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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunflour, Aug 23, 2015.
That's good stuff! Thanks for the update!
Thanks for you encouragement. Wish us luck, will be having "visitation" again in a little while.
@Mutt Farm , a great success. No conflicts AT ALL today. Lillie (the former bully) was inches away from Penny and not a single sign of aggression. So left them all out together. But Penny still stays close to her cage - starting to think she likes it. Tweedie #1 gal and Penny showed some bonding "friendship" today - sharing side by side in mealie worms. Funny, but Tweedie went in and gave the cage a real exploration - eyed everything over and over. hahaha.
But not letting my guard down, and plan to progressively increase the the visitation times and to give them a little more distance to be chickens.
Chicken's memory is better than most think:
Still have Penny mostly in the dog cage, and letting her out in the afternoon with the flock. Skirmishes with Lillie = the bully are brief and relatively mild now. And looks like we may be able to let her out for longer visitations.. I think they are all ready for true integration when Momma Hen = me can "nerve up" and let them.
But yesterday's out of the cage time really surprised me. Penny has not been in the coop proper for at least 5 weeks now, and we wondered if she remembered it at all. While the other members of the flock were occupied, when she came out of the cage, she walked into the older run section, looked at the chicken ramp and with no hesitation, went up the ramp into the coop and took a sand bath inside. The only way I can explain this is that she does have memory of the coop and felt safe and happy up there. If she had not remembered it, IMO she would have been afraid to venture there.
Slowly but surely...let her stay out of cage until roost time and see what happens?
She may 'go to roost' in the cage if it's available ...not sure of your setup.
My set up for a small flock without free ranging is what makes this so challenging. The structure was built in two parts. Started with a 5x10 feet all-in-one Wichita Cabin type coop/run. Added additional run space 7x10 feet - connected by an open 3 foot door way. The closed part of the coop for roosting and nests is raised and only 5 x 4.5 feet - too small to place a cage in there or allow creative division of space.
With the reintegration issue and the space taken up by in run caging, we needed more room to allow them space during visitations, so we added the temporary outdoor fencing and open a door to the area only when we are supervising.
At least we have been able to remove the second smaller bully lock up cage as the situation is beginning to defuse giving back more space.
I do envy members with larger coops and protected runs, more space would make this much easier.
Thanks for the pics......Nice setup and creative 'temporary space increase'.
I'd just leave her crate open of an evening as see where she goes......I'm betting eventually she'll roost in coop.
Is there room in coop for separate roost? Might speed her roosting in there.
The coop has 2 separate and equal roosts, each a little over 4 feet long. Will try that next weekend when I will be off the following morning, so I can be out there and watchful when they come out of the coop.
How many birds?
They may be more apt to squabble going to roost than in the morning,
mine bicker like crazy almost everyday at roost time even tho they've been together for 2 months and I have like 3 times the roost space needed,
but if she can overcome getting up there, she should be fine in the morning.
Best of cLuck!
@aart I have a total of 4 hens, raised together. Lost the #1 BR same time Penny was absent and the shift in pecking order likely is effecting this adventure.
Thanks for your input.