bgmathteach

Free Ranging
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Aug 22, 2021
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Consider this for a second.

Picture a typical teenager in high school. They are the outsider in a group of similarly aged teenagers. This typical teenager is given the opportunity to join a group of 3rd graders and be their leader or stay with the group of like aged students and remain an outcast.

Which would most teenagers choose?

This is the option I am giving Phyllis at this moment. It may just be too soon for her to switch any allegiance. She did not raise these chicks.
Maybe, given this perspective @ BY Bob, you are putting the cart before the horse. Maybe Phyllis will eventually align with the candy-cane girls once they get to be 'real girls', i.e. POL; and anything before that point won't be a true bond, just mere acceptance/tolerance. I know Phyllis gets picked on at roost time, but if I recall correctly, a lot of it is due to her choices (some, AURORA, ah em) isn't. How bad is it at roost time now? Is it something you can let be until Sylvia & Legertha grow up a bit? Only negative to that is that then Phyllis will be habituated to being in the big coop even though the cluckle hut has been around (i.e. not a new option like it is now.)

I guess this all goes back to what @Ribh said in her infinite wisdom.
I'm not sure I'd trust Bob's lot but I do suspect their interactions are far more complex & complicated than we surmise & any keeper is part of that equation. This is why I think Bob will ultimately make the right call, whatever that is. He knows his tribe & each personality & will weigh that against his desired outcome.
 

LaFemmeKatia

Crossing the Road
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It is sad. I hope I didn’t offend anyone by posting it. I was so impressed with the hens standing together, which is why I posted it. I thought it demonstrated more complex socialization; a coordinated effort to protect each other. Smart birds!
I also thought that the cat was playing. That is how cats play, with each other, with dogs, even with our hands.
I still find it concerning, and wouldn’t allow my cat to play with my chickens that way, because chickens are much more fragile than a cat. Cat’s are pretty tough, and can play pretty rough.
 

LaFemmeKatia

Crossing the Road
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I'd really prefer that she roosted in The Hut, where she can be boss hen. The only way I know to try and make that happen would be to force the issue. I did not want to force anything. I thought after 3 or 4 nights of waking up together a new home base might be set but it did not happen.

I could go back to moving her in every night regardless of where Phyllis roosts........🤔
You are vacillating, Bob. You need to be clear about the outcome you want & then take the necessary action to achieve that outcome. I think if you want a 2nd tribe that includes Phyllis you are going to have to interefere. Given what has been going on to date I think that is what I would do. No, chickens don't like change but in the long term I think it will be a better outcome but these are your chickens & your tribe. You know them best ~ & I know you will absolutely do what you think is best for them.
I am indeed vacillating. It has never been my way to impose my will on them.

However, it does appear that I may need to in this case. Or at least push it along.

What action to take? I need to think on this. How many nights in the Cluckle Hut would be needed before Phyllis switches her roosting place. That is probably where I need to start.
If it were me, and I had intentionally brought more Polish into the flock to create more balance and “friends” for Phyllis, I would put Phyllis in The Hut with the new growing birds.
You don’t want the Littles to see Phyllis as an “outsider” in their little clique.
Even a human child has to get used to a new bed or a new room.
Phyllis would quickly get used to The Hut, just like my Princess got used to her crate with the straw nest (because she cannot roost with one leg). Princess puts herself in her nest every night when the other girls get on their roost.
You want both Phyllis and the new girls to develop a relationship where they feel like they belong together.
In time, all of your chickens will be together when left out for the day, (I assume is your plan).
These adjustments take time, more than a few days.
 

LaFemmeKatia

Crossing the Road
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This is Lima. She's has a defomed throat and possibly trachea. I don't think she has gapeworm. I can feel the deformation. What this seems to mean in her case is she won't eat anything much larger than 2mm diameter. She's my favourite hen.
For such a frail little thing she's super fiesty and I have no idea why, but the others, bar two, do not bother her. She's mostly on her own, or with Henry who seems to look out for her. I've watched her fight one of the other hens that do try to bully her.
We made her some quinoa soup and she ate/drank this with great enthusiasm. If I mash rather than break walnuts she'll eat that as well. She desperately needs some high carb and protein food. She's a bag of bones and moulting and regrowing feather damage I assume she got when at the battery. She forages and eats grass tips, tiny bugs and I've seen her eat a few rather thin worms. I sat her on my lap this afternoon and had an exploratory feel along her throat, her crop and gizzard. Somehow she has filled her crop. I'm going to try her on a chick feed mash.
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I believe that you are on the right track.
she is a cute girl. 💕💖
 

Afi

Songster
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I don't think that is quite right is it? I thought the crop was supposed to empty overnight which is why I got up before light to check it before she eats anything.
It was full last night and empty first thing in the morning. I thought that was normal?
No RC I’m sorry I haven’t meant that.Chicken crops are supposed to be empty overnight,what I was trying to say is that,If Minnie dosent eat for a long time…her digestive system is going to start developing problems.
 

Afi

Songster
Sep 1, 2021
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No RC I’m sorry I haven’t meant that.Chicken crops are supposed to be empty overnight,what I was trying to say is that,If Minnie dosent eat for a long time…her digestive system is going to start developing problems.
P.s I was just trying to make you understand,like u know to make her eat if she’s not and try force feeding.
 

RebeccaBoyd

Crowing
May 24, 2019
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I am indeed vacillating. It has never been my way to impose my will on them.

However, it does appear that I may need to in this case. Or at least push it along.

What action to take? I need to think on this. How many nights in the Cluckle Hut would be needed before Phyllis switches her roosting place. That is probably where I need to start.
If it were me, and so far if Phyllis has shown no aggression and tolerance to the chicks I would keep her with them the majority of the day in the coop/run and insist that she sleeps in the cluckle hut. Granted there was only about a 3 1/2 week old age difference but when I rehomed Blueberries siblings this spring I moved her to the coop to build a friendship with Creamy and Raven. I had brooded Creamy and Raven myself while Clover had raised Blueberry. For the first week they were kept in the coop, and then for the second week they were allowed out for a hour or so of supervised free ranging. I wanted to be sure that the little unit stayed together. The first few days there was some pecking and bullying. Mostly between Blueberry and Raven, but it was not too bad so I left them to sort it out. Now Blueberry and Raven are thick as thieves and where you find one the other is only a few steps behind. Once Creamy began laying she did start distancing herself from them and now hangs out with Basil and the adults. I do at times question the wisdom in building that friendship with the girls though, because as a unit they are troublemakers. They work together to ambush and chase the other birds. They leave Butter and the silkies alone, but everyone else is fair game. Even poor Basil has been goosed by those 2 for fun. I really should have known better then building a friendship between Henrietta's daughter and granddaughter.
 

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