I think we may have cracked it

Yesterday each time I went up to the chickens Vanilla was out in the run with the rest of the flock until I went through the gate when she would then run to the closed pop hole.

Today when I have gone out to the girls Vanilla has stayed with the flock and hasn’t taken any notice of the closed pop hole.

After lunch I decided to get Flame out for some exercise. I followed my instinct and decided to leave Vanilla in the run too and see what happened. Flame ran straight into the run for a dust bath and Ebony bounded over to her, had a good look at her and then joined in with the dust bath. Ebony looked so pleased to see Flame that it was rather touching.

Then came the moment when Vanilla realised that Flame was back. We watched with bated breath. Vanilla went over and started trying to climb on Flame’s back like before. Flame angrily pecked her away. Vanilla retreated then gradually crept over again. Vanilla tried to climb over Flame again and Flame pecked her away. This time Vanilla moved away and kept her distance.

Hurrah! It seems that Flame has had enough of this relationship and all it took was for Flame to show Vanilla that she wasn’t wanted. I think we may have cracked it.

Flame and Ebony spent a long time enjoying their dust bath while Vanilla joined the rest of the flock on the patio where I had put Flame’s dish of mash.

When they had finished dust bathing Flame went to the turf and pecked at the grass. There was one moment when Flame went and looked at the pop hole and I thought that maybe this wasn’t completely over after all.

The next minute Flame was back out in the run and Vanilla stayed away from her. At one point the three bigger girls were sat together on the turf as if it was a carpet. They looked completely relaxed together but I didn’t manage to get a photo.

This morning Vanilla was mixing with the other girls

Ebony was pleased to see Flame and they immediately started a dust bath together

Vanilla has been pecked away by Flame

This was the moment when Vanilla came in for a second go at joining Flame and was pecked away again.

A great dust bath

Vanilla is with the rest of the flock while Flame and Ebony dust bath

Flame is pecking at the turf which is looking rather brown now

Flame has a look at the blocked pop hole

This was the only time that Flame had a look at the pop hole and then she spent the rest of the afternoon in the run with the rest of the flock. It was so lovely to see the whole flock out in the run together and Vanilla keeping her distance from Flame. It all looked so lovely and normal!

I decided that I would open the pop hole in the evening and see what happens. I am quite hopeful that things will be back to normal. If so we are done with this. If Flame and Vanilla are together again I will put Flame back in the crate overnight.

I feel that it will be okay though as flame has now shown Vanilla that she isn’t playing this game any more. I will report back to tomorrow on how this evening goes. Once again, fingers crossed.

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6 Responses to I think we may have cracked it

  1. david says:

    Vry good progress, very rapidly, once you brought in strategies you’d prefer not to use under normal circumstances. You’ve every reason to feel well pleased.

  2. Carol says:

    It has been so lovely this afternoon seeing the flock back to normal but ….. I have just been up and opened the pop hole. I couldn’t believe it! Flame and Vanilla rushed through the pop hole. Flame sat in the middle of the shed and Vanilla forced her way underneath her and Flame just accepted her. I was so disappointed! I have now put Flame back in the crate for the night. I may let them be together during the day but keep them apart at night for now depending on what happens tomorrow. This is a real blow after such a good day.

  3. Sophie says:

    I still think that’s really good progress after only one day! xx

  4. marion says:

    Well done.

    • Carol says:

      Well, not quite there yet, but it’s improvement. Flame and Vanilla are apart during the day but wanted to be together at bedtime so for now I will keep Flame in the dog crate overnight until they stop doing this at bedtime.

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