I've spent the past two weeks protecting my new 3-month-olds from Chickpea the Hun. Chickpea was always the docile one in my yard. Her buddy (and supervisor) Porkchop died a few weeks ago. I worried that Chickpea was lonely, so I got her a couple of friends. Boy, it sure didn't take her long to become queen. For the first few days, she chased the little ones nonstop around the yard. I had to crate them up at dusk, then sneak them into the coop after Chickpea had settled in. Otherwise she'd corner them and peck and peck and peck -- that is, if she let them in the door at all. I decided pretty quickly that putting the chickens to bed every night wasn't a sustainable lifestyle choice, so I built the little ones their own enclosed nest box. I attached it to the front of Chickpea's coop, within the run. After a few nights of locking Chickpea in and showing the young'uns their new digs, everyone seemed to catch on. So, this weekend I'm out doing yard work and I get to observe my little flock during daylight for the first time all week. To my immense surprise and joy, they're getting along and hanging out together in the yard. Chickpea has even allowed the little ones to come into her lair beneath the rosebush (where she and Porkchop spent most of their time), and shared a luncheon of leftover spaghetti. On Saturday, all three of them lined up beneath the bougainvilla and took dust baths. It was very cute. So.... I noticed last night that Chickpea was still chasing the little ones out of her coop, but they know now to go up into their own box, so I wasn't too worried. Right as it was getting dark, though, I heard Chickpea complaining loudly. Went out there to take a look and couldn't believe my eyes. She was trying to climb into the little ones' box. Problem is, the box is for LITTLE ONES. She doesn't really fit. She barely fits through the door, and once she gets in she can't really move or turn around. No matter to her, though. I thought maybe she was going in to harass them (and so did they -- they were terrified), but no, she just wanted to be there with them. She slept in the doorway last night, head first, with her little buff butt hanging over the edge. Guess she's decided she likes the children after all! Now I need to figure out whether to allow this, or to try to get them all to go peacefully into the big coop tonight.