Today is the one week anniversary of the arrival of Isabel, Rosie and Bronwyn. It’s been a fun week watching them settle in and find their wings (which have been clipped so they flutter but don’t fly). And they really have settled in well.
The good news is they are eating leaves. It seems they figured out how to consume greens even with trimmed (aka debeaked) beaks. That’s a huge relief to me and unbounded joy for the hens. It’s not such good news for the ruby ginger that grows along the fence in their enclosure. They love it, or at least love shredding it.
The great news is they seem to like us. Who knew chickens became lap dogs? Or maybe Rosie was a chihuahua in a past life? Frank pulled up a chair and within 1 minute Rosie hopped on up. This was 6 days after we brought her home.
I’m not saying our chickens adore us, but I think “like” is a safe description of their feelings. The photo below was taken 4 days after we brought the hens home. I put my chair in their enclosure and just sat and read for a few minutes and Bronwyn snuggled up next to my foot.
We’re now at a point that whenever Frank or I walk down to the chicken coop, the girls run towards the gate in anticipation. I confess I always try to offer them a treat of some sort to keep their interest and buy their affection (I have absolutely no problem with stooping to bribery). Forget about trying to pet them though. I have managed to touch each of them but it’s not easy and they never really tolerate it. They scoot away and go munch grass elsewhere to punish me for my affront.
They are also getting comfortable with their environment. Below is a photo of Isabel and Bronwyn sunning themselves. Or I think that’s what they are doing. They found a patch of sun (they get dappled sun all day but not much full sun) and rolled their bellies towards the heavens. Very weird looking posture, but they seemed happy.
The only real issue I have with the way they’ve settled in is that they’ve given up roosting on their nice perches. Instead, all 3 of them cram into one nest box to sleep. I have newspaper under their roost which makes it easy to clean up their nightly mess and compost it. In their nest box I have sugar-cane mulch and it’s messier to clean. Plus, when they do start laying, I don’t want soiled eggs. The 2nd nest box is being left almost untainted so maybe they have a plan!