Despite the sub-zero temperatures this morning, the sun was out and the sky was a bright blue. In the sun, it was surprisingly warm and I decided today was the day to let the chicks explore their new home for a couple of hours. The coop is set up in our garden and has been waiting for them for several months. I carried them to the coop one at a time starting with Stratus.
I put her in, closed the door and disappeared back inside to get the other two. When I came back with Nimbus and Cirrus, she hadn’t moved. It was like she was absolutely terrified and her solution to this, was not to move. All three huddled together near the door, completely unsure of their new surroundings. I stayed with them for half an hour, trying to encourage them to explore. Eventually, they moved a few steps and over time slowly moved towards the nest box. I had a few errands to do and left them to explore on their own.
Later, when the temperature started to drop, I decided to bring them back inside. This was easier said than done. By now they were a metre away from the nest box with no intention of coming near me or into the nest box. After a few minutes of pondering, I knew I would have to climb inside the coop to get at them, somehow avoiding the frequent deposits left by the girls. Much to the confusion of my cat who was watching, I crawled into the run, trying to persuade the chicks into the nest box. They would not cooperate. Balancing on one arm, I grabbed each of them in turn and shoved them into the nest box. Wriggling backwards at speed whilst avoiding chicken poo was difficult, made harder by rushing around the run to make sure the door was shut before a chick decided to jump out! One by one, I lifted the chicks out of the nest box and put them inside in their usual enclosure.
Depending on the weather tomorrow, I will let them out again provided I can work out an easier, less pooey way of catching them!