Yesterday when I went to check on the girls before bedtime I was surprised to find Snowflake on the main flocks side. Gold and Storm were on the high perch. I opened the dividing gate and Snowflake went back into her part of the run.
I waited to see if Snowflake would successfully perch this time. Snowflake easily made her way up to the high perch. She then jumped up to the top of the wire divider just under the roof. This was obviously how she had come to drop over to the other side.
I put my hand up to Snowflake until she dropped back down to the perch with the other two girls. I stayed a while until she settled down on the perch.
I had intended to mix the girls completely next weekend but because of this I decided to speed things up. Today I closed up the new girls coup to stop shavings being flung out and opened up both gates so that all the girls could mix.
The three seramas set about pecking at the open gate which is something they have always done. They obviously missed pecking at the gate.
The main flock immediately got stuck in to the new girls food. I realised that Gold wanted to go to the food dish but Spot was keeping her away. I filled another big dish with pellets and put it by the open gate and Gold soon found it.
Once Spot saw this she chased Gold away from the food once more. I haven’t done this process for a few years and I found that I was remembering how it goes as I was going along.
I remembered that I had always closed the main flock in to the new girls space to give the new girls the chance to find the patio area and feeding station. Once they are confident with the food dishes on the patio it will mean that Spot can’t keep them away from both feeding stations at once.
Gold was the first to find the patio area and the food dishes. I then directed Snowflake towards the patio and she too found the food dishes. Storm didn’t want to be directed towards the patio and in the end I picked her up and put her next to the food dishes. She soon started feeding.
The new girls had some food and then set about exploring the patio area. They looked in the nest boxes and had a good look in the chicken shed. They went all around the patio and both Gold and Storm had a peck in the grit and oyster shell dispenser.
The new girls were having a good time but Spot was getting very agitated and wanted to get out. I realised that she may need to lay an egg so I put both lots back on thier own side.
Spot went straight to a nest box and sat there while putting pine shavings on her back. I really thought she was going to get her first egg laid.
However the next time I checked on the girls Spot was back out in the run and there was no egg. Spot obviously needs a lot of practise and the urge to practise was very strong. I am certain that Spot will lay any day now.
The next time I checked on the girls it was obvious that Gold wanted to join the main flock again. She was pacing the dividing wire. I decided that as they now know where the patio feeding station is I may as well put them all together.
I opened both gates again and they mixed happily. I decided to leave them together and see what happens at bedtime. I will report back tomorrow with how bedtime goes.