Until the trees grow, shade will be a bit of an issue, but shadecloth is being installed in various spots and the chickens seem to have worked out that this is the perfect place to roam in the morning and evening, while it's best to retreat in their cool old pen in the moddle of the day.
I was most impressed at how quickly they all worked out the 18 metre tunnel that connects the old pen to the new one.
It was really interesting to watch them learn (with the encouragment of many treats!) and to see how they each coped with the new environment. Amy, our PR chook, was the first one to venture over and had a good look around by herself, before I showed her where the way home was. Alisha, our first lady, followed Roger in, but really had no idea how she got there so then she just got all worked up about the fact she needed to lay an egg and didn't know where... even though there are three nests in the new enclosure. Bernadette and young Cleopatra really surprised me for being calm and collected and rather adventurous for the shy girls they usually appear to be. On the first night, Cleopatra made it back by herself and left her three brothers behind. In spite of our best efforts, they had a bit of a panic attack at bedtime and had to be carried back to their perch as they were not in the mood to learn the tunnel, but by the next day everyone was happily going back and forth. Yay, so proud!