Chicken Drama: Part 1

July 3, 2010

Matt

As you can see from this post, Kristin, Whitney, and Lucy purchased three new chickens from the good folks at Eden Farms: a grey Ameracauna, a brown Welsummer, and a tan Buff Orpington. The Ameracauna is about 10 weeks old, and the other two are about 7 weeks old. Our Red Star, Marcia, is over 20 weeks — a sizable difference.

The problem is that it isn’t easy to integrate chickens of different ages and sizes. After leaving the Red Star in a small cage within the coop for a few hours, we decided around 5 PM that it was time to let them get to know one another. As we expected, the Red Star chased the new chickens and pecked at them (in effort to develop the infamous pecking order). As the evening wore on, we found that the two smallest hens had slipped underneath a coop “wall,” and into the space under the mesh floor of the main part of the coop, leaving the Ameracauna to fend for herself.

The evening seemed to go smoothly, if you consider the three small chickens cowering in the corner during the night to be smooth. This morning started out equally well, until perhaps 7:30 when the two smallest chickens, once again, had burrowed into the “basement.” Whitney and I decided that we could roll with this. We lifted up the coop so that the Ameracauna could slip into the basement as well. We were able to give them food and water. Now, the Red Start has its own space, as do the others. Hopefully this will give them a chance to get more comfortable without us having to worry about the wellbeing of the small’ens.

The next few days are going to be rough — I’m glad to have a long weekend. I’ll let you know how things progress in part 2!

— m

Comments

I was taught to introduce cats the same way. It’s how I introduced my younger cat (Sgt. Pepper, age 6 weeks at the time) to my older cat, Miss Delaney. I locked him in my walk-in closet and let them meet each other through the door. He was in there three days before he “came out.” 🙂

(I wanted to post this on Part 2 but there was no option to leave a comment there.)

Angie — July 21, 2010