I reported at the end of October of the arrival of our 5 new chicks. Since then they have grown quite rapidly and we have been working to introduce the new fowl to our two existing hens. I must say it hasn’t always been a pretty sight.
Our boss hen took her pecking order very seriously and made sure that all the chicks knew, exactly, who was in charge. The youngsters were so scared of her that they all huddled as far away as possible when she came anywhere near them. It seemed unlikely that the two groups would ever get together.
We also know that we have a young rooster somewhere in among the newbies. We have heard some very adolescent-sounding crowing early in the morning, but as soon as we get close to the pen he goes stum.
This week we finally took the step of bringing the two groups together in the same pen overnight. It didn’t go well. TB went to check them before we went to bed and discovered that all the chicks had somehow gotten out of the main pen and were forlornly sitting on the edge of a big flowerpot – well except for the littlest Frizzle who has such fine feathers that it has problems getting up off the ground.
Next morning revealed where they had pushed through the mesh in the corner of the pen. Duly re-nailed into place we tried again. It wasn’t much better the next night, except they didn’t escape, they just huddled underneath the hen house. Then on the third night they actually entered the pen without any herding and they went into the hen house. Now they are even roosting in the hen house. As you can see a strict hierachy is being maintained. And yes the littlest frizzle is still having trouble getting onto the perch.