THE DRAMA CONTINUES....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hollyinpa, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. hollyinpa

    hollyinpa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Ok -

    Last night we had our two older hens in with our six 9 week olds and Gladys was BESIDE herself mad. She paced the run and wanted nothing but OUT of that run/coop. Once it got dark we were able to place her in the coop for the night, but not before she harrassed our half-blind loaner hen who was in the first nesting box asleep. Apparently, Gladys NEEDED the first nesting box for the night. Neither of the older two hens are ROOSTING in the new coop yet. The six babies are at the far end of the long roost huddled together trying to steer clear of Gladys with great success.

    Tonight I decided to sit in the run with all the girls and just calm as needed and observe. Gladys was CLEARLY not as frantic tonight and the babies took turns using me as a "human perch" while I was sitting on the ground...it was so cute, three of them lined up on my arms/knees watching Gladys....

    FINALLY, after about 40 minutes, Glady went up the ramp and into the coop on her own. She quickly rustled up Granny Hen who we put in the coop earlier ('cause she can't half see). Granny gave Gladys some room and Gladys settled into a nesting box on her own.

    After all the craziness, the six chicks finally walked the ramp to get ready for bed...WHEW. All this work for one GRUMPY GLADYS hen. I am sure things will get easier as Gladys gets more comfortable. In the meantime, I'll start weaning myself out of the run.

    BOY OH BOY the things we do for our kids....
     
  2. Robin L

    Robin L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2008
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    [​IMG] I hope things go better for you and the babies!
     
  3. hollyinpa

    hollyinpa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Tonight was MUCH better.

    I settled in with some slices of cheese to get the six chicks and Gladys into the new run. They all came running.

    After their snack, I sat down in the run (again) and quickly turned into a human roost. It is quite fun having them so close to me and I enjoy cooing and chatting with them. I didn't overindulge Gladys as much tonight....

    She ate some cheese, paced a tiny bit and then put herself to bed before it was even dark. I remained out in the run with the six girls - just chillin. I'll go back to check and make sure they get to bed ok with Gladys in there.

    Granny, our half-blind loaner hen, has been asleep in the old coop for a while..she goes to be VERY early. I'll just lift her into the new coop tonight once the others are asleep. I fear that Granny might never be able to navigate the narrow ladder to the new elevated coop each night...so we'll just keep her comfy and move her in each night. She's a doll.

    Tonight was MUCH MUCH easier. Thanks.
     
  4. hollyinpa

    hollyinpa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2008
    OK, I spoke too soon. We tried to move our old Granny into a nesting box for the night and Gladys was NOT HAPPY. It wasn't fully dark outside and the light in the henhouse was still on. I think she's mostly ticked off that we are handling Granny more and more and she feels compelled to put Granny in her place each time.

    So - We put poor, old, half-blind Granny back in the small henhouse to rest quietly and we focused on acclimmating the baby chicks to Gladys' world. Gladys doesn't harrass the chicks like she does old Granny. Could be a size thing....could just be a seniority thing? Not sure....

    So - Gladys and the six chickens are in the house together again for the night. I think, if we give Granny back to her owners and their flock, that Gladys will not like life being confined in the 10x14 run during the day. She is used to free-ranging all day. We aren't ready for the little ones to free-range without our supervision and letting ONE hen out each day is not as easy as it sounds.

    This weekend we'll be having Gladys spend the day in the larger run with the chicks to see how she does. I am sure we'll HEAR about it. She's quite vocal....sigh.
     
  5. hollyinpa

    hollyinpa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2008
    So - today we took down the old coop (a small henhouse that the old hen we call Granny still slept in at night).

    We had all the chicks and the two hens in the run and they seemed to get along great. As the sun began to set, Gladys went to bed first.

    Granny proceeded to pace the fence-line and look frantically (with her mostly blind eyes) for a way out. I led her to a bucket we set up just for her with some hay since we figured she'd not be able to navigate the narrow ramp up to the coop. She sat in it a few minutes, but then got out again and paced around.

    I let her out of the big run into the yard.

    We have a small covered area with a nesting box, food, water, and shelter from the weather set up next to the big coop for when the two big hens are free-ranging and need to get in from the weather....I showed her this covered area but she wouldn't have anything to do with it.

    Instead, she paced up and down the row of arbor vite looking up - maybe for a way out of the yard. I am not sure. After watching her grow more and more frantic, I put her BACK in the run with the chicks so at least she wouldn't be alone. Poor thing.

    She tried to fly up on the wall of the run a couple times and then retreated to the bucket I'd showed her earlier...it has a small light attached to it so she can see. Hopefully she'll settle in ok. I'll go check on her in a bit.

    WHEW...what work to get all these gals acclimated to their new, nicer digs.
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I'm always fiddling too. Who does what to who, who likes who, who is afraid of who, etc. Finally I just walk away, and they settle it themselves.
     
  7. hollyinpa

    hollyinpa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2008
    I am the consummate fiddler.

    I worry about old Granny Hen, though. Poor thing is mostly blind, older than dirt, and "on loan" to us from our neighbor. I hate to see her so frantic and worked up. I am glad that she finally settled down on her own. Whew.

    Everyone is safe in the run/coop for the night. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

    Actually, tomorrow we are thinking of returning Granny to her owners since Gladys now has six sister chicks to keep her company....
     
  8. hollyinpa

    hollyinpa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2008
    VICTORY AT LAST!

    Gladys, our 3-year old barred rock hen, laid an egg in the new henhouse/coop for the FIRST TIME today. Whoohoo!

    It's official - all of the hens are living together as one now.

    WHEW...now I am off to go have a celebratory drink! [​IMG]
     

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