (revealing wherethey’d gotten out), I pursued around the coop until they went in the opening.
Except for one (there’s always one), who lost interest and walked away. Trouble was, there’s only one path there, which I wanted to use too, and she was on it, and I was between her and the coop.
Scared at me trying to edge past her, she ran into the tall grass (waist high), which was really funny, as you could see where she was going by the disturbance on the surface, like she was submarining. She popped out of the jungle by the coop and went back in. Phew, uneventful recapture.
Will they go to bed on their own, earning their daytime freedom?
7:30pm. Silkies all abed, one big hen is roosting. I produce the stick, and it spontaneously occurs to two more hens to go to bed. I decide on a staged approach tonight, and give them breaks between stick persuasion events
8:30 Show the stick again. Another hen goes up, and one goes to the top of the ramp and turns around, blocking the ramp.
9:00 Clearly she was not convinced it was bedtime. Two hens and the rooster still down. Bet it’s the same two holdouts as yesterday. Gentle nudging persuades each hen to head up the ramp on first attempt. Rooster frets and dithers and head butts stick, but two steps onto the ramp and he’s on his way.
Ahhhhh, so much better. These hens are no problem.
I do not have too much confidence in this rooster. Not the brightest. I wonder what the Silkie rooster would make of these hens that are bigger than he is?