So the chook tractor tested out fin last Sunday. I placed it on the bed after hammering in the final mesh long after it was dark on Saturday. I had a little trouble getting them in. The first followed in with the food scraps I threw, while I had to pick the second up and put her in with the last putting up a scramble round the veggie patch before finally succumbing to some herding with stakes (no chooks were harmed during this test run). The munched on a few scraps before looking around bewildered at their new environment and standing still for a few minutes. The spinach that had failed to grow significantly proved irresistible and provided a few more minutes of entertainment before it was time for the dog test. The dogs(and chooks) were surprisingly calm about the whole experience and both species gazed wearily at each other as they risk assessed the thin mesh barrier separating them. I had not yet cut a space for the door so after a couple of hours and a trip to the Bentleigh market for some veggies I let them back in while the dogs peered through the French doors in their typical fashion. I cut the door before growing distracted and set about interplanting lettuce and carrots, bok choi and existing broccoli in the adjacent beds.
The remainder of the day was spent setting up the bird netting over the other beds, washing the dogs and visiting the chinese grocer. I realised a couple of things that afternoon. The door on the pen is too small. Also I need a way of accessing the pen that is easy and quick. I am thinking that a few square holes in the top covered by wood would suffice for chucking in some scraps and attaching a hanging waterier. Also I need a laying box in case the urge arises during the day and also so that I dont have to cancel on going for a climb after work because I have to get home to put the chooks to bed(a covered roost would also help). In addition, the dogs need far more baths than what we have been giving them and beer is neat for sitting and evaluating a hard weekends work.