Audrey has settled into her new coop a treat. I think she must realise it shows off her snowy-white plumage beautifully and she seems to know how it all works – she even laid an egg in the nesting box as a celebration on Sunday, the very first day she and Mabel took up residence. If only her sidekick was so keen. Ever since Mabel went broody (see this blog by clicking here), she’s not been quite herself and hasn’t been putting herself to bed at night. I kept both birds inside the coop for a day as is recommended when poultry move henhouse – this is meant to familiarise them with their new home. It hasn’t done the trick, though – each evening this week I’ve come home to discover her perching on a low wall near the coop, while Audrey has retired to the straw-lined nesting box to sleep. I’ve scooped Mabel up and placed her inside the house, but she is reluctant to do so herself. Last night she clung to my hand with her claws (they’re blunted by her scratching around and so not remotely sharp) in a way that reminded me of hawks and their handlers. It was actually rather a lovely feeling and I humoured her for a while, acting like a human perch as she chirrupped at me, before I popped her inside. Anyway, hopefully Audrey’s good example will influence her friend’s bedtime behaviour.
Meanwhile, I’ve been marvelling at the new house’s features and modifications, including the brilliant slide-out tray that James made. I know this sound terribly nerdy, but it will make cleaning out the henhouse so much easier! It even has a hinged wooden flap covering it to ensure the girls don’t feel a draught! So, even if Mabel isn’t digging it, I’m enjoying the new coop offers.