It was a bit of a rush job and I hadn't done my usual preparations, so instead of popping the new girl (Nancy) straight into the coop as I should have done, I absently opened up the box in the run to lift her out.
Well, it was pretty much a disaster after that. She took flight and then we couldn't get near her to pop her inside, so the poor thing had a very traumatic afternoon (numerous panicked escapes out of the garden) and hasn't been in the coop at all. Luckily Babs has been fairly tolerant of her arrival, so she's been nervously free ranging with her when not trying desperately to keep miles of distance between her and us. Come roosting time I hoped she would follow Babs to bed, but she didn't - instead she escaped the run and roosted in a laurel bush in the garden.
Anxious not to leave her as a convenient meal for a fox, I figured I'd just have to get tough - so I just about managed to get hold of her in the dark and she SCREAMED blue murder.
I swiftly got her in the coop where she instantly snuggled up tight with Babs, who looked bemused but didn't object.
I feel terrible, poor Nancy. I can only hope she calms down overnight, doesn't get beaten up by Babs and is none the worse for wear tomorrow. What can I do for her to alleviate her stress over the next few days, will she suffer any long term physical effects from this?
I have definitely learned a lesson.