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Activity levels dropping?

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My girls are in the run all day because I'm out at work. Over the summer we let them out in the evenings for a scratch about and it looked like the highlight of their day and they were crotchety if we tried to get them back in too soon.


Now that it's dark when I get home, they only get let out at the weekends unless is hubby is home and can let them out for a few minutes during the day.


When they're out of the run now, they seem less inclined to turn the garden over for beasties, preferring instead to have a dust bath if mummy puts their bath trays out.


Are they responding to a winter slow down, or are they getting bored and apathetic? They seem healthy and they're wolfing down their fresh greens when I go out and check on them in the mornings. They ate their peck-a-block a few weeks ago; I must get round to ordering another.

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I think it is the weather. Mine love to rootle about when it's warmer, but now it's cold, windy and wet, they just huddled together in their shelter and looked very sad.


So I moved them into their winter quarters this week - that's from free ranging in their bit of garden to the new bird flu pen which is 20ft x 8ft and woodchip on concrete. I was worried they would be miserable after their freedom but to be honest they seem much happier now. Instead of sitting huddled together, they are exploring their new home, excavating the woodchip and behaving like chickens again :) !

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It certainly is very beautiful here and I thank my lucky stars every day!


The "winter quarters" aren't quite so inviting now. We're on an exposed fellside and not too far from the coast, so we get an awful lot of wind and rain. I've had to put corrugate plastic sheets over the mesh now, so the chooks don't get to enjoy the view, but at least they are more sheltered. The woodchip on the floor is a sodden mess as there obviously isn't quite enough of a fall on the conrete. And to cap it all, the rats have moved in too - we caught the first one last night - ugh!! Appearances can be deceptive eh!!

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