My efforts so far to change the bedtime habit haven’t worked. I have been lifting the two bigger girls from the perch over the hatch every evening at half past seven and putting them in. At least I lift one and the other just follows. I have been alternating each evening. I pick up Emerald one evening and Speckles follows and then pick up Speckles the next evening and Emerald follows.
I thought that as they don’t like being picked up it might encourage them to go in by themselves. They don’t particularly like being picked up but it isn’t enough to stop them perching outside at bedtime.
I need to break this habit as there are a few occasions coming up when we will be away overnight. If they perch outside and it rains in the night they will get wet. It’s time to have a change of strategy.
Last night I blocked the favourite perch over the hatch. This time I put a brush either side of the hatch door so that none of the perch was exposed. I then covered the second favourite perch on the other side of the hatch with a sheet of tarpaulin.
I wondered if they would then perch at the bottom of the run above the ladder but I thought I would start with the two favourite bedtime perches and see what happened.
I went out at half past seven and was really pleased to see that it had worked and all the girls were in.
Hurrah! I plan to leave the two perches blocked for a week to see if this breaks the habit. The girls don’t use those perches during the day as they prefer the perches over the ladders which get the sun if there is any.
Maybe this is one problem solved but I will see what happens tonight before I get too carried away. I am hopeful.