Friday, November 09, 2007

Poultry brains!

Last night was a foul evening (please excuse the pun!), it was lashing down with rain and the wind was thrashing the trees around. It gets dark pretty early now too. I noticed, late afternoon, that the poor old chooks were all huddled underneath the coop, trying to stay dry. The pop-hole door (you may remember) operates on an automatic mechanism (solar powered no less!) so that it closes when it gets dark. After dark, when the rain had stopped, I popped outside to close the external door of the chicken run as usual. I was greeted by the rather pathetic site shown in the photo.

It seems 'the ladies' had missed closing time and were all huddled in a pile just outside the closed door. You might think that this is easily rectified, simply open the door and they'll all trundle in. This would, however, be ignoring the fact that it was now dark and after dark the chickens are in bed....wherever they happen to be and whatever the conditions are like! We have come across this problem before, they simply will not budge from the position that they find themselves in when the sun goes down.

Hmmmmmm. I opened the door and tried for about 10 minutes to persuade them to go through it into the nice warm coop. They stared back at me (one eye at a time) and looked thoroughly unamused. I prodded, cajoled, nudged and enticed, all to no avail. I decided to call for re-enforcements and drove to Hamble to fetch Al.

On return we decked ourselves out in thick coats and gardening gloves, expecting continued reluctance and a bit of a battle. In the event, I opened the door, prodded and nudged Leia (you can see she was first in the queue) a bit more and in she shuffled. Of course, once you've got one on side, there is no problem, they operate in a similar way to sheep, so in they all popped, making soft clucking noises as if to say "about time too!".