Ruby and her chicks have been exploring the barn the last couple of days, mainly to give Ruby a bit of exercise as she’s done a lot of sitting down, and also to allow her to ‘visit he bathroom’ – which is a daily trip to deposit a vile and huge dropping that is gag-inducing and one of the most awful things you will ever smell!
What was good to see was when Ruby was out she would call the chicks and they would follow her. Ruby would then take great delight in finding bits of food on the floor that we’d put down for her and the chicks would come running to eat the delight that Ruby had found for them. Whilst it was good that Ruby was keen to show the chicks the wider world, it was obvious that they needed more space, and time for me to finish the new coop and run to a point that it could be used.
With the coop part useable, I spent a few hours making the 1800mm x 600mm frames for the 2 sides of the run. The weldmesh I’d bought was 900mm wide, and to optimise the roll, I put a support halfway down the length of each side, so that I could staple 2 900mm sections of weldmesh to each panel. This was done, and the side panels screwed to the coop, and a board added to the end of the run for now, so that Ruby and her chicks could move into the larger space.
We added a thick layer of woodchip to the base of the run and coop, moved the new drinker and feeder, and carefully lifted each chick into the run, then Ruby. She was not pleased! We didn’t expect thanks for our efforts to create a more spacious and secure home, but we didn’t expect the growls that we got from Ruby! Hens don’t like change though, and we were able to move the cardboard box that was inside the create into the new coop so that at least the immediate interiors were the same, including Ruby’s carefully arrange straw nesting area. This seemed to do the trick, Ruby escorted her babies to the cardboard box and a state of clam was restored. Nice to know your efforts are appreciated!