Sleeping Rough

September 30th, 2009 .

At the weekend, me and my girlfriend went out for the day in London. By the time we got back it was dark already, and I needed to change the food and water for the chickens. When I went in the run I found all of them sleeping on the roof! I propped the door open with a stick and put them inside.

The chickens actually looked quite cute huddled together on the roof

The chickens actually looked quite cute huddled together on the roof

The next day I thought I’d better check on the chickens and they were on the roof again. Last night they went in by themselves so I thought they had stopped trying to sleep outside, but tonight I looked out the window and they were all out there again, so that’s 3 nights out of 4 that they haven’t managed to make it back inside.

I propped the door open with a stick, and with a little encouragement they went back inside

I propped the door open with a stick, and with a little encouragement they went back inside

I think that they have not adjusted to the shorter days properly, so I will probably need to adjust the sensor on the door opener/closer. I don’t really mind putting them back in though – it’s all part of the fun of keeping chickens…

Now Try and Escape!

September 26th, 2009 .

I have had to put Victoria back into the pen a couple of times each day since I got back from Spain. Chasing Victoria around the garden isn’t that bad – sometimes it’s good fun chasing a chicken around the garden, but I think she finds it stressful and I don’t like having to do it when I have woken up late for work and she is being uncooperative. Luckily I have found a solution!

Hopefully this will stop her from escaping...

Hopefully this will stop her from escaping...

I have put a weldmesh fence on the side of the coop that she was jumping off – I don’t think she can clear the fence from the ground but she can easily jump from the coop roof into the garden. I have put the fence on the edge of the coop that she would jump off of – she can still get onto the roof (and crap all over it as usual) but she won’t be able to get out and destroy my garden. Now I just have to wait and see if it actually works…


September 21st, 2009 .

When I got home from work today I found Victoria in the garden again. I walked up to the patio doors and she spotted me straight away before I opened them and I’m sure she knew that she was in trouble. She started pacing very quickly from side to side and trying to hide arond the back of the coop – she wouldn’t ever do this if she was inside the run. I think she knows that she is not allowed to be on my side of the fence as she behaves completely differently.

After a few minutes of chasing her around the garden I managed to get a hold of her and put her back in the run. I sat down down to feed the chickens some mixed corn and for the first time ever Victoria jumped up on my lap! This is pretty good considering how nervous she is. The others have always been pretty tame but Victoria has only been eating from my hand for a few weeks.

The Colony is Dying

September 18th, 2009 .

Things haven’t been going so well for the mealworms recently. I changed the substrate a couple of weeks ago, and everything was fine for a while, but one day I came home and most of the mealworms were lying on the top of the substrate. I had no clue as to why this was happening, and moved them into a new tub with new substrate. I picked out all of the dead ones and left them to see if they would recover.

I checked on them every day, and more of them have died each day. I think the reason that they have been dying is that the substrate was too moist. I have since left the lid off, and have been putting vegetables in for moisture instead of soggy kitchen roll.

After I came back from my holiday I had a look in their container and I must admit I was expecting the lot of them to be dead. When I had a look I instantly noticed a few empty skins on the top of the container so some of them have survived. In amongst the bran and the dead mealworms I managed to find at least 3 live ones and they are getting quite large now. Hopefully these 3 will survive so that I can breed a new batch. Next time I will make sure that I don’t allow them to get too soggy!

Chickens Behaving Badly

September 17th, 2009 .

I got back from my holiday yesterday, and my girlfriend told me that the chickens have been very naughty the whole time!

When I spoke to her on the first day of my holiday, she told me that Victoria had already escaped once and had to be put back inside. That same night, before going to bed she decided to check on the chickens and Daisy was stuck outside the coop and the door was closed. She said that Daisy was pecking at the door, and she had to put her in through the roof. Daisy didn’t really appreciate being picked up and flapped about like mad which made life difficult.

The rest of the week was filled with escape attempts – Victoria managed to escape the run at least once a day and had to be put in. My girlfriend’s brother was also staying at the house and was sleeping on the living room floor. One day he woke up and opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was Victoria tapping on the patio doors! They went outside to put her back in, and it turns out that she has figured out how to get back into the run – she sneaks round the back and jumps straight over the fence and onto the coop roof. I saw her doing this and noticed that she does touch the fence but it doesn’t hurt her because she is not in contact with the ground.

Today I came back home at lunch time and the chickens did the naughtiest thing yet. I bent down to give them some mixed corn and Daisy jumped straight up onto my shoulder. I didn’t really mind until she started trying to climb up onto my head, at which point I decided to try and get her off of me. Trying to get a chicken off of your head is not easy! There was a lot of flapping about and a bit of a struggle, and in the midst of it all Daisy did a big sloppy poo all over my jumper!