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