Over the last few days the flock have managed to get into Autumn’s half of the run. After many years of poop picking the soil level in the run has dropped and the flock managed to dig under the dividing wire. Two days running I checked on the girls to find the flock on Autumn’s side.
While this has been great to give them time together and there was no bullying it meant that Autumn wasn’t able to get to the food dishes. She doesn’t yet have the confidence to compete with the flock for food.
I have now fortified the bottom of the dividing wire with planks of wood. Once back on her own side Autumn went straight to the food dish. I would love to speed up integration but until Autumn is confident enough to eat while with the flock she will have to stay separate.
Today I gave the girls the whole run together. After half an hour I returned Autumn to her side of the run and once again she went straight to the food.
Gold has been dropping those fluffy grey, under, feathers and also some long tail feathers. Her short broody spell seemed to kick off this partial moult and she hasn’t been laying eggs. After two weeks break gold laid an egg today. I wasn’t sure if she would start laying again while dropping feathers and this is why I think this is just a partial moult at the moment.
Storm has also been dropping a few tail feathers and she hasn’t laid for the last ten days.
I can see that Autumn wants to go to the food dish and she isn’t being chased away but she just can’t pluck up the courage to get closer than this.
I removed Autumn’s small dish of pellets because the rest of the girls were flicking them out. Autumn did manage to pick up a few of the stray pellets without the girls noticing.
Coming in together has really bonded these two girls. They are inseparable.
Once Autumn was back on her side she went straight to the food and water. She is only three and half months old so I think she needs to be older before she will be confident enough to compete for food and I don’t want to do anything that will set her back. This means I must be patient and keep doing what I am doing, giving the girls some time together, but keeping Autumn in her half of the run for most of the time.