It may not have got much above freezing yet, but the hour of extra sunlight in the evenings is still very much appreciated. It makes such a difference to the feel of the day to get home from work and have a few hours of sunlight still left to enjoy - even if I need a hat and scarf to do so!
For the hens this means a change of routine too. Giving them the freedom of the garden under close supervision at the weekends has given us the confidence to decide that we will do so more often. It gets them out of the mud bath that is their run and gives them access to greens, bugs, dry soil and a bit of space to run and flap.
We'd also noticed that the last few times we'd released them that they would happily wander back into the run to get to water, or to the nest boxes which convinced us that they were settled and that they knew where home was which makes the whole thing a lot easier.
So, from now on the plan is to let them out when we get home from work until they decide that it's bed time. We've done this each night this week and it's worked like a treat. We let them out at about six, they enjoy themselves greatly and then at about eight go back to their coop and settle down for the night. Bingo.
|Checking out the odds I have corn hidden behind my camera...|
|Everyone enjoying preening in the late evening sun|