Pecking order in Hens is not pretty. We let Mabel, Daisy-Mae and Edna mingle with the new littles. After some cautious consideration Edna, she’s always been the mean one, decided to peck at those she could reach before being sternly hugged against her will, for longer than she desired.
Back to building segregated living spaces, thanks Edna. The new 30 meat chicks arrive on the 30th, the current 30 need a larger space for the next 5 weeks of life and apparently the 3 “Ladies of the House” require their own personal abode. This also means splitting the run in two parts as the current 30 will need protected play space too.
The brooder pen stayed the same, the Hens got a smaller space with 3 nesting boxes(they use only 2), their roost and the chicken door to the run, leaving the main area for the the middle girls with the man door to their half of the run. We also installed a bug zapper and mosquito screened the front door(was just hardware cloth) after an upsetting amount of mosquitoes moved in with the littles this week. All is good, clean and safe again.
The first moments in the new arrangement did not go over well though. Daisy-Mae attempted to fly through the upper chicken wire from her roost. Either she couldn’t see it or she really didn’t like being confined while the interlopers took over the main area of her home. We had to lift each hen to show them the wire so no one else ended up flapping and crawling up to the ceiling on it. They are alternately entertaining and concerning. No chickens were hurt in the stunt 🙂
They will adjust. We do take the 3 girls to the chicken tractor most days, as long as we are going to be around. The neighbor’s German Shepard has taken an interest and eaten through the wire on one occasion, while I was in the yard no less. I looked up and there was Mabel strutting free in the yard. There was fur in the torn wire and the girls were quite adamant nothing was getting near the hole, not even me. I like to think my brave girl Mabel was coming to notify me of the issue.
Since being outside everyday is a simple goal of mine all I have to do is not lose myself in the garden and glance up at the girls more often. This is a new Chicken Momma rule for me to follow.
Live and learn, and learn, and learn…