Sunday, 5 May 2013
Moving the chicks outdoors
We have now moved the chicks outdoors to the new henhouse we built on Monday. They have settled in well and they have worked out that they roost in the upstairs area and eat, sunbathe, drink and run about in the downstairs area. At this point they are not being let out of the henhouse and its enclosed chicken run. That will happen after three of them have been traded with a friend for fencing materials and the remaining four have grown sufficiently that bullying from the hens in the established flock will not be so much of a problem.
The plan eventually is to install a shed as a chicken coop and move the hens from the two smaller henhouses into it. These two houses will then be used as quail houses. We can't let the quails out to free range across the allotment but we have already built them two movable runs which can be connected to the small henhouses once they contain quails. An added advantage with the larger of the two runs is that is was designed also as a cage to keep the hens etc from damaging vegetables and soft fruit. It will be placed over one of the rows of gooseberry bushes where the hens have been pecking at the leaves and flowers. The quails will not be a problem for the gooseberries. The bushes will act as a cover for them and make them more contented with the environment in which they are living (and therefore make them more productive.)
All we have to do now is get the quail eggs and hatch them!