At half past seven last night I left the nest boxes closed but opened the chicken shed pop hole and door ready for the night. Immediately Flame and Vanilla went in and settled on the floor.
It was still very hot and Vanilla was beak panting although I didn’t manage to catch her with her beak open. Vanilla would put up with being hot just to sit with Flame.
I decided to put Vanilla in the dog crate in the shed until it was dark. I went out after dark and was pleased to see that Flame was on her perch which she wouldn’t have been had Vanilla been with her. I added Vanilla to the little girls’ perch.
This morning it was much cooler so I decided to try to break this habit. I have had a change of heart and decided that I will put Flame in the chicken crate rather than Vanilla as this worked last time after only two days and three nights.
I am now able to pick Flame up without her pecking me. It seems that Flame only pecks me when she is with Vanilla. It must be her misguided instinct to protect her “chick”. This makes it much easier to handle her.
I intended to give Flame two breaks for exercise and dust bathing, at half past twelve and half past four, but at half past ten I decided to see if she was ready for a break. I closed Vanilla in the nest box that she was in so that Flame wouldn’t see her.
Flame headed straight into the nest box next to the one Vanilla was in. This meant she wasn’t ready for a break so I put her back in the dog crate. It is no hardship for her to be in the dog crate as she would only otherwise be sitting in a nest box. I had put a dish of water and a dish of mash in the dog crate and she had eaten some mash.
I got Vanilla out of the nest box a few times but she went straight back in. I ended up closing the nest boxes and blocking the shed’s pop hole for half an hour to force Vanilla to take a break.
At half past twelve I shut Vanilla in the nest box again and returned Flame to the run. This time she went straight out into the run for a dust bath.
Once Flame had had her dust bath she went into a nest box again. I returned her to the dog crate and opened the nest box that Vanilla was in. I shall repeat this until Flame comes out of this. I am hoping that it will only take a couple of days.
Cinnamon laid an egg in the corner of the chicken shed so she must be feeling a lot later. Unfortunately her egg had to be thrown away because of the baytril but the important thing is that she seems back to normal.