No, I didn’t sleep well. I did sleep but it was as if my brain was working through the various permutations all night. I ended up going down at 6 to see how they were doing and realised that in the confusion I’d forgotten to pull up the ladder. The meant that Luna was down under the coop and strutting about looking for food. The two new girls were nowhere to be seen.
I hastily let Luna roam and got her food out of the shed. I then went around to the Nesting box end and found Fleur and Molly huddled together. I don’t think they’d moved. I put the barrier in place – this is part of a rabbit run with a bit of plastic mesh behind it to fill the triangular lower corners. I fixed it to the run so it couldn’t be pushed forward and then found the very handy insides of a peck block which I could hook around the base of the plastic mesh and then through the wire of the run. In this way, Luna wouldn’t be able to force her way through and hopefully they’d all be secure.
So, with that in place, I gathered Fleur and Molly up one at a time and transported them to the run side. They were pretty compliant and seemed happy to run away from me and experience the logs we have in the run. I guess they hadn’t experiened logs before as they struggled a little with the different levels and slipped a bit as they moved around. The new girls were installed in the run and Luna was under the coop – not idea as it has slabs underneath a good layer of bark but she had a fair amount of space, could stand up and had food and water. As it happened she was so put out, she wasn’t interested in egg laying but at least she had the choice. To be fair she would normally lay her eggs before 6 and so having two small chickens in the nest box probably didn’t encourage her but I could at least give her the chance later on.
My husband was working from home on Tuesday so I asked him to look out for the girls and make sure they stayed separated. I’m not sure if I’ve told you before but my husband is very, very good at treating the girls. He may not look after them on a regular basis but all our chickens have adored him as he wanders up there with treats aplenty! I also asked my daughter to sit in the run when she got back from school and try to get the new girls to eat some food from her and get used to humans close to them.
What a good family I have – they duly reported that the barrier stayed intact and they all enjoyed treats and weren’t too spooked by small humans in their run.
When I got home from work, I got changed, let Luna outside into the unprotected run and went and sat with the new girls for a while. I kept very still and took some corn with me – they moved around and seemed unbothered by my presence, without coming too close. I did let them meet each other for a short while but Luna headed straight for Fleur and pulled out some feathers. Fleur is a chatterbox so she had a good squawk and ran away. I’m not sure if Luna sees something of Ginny in Molly (they’re the same basic colour) but she does seem to really go for Fleur over Molly. At one point (and bear in mind this was a time period messaged in minutes not hours!) Fleur took to the air and landed on top of the coop and away over the other side to the garden. Oh no, not a flyer! I can only hope that fear created that flight (rather like Tonks in her first week) and it wouldn’t be repeated often. Anyway, that was a short lived experiment and they were soon separated again as I headed inside for tea.
Dusk at the moment is around 8:45pm but on Tuesday my daughter and I went to the Sports Centre. When we returned just after 9 we found Luna in bed and two wee chickens sleeping on the highest part of the logs. I scooped them up, put them back in the nest box and locked them up for the night.
I hoped that they, and I would sleep better but my brain was still wondering the logistics of keeping the new girls safe from a violent Luna.