This past weekend, we were finally able to finish up the temporary chicken coop/future brooder. Bess was getting very anxious to get our of her (huge) plastic tote in the extra bedroom, with no regard for how nicely the daybed was decorated. Go figure. And by the way, Gracie the cat is SO glad to have “her” room and bed back – she actually didn’t hiss at the puppy for once after sleeping in there again for a couple of hours.
Anyway, I digress. I loaded Bess up in the pet carrier to move her out to the coop. Once I set the carrier inside the coop yard and opened the gate, she wouldn’t come out. I tried to tip it a little and she wasn’t having any part of it. Dried meal worms wouldn’t even entice her out. (Should have tried oatmeal – that girl will do ANYTHING for oatmeal.) Funny girl, thought you wanted out of the tote… So here’s where we discovered that I can crawl right through the yard gate and sit down in the coop yard quite comfortably. HA! I had to take her out of the carrier and she immediately perched on my arm for a good 15 minutes before finally deciding that the grass wasn’t going to eat her. Poor chick. Then she promptly crawled up into my lap to sit for a spell. Despite all my attempts to get her used to being held when we first got her, Miss Independence did not like being held at all. And yet she “curled up” in my lap. Eventually, she started checking the place out and nabbed those meal worms. I had a string of Christmas lights on for her the first night because it was so incredibly dark (she had nightlights in the house) and all new. At some point, she finally went inside her house and settled down.
Last night, way after dark, she was still milling around the yard. I was stressing because it was dark, and she was supposed to be in bed by now. Doesn’t she know that’s what chickens are supposed to do? Observing her for a little while, I noticed her trying to jump up at the lights. So I went and turned them off. Guess what? She went right to bed. Okay… Bess 1, Chicken Mom – 0. Guess she knows more about being a chicken than I gave her credit for and certainly more than I do. She definitely needs some friends, and with a radiant heater, I think our little coop is going to make a fabulous brooder. Now to get that chicken/duck yard fencing finished so we can build a full sized coop…Bess needs lots of friends!