Friday, June 17, 2016

Wait, it's Friday?

I seem to have gotten confused on days, and ended up not making a post yesterday! I apologize for my oversight. The new chickens that our friend was kind enough to de-acquisition to us have settled in for a couple weeks, and we're starting to get them used to being outside. I need to do a little more mowing and weeding before putting the electronetting up is going to be useful and successful, so right now they're only out when we are outside with them. The Critter really enjoys being outside with the flock, though they break way before him like he's a large ship with a really unfortunate bow wave! He hasn't yet trained these girls that he's safe enough to be around to be able to pet them.

He is however very excited that one of the Australorps is curious enough about him to come very close. She actually is kind of funny because she doesn't seem to have a voice. She comes up and and very insistently opens her beak and makes quiet hisses of air, but no sound comes out of her beak. I haven't spent a full day watching her, but I have yet to hear sounds come out of her, unlike the rest of the new hens. Over all we're very happy that they've settled in so fast, and that they are laying plenty of eggs. We're hoping to encourage one of them to go broody so we can get our hands on known fertilized eggs to mix in with the ones they lay. We're not sure that Boris is still able to do the breeding duties of a rooster, but this time that's ok. The hens do follow his lead, and though he is slow stick relatively close to him. We think he may have reached the limit of his recovery, you'll notice in the photos Above that while he has moved between the two photos about two minutes apart, he hasn't moved a whole lot. He seems to be eating well though, and does get around. The hens went back into the coop at his urging when it was dusk, and that's exactly what we want to see.
I'd mentioned that the grass needed more mowing, and more weeding needed to be done before the electronetting will be useful. Here's the thing about electronetting. It is very effective at what it does, which is put electric current into anything that touches it. The consequence of this is, if it isn't an insulated post, it is going to act as a ground and rob the fence of effectiveness. Each long bit of grass, weed, and stick touching the fence is going to reduce its effectiveness. With electric fencing you never want any animal to encounter the electronetting at less than full effectiveness. One of the things with training any animal is consistency. With electric fence of all kinds the electricity isn't actually enough to stop an animal. The expectation of pain and it not being worth it to cross the fence is what you're going for. You want the suggestion that it's not worth it, with the disincentive of the pain from the shock to make animals not even test the fence. That's why constant maintenance and testing of the electric fence is so important once it's installed.

Once you've been inconsistent once it is much harder to teach animals to stay away from the fence long term.

1 comment:

  1. A great chicken post! Love the pictures. I have a bit of chicken news; we discovered that one of the newer hens is actually a rooster! I am thrilled. I love my boys. I've already changed his name from Mrs. Mendelbright to Floyd Lawson!