After the first evening that Star perched next to Diamond by herself she took to perching on the brackets of the higher perches. It was obvious that she wanted to perch higher with the rest of the girls but I felt that the brackets were definitely not suitable for her feet. I moved her next to Diamond each time but I thought the perches needed to be made suitable for her.
I decided to see if there was something I could add to the brackets to suit Star’s long toes. I went to the D.I.Y/garden centre to find something suitable. I found a piece of picket fence which had a flat side and a curved side. I thought we could cut them to size and fit them over the metal brackets. Luckily by making them a tight fit they didn’t need anything to hold them in place. They were tightly wedged and not about to move.
While addressing this I was also trying to get up to date portraits of the girls. In other news Gold has gone broody again after laying ten eggs in fifteen days. This leaves Dot as our only egg laying girl at the moment. We also had to clip Diamond’s beak again. This is six weeks after we last did it. I think it will need clipping every six weeks.
The wood for covering the brackets is two inches wide on the flat side but two and a half inches wide around the curved side. The main perches are one inch wide and one and a half inch round the curve.
I took my camera for my portrait shots and my tape measure to measure the width of the perches for comparison. I put the tape measure down while I held my camera and the girls immediately inspected the tape measure. I thought this demonstrated what curious/nosy characters they are.
Again the quality of the photo isn’t great but Star is on the corner bracket perch and has been joined by sugar. Occasionally the smaller girls used to end up on the brackets and I always mover them to the perches but now if they end up on the brackets they can stay there. You can see behind Dot the width of the bracket perch. There are now four to choose from.
Star has perched here every night since we put them in so that is a success and I am now happy with the perching arrangements.
Before showing the latest portraits I will air my concerns of health issues. After showing a bit of an interest in a nest box it turned out Diamond was just being nosy. She hasn’t yet showed any interest in laying and this concerns me a bit for her health. She also has a mucky bottom once more and I will wash it again. It isn’t all the time. When she came to us she had a mucky bottom but moulted the dirty feathers. Since then I have washed her once and this will be the second time so it’s only occasionally.
Salmon sometimes sits with her eyes closed and it always alarms me. It is probably just her age and at other times she is perky especially when there is spinach on offer. It’s just that I have read that chickens can stop laying for a year or two when at the end of egg laying and then will suddenly lay a few eggs. It terrifies me that she will come back into lay and then run into a problem and we will lose her. I know that Salmon is the most vulnerable of the girls and I must try not to worry as she has had a good innings but I can’t help myself.
Now for current portraits of the girls. It is now easy to get a close up of Star as her confidence as grown enormously both around me and around the flock. I am happy that she is now completely integrated and she no longer runs from any of the girls.
Star has some loose tail feathers. She is having a partial baby moult and dropping a few fluffy feathers.
I am now very happy with how the flock are together and happy with having the right perches for the flocks differing needs. I could just do with more than one egg layer but as long as the girls stay healthy that’s the main thing.