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They're here!

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Our two hens ( a Blue Belle - rather predictably called Bluebelle by me, and Funky (there's men for you) the Black Star arrived on Sunday. Poor things sat in a 2-cat carrier in 26 Deg C of heat with the Climate guzzling all my petrol on the way home, vents very carefully directed into the cat carrier until they stopped panting.


They were relatively unhandled before we got them, and caught in a right kerfuffle and most unceremoniously by the legs to be bunged in the carrier, so were understandably nervous. I've been grinning at the posts on here about hens that won't use the Eglu - not a problem with ours, they took one look at everthing and disappeared inside not to come out for the rest of the day.


I was a bit concerned about their hydration but the next morning they ventured out (with a big shove from behind from me, and I had to shut the Eglu to keep them out) and immediately began at the grass like they've never seen any before (suspect they haven't!). It took an hour to find the grower's pellets (they're 13 weeks, so no eggs for a while!) and another hour for Bluebell to find the water, Funky is most defo a follower, while Bluebell is a leader and very much more confident. I let them use the Eglu over lunch and for the rest of the afternoon, and had to turf them out to eat in the evening, but then stayed out, Eglu open, until dusk, at around 10.30pm.


This morning DH opened the Eglu at around 6.45 this am, and they were out by 7.15 munching the grass and pellets quite happily, but I've had to fiddle the shade cover a bit as they will only eat the grass in the shade.


They love to squabble over Common Ash seeds, which is an enormous bonus, as these tree pests are not welcome in my garden, I fight a constant battle against the seedlings that you can't see until they have a 3 foot tap root. So far the hens don't like apple, but little gem lettuce hearts were found to be worth a second look. As they're growing and also eating so much grass I think they should be filling up on the pellets rather than snacks.


The Blue Belle is much more self confident than the Black Star, and both don't seem to mind being stroked although they are still very wary of us.


Jac the tabby cat spends as much of the day sitting on the Eglu or shade as he can manage, and stalks them regularly, and I've also seen him waving a speculative paw through the wire at them. They have a healthy fear/respect for him, which is good. I've a feeling the first meeting on the other side of the wire could prove a painful experience for him, as he seems very enthusiastic. Smudge the cat is content to just laze where she can keep an eye on them, but she's 14 and too old to be bothered. The dog is mildly curious, but she's 14 too and can't be bothered either.


We won't be able to let them out for their first time until Saturday, as I have homeworking commitments as usual, and we need chickenwire first. However, this is not a bad thing, as we have plenty of grass and will move the coop tonight. We can all be here to keep an eye on them and clip their wings.


I've thought of a modification to the Eglu, though. Both DH and myself are nice and strong, but does anyone else think a handle on the back of the Eglu would be handy? It's not the lightest thing in the world and apart from the egg port there's nothing to get hold of with the other hand.


It's winding up to be another scorcher today, and the've now popped back inside and it's only 10am. Am thinking of resiting the Eglu where it's in the shade of the trees for the afternoon, just while they're stuck in the run.


Off now, I've work to do, these forums are a drain on my spare time! (spare time - what spare time?)

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:D Welcome Funky & Bluebelle, they sound adorable! Glad to hear they're settling in so well and enjoying their new home. The shaded area under the trees sounds a good site next time you move the eglu. I agree about the idea of carrying handles, I found it cumbersome & that would really help. I wonder though if it was hard or expensive to incorporate. Its such a brilliant design in other respects, although something to grab on the dropping tray would be useful too.

Lovely to hear about the new arrivals, wishing lots of fun ahead, :D

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Welcome to Funky and Bluebelle - our Bluebelle is the Big Boss as well!

Have fun settling them in and Saturday when you do let them out will be about right - just make sure you have a treat to entice them back should you need to.


They're not interested in treats, nothing at all tempts them! I'm at a loss. I mean, they seem to have eaten the sweetcorn I put out, but hardly went mad for it, and lettuce can apparently be taken lightly. Won't enterain toast and marmite, yoghurty mash etc. I'm counting on the pressure one dog, two cats and a small 5 yo can bring to bear, and they run into the Eglu now if two large birds fly over (Pigeons) so I can't see them moving too far away! Any clues for treats? Cucumber tried.


Anyway, they'll go home to roost, hopefully.

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