I have reached a decision. I will never again get so few chicks as I did with 2.1. Nevermore.
I am having a very hard time watching 2.1 interact with the rest of the flock, and I always have. They’re the youngest, the smallest, and the fewest. Not only are they smaller because they’re younger, but they’re much smaller than the others were at the same age. They are sixteen weeks old now, and they are so tiny.
And, there are only two of them. Each generation here is a club unto itself. The groups may mingle at times, especially now that 2.0 is almost of a size with 1.0, but they spend most of their days as three separate entities, and 2.1 is a very small entity, indeed.
At dusk, when all seventeen convene to roost for the night, I hear squabbling in the coop as the pecking order asserts itself, and, every now and again, I’ll hear a 2.1 screech as she is bullied, usually by a 2.0. It hurts. I’ve watched Marilyn become more and more timid, burying her head under Mae’s breast for protection, and there’s a reason. They get picked on. A lot.
I know the fact that they are of a smaller breed exacerbates the problem, because 2.0, now fully grown, seems to have been accepted by 1.0 (except at treat time, when all bets are off). I know 2.1 would still be picked on if there were six of them, but then they would have each other. And I know it’s unlikely to get better.
Oh, my little girls. I feel for them, I do.