It has been a real problem getting the three amigos brave enough to get to the food and water. I had been separating them three times a day to give them a chance at food and water in peace.
A few days ago I decided that I would have to put in another feeding station out in the run. I have never had to do this before but these three girls are the most timid we have ever had.
I decided to put a small dish of mash and a small dish of water, on the wooden block, that holds the gate open to the furthest part of the run. I use a block to wedge the gate open rather than a brick so that if the girls dig round it and it slides, it is light and it wont hurt their feet.
This is also an ideal spot to put food where it won’t get soil scratched into it and being behind the top part of the run it offers a bit of screen from the other girls. The three amigos can go to this spot whenever the rest of the flock are in the top part of the run.
Apricot is the first to find the new feeding station
Dandelion and Cinnamon soon find it too
This is now working well
The three amigos soon got used to going to this feeding station whenever the other girls were occupied or in the top part of the run. With this new routine they seem to have grown in confidence and have finally started to mix with the other girls. There were moments yesterday when the entire flock were hanging out in the sun together. Rusty and Freckles have also started perching on the ladder with the three amigos.
We finally feel that we have turned a corner and the flock is becoming united again. I think they will gradually continue to grow in confidence.
A few days ago I was surprised to find an egg in the shelter. I deduced that it was Speckles egg as it was huge and she lays the biggest eggs plus she hadn’t laid for a few days so was due an egg. Yesterday I saw her settle in the shelter and flick stray shavings on to her back and I realised that I had been correct in my assumption that it was Speckles egg.
I have no idea why she has suddenly decided this is a good place to lay but that’s fine. It makes a big nest box and when we eventually have more girls laying it won’t harm to have extra egg laying places.
Speckles finds a new place to lay her egg
Of course there is always an audience, in this case Peaches and Freckles.
Yesterday Rusty laid her second egg, three days after her first one. Freckles hasn’t laid another egg since her extra small one, six days ago.
Rusty’s second egg
Rusty’s first egg is on the left followed by her second egg. Freckles last two eggs are on the right. Rusty’s second egg is the same large size and pale colour as her first egg but with no blood on it this time. If I have eggs to compare it will be easy to tell Rusty’s and Freckles eggs apart.
This was our third, four egg, day. As well as Rusty’s egg we had eggs from Speckles, Peaches and Emerald. We are now getting enough eggs for Saturday and Sunday breakfast plus one breakfast during the week and one evening meal during the week. We have two eggs each for breakfast and this week had an omelette for dinner using six eggs.
It is so lovely being able to eat as many eggs as we like without having to buy any and at last the girls are beginning to mix. All is good in the chicken run.