This afternoon I finished work early and decided to mix the girls. I settled on the patio area in a garden chair with a book, camera and water spray, to keep an eye on proceedings.
As I had expected, Speckles was the one that chased the new girls around. I used the water spray a couple of times to deter her.
The other girls didn’t take much notice. The useful thing was, that as I was sitting on the patio, the new girls felt it was safe to explore this area.
At this point I put the new girls in the chicken shed so that they could get familiar with it.
I then put Pebbles in with them and closed the door so that she could show them the way out. She popped straight out and they soon followed.
I have put growers pellets in all the dishes now as Peaches laid her last egg a few days ago and they can all now stay on growers until the new girls start to lay.
I felt quite pleased that the new girls now know where everything is and at last seem to have got the hang of eating from the dishes.
The next decision was what to do at bedtime. I would have liked to steer the new girls towards the chicken shed like I did with Caramel and Pebbles but these two are quite a different pair.
Rusty was oblivious to all the other girls going to bed and was happily pecking around her usual little coop. Freckles as always was getting anxious about where to go. Suddenly she flew right up into the roof and I had to catch her. Once again I decided the best course of action was to put them both in their little coop for safety.
I decided to try putting them in the chicken shed at dusk. I thought that if I did this tonight then perhaps once they had spent a night in there I could direct them towards the chicken shed tomorrow night.
I placed them on the perch next to Pebbles.
First Rusty jumped down and was soon followed by Freckles. It was probably a bit too soon to perch them as they haven’t really discovered perching in the run yet, like Pebbles has. I gave them a few minutes then looked in on them again.
They had settled near the pop hole which is fine. My photo is a bit hit and miss as I took it in the dark so I was guessing where they were. I didn’t want to use any light and risk disturbing them.
I will go out before the door opens in the morning and make sure they all come out safely. I will separate them again in the morning while I am out doing my deliveries but put them together again in the afternoon when I am at home to keep an eye on them.
I want to get them sleeping together as I worry about Freckles wanting to fly into the roof where she could possibly hurt herself. I think perching up may have to wait for a bit longer but that’s okay. I think the next stage is to try to get them to go in themselves where ever they end up sleeping. It doesn’t really matter where they sleep at the moment as it is more important that they learn how to go in.
I will continue tomorrow by trying to get them to go in the chicken shed themselves. It’s been a good day though with very little aggression so I am happy with the progress. We have got to this stage very quickly from a difficult first day and they have come on a long way in less than a week.
I am quite confident that they will be one flock very soon. I think it is going really well.