Chicken Drama: Part 2 — the vacation home

July 10, 2010

Matt

In my last post, I noted how we were introducing three new chickens into the coop. Our lone remaining chicken from the original four was given them a hard time, chasing and pecking at them. After three days of this nonsense (and three days of the smallest chickens burrowing under the coop into the “basement”), we decided to separate the big one from the others.

As our fun activity for the day, Whitney and I spent a couple hours buliding a small cage for our largest chicken. We call the cage a vacation or summer home. It’s a box with chicken wire around four sides, the bottom is open to the grass below, and the top is covered by a simple piece of plywood.

The idea is to keep the big chicken separate from the others, while allowing all of them to get acquainted with one another. So, in the morning, one of us will set up the vacation home inside the run of the coop (complete with feed and water), open the door to the coop, grab the large hen and place her gently into the cage. The process is reversed in the evening. Apparently chickens are a bit more docile when it’s dark outside.

The plan is to gradually allow the large chicken to spend more time outside of the vacation home until she becomes more welcoming to the others. Hopefully this will happen in the next few weeks. In the meantime, she continues to lay eggs every other day. What a trooper.

—m