Bedtime without Rusty

The first night after we lost Rusty I thought I would try to train Freckles to sleep with Dandelion and Apricot. She was having none of it!

The left side of the chicken shed with Freckles now on her own

The right side of the chicken shed

I moved Freckles to the perch with Dandelion and Apricot. She looked across at them as if wondering what on earth she was doing next to this pair.

I moved Freckles who was clearly not pleased by this

I checked back ten minutes later and she was back on her own perch. I moved her again and she looked at me as if most displeased.

I moved her a second time before giving up

By now it was quite darkĀ  and I opened the door a crack and me and my husband peered in. We saw her turn herself around, jump down and make her way back to her own perch.

I decided to leave her be. She was obviously determined that this was her perch and just because Rusty was no longer beside her she wasn’t going to change her habit and perch with that pair of girls.

I realised that I couldn’t change her habit and it wasn’t fair on her to try. I could move her after dark but that seemed pointless and would mean me always having to do that. I have decided that if we have really cold nights in winter I may perch the girls together after dark but other than that I will leave them to do as they please.

I had hoped that if Freckles would perch with Dandelion and Apricot then if we got new girls in the spring I could train them to use her perch. I am now thinking that if we get new girls in the spring they will have to choose who they perch next to and we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

I feel sad to see Freckles perching on her own but I don’t want to stress her by moving her from what she knows as her perch. She has shown us that she doesn’t want to move so that is that for now.

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4 Responses to Bedtime without Rusty

  1. marion.pharo says:

    She has a mind of her own.

  2. David Anderson says:

    I think you’re right; we feel for them if they are perched alone, but probably the fact that there aare others in the hen house with her, she’s happy enough – although it must be strange for her without Rusty. Difficult to break them from what they want to do of their own volition – as we know with broodies!

    • I know we mustn’t try too much to put our own voice on their behaviour but both me and my husband couldn’t help thinking that Freckles was thinking along the lines of, I may have lost Rusty but I am not sleeping next to this pair which are below me! They may not think in our words but we feel sure that it goes something like that.

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