I have high hopes that brooding in the coop will go a long way toward peaceful flock unification. I’ve heard horror stories of chickeneers attempting integration of new chicks. I’ve also heard stories of seamless, non-violent integration, but it’s the horror stories that stick with you, isn’t it? There’s a reason why experienced chickeneers advise to just start a new, separate flock.
The hens spend very little of their days in the coop itself, not more than a waking hour a day, except for the Alexia and Abby, the only two who still lay in the coop nesting boxes. (The Man worked so hard on those…poor guy. I appreciate you, baby.)
Now that the babies are so much bigger and can no longer slip right through the bars of the crate (she said), I’ve been leaving the front of the brooder uncovered when it’s lockdown time, right before sunset.
The big girls are intrigued, and the little girls are fascinated. They rush right up to the front bars to see the big girls, begging for their attention. It’s pretty adorable. They even tried to slip through the bars, giving their human mama a heart attack, but were mercifully unsuccessful. The big girls are less well intentioned, and Trixie, in particular, is dishing out the head bonks.
I have even allowed 2.0 to intermingle with a few of the 1.0 girls outside of the brooder, under strict supervision. I’m hoping lots of this will lead to boredom.
Because boredom is good.