Mystery solved …

… at least, in part. I’ve discovered that the ex-batts and bantams had been living in separate pens … so it’s not surprising that there is some aggression since they’ve all been put in together.  At one time, the bantams had a bantam cockerel with them, and the ex-batts bullied him mercilessly, so they were separated. Hopefully, in a few days the pecking order will be established and things will settle down.

I’m still not sure what kind of coop they were used to … the bantams certainly aren’t used to a ladder! On the first night, we put the ex-batts in the Cube, but couldn’t reach the bantams who had hunkered down under one of the shelters out of reach. In the morning there were two eggs and a softie in the nest box … and a pile of poo, so someone had slept in there.

I had put a torch in the Cube – a sure fired way of teaching hens where to roost, since as dusk falls, they move towards the light. It usually takes three or four days for them to work it out, after which there’s no need for the torch again. However, last night (their second night with us), I didn’t get round to lighting the torch but the ex-batts found their own way inside by themselves, clever girls. We went out after dark, and the bantams had settled where we could reach them, so we lifted them in one by one.

I went out early this morning, and the ex-batts were down and foraging in the woodchip … but no sign of a bantam! I had to lift them down … or at least, I lifted down four of them before the others followed under their own steam  :) Again, someone had slept in the nest box … I’m not sure there’s much I can do about it.

The rain has stopped, and the bantams are much more active. They are eating pellets, though I haven’t seen them use the drinker yet. They are used to being on grass, so I must go out and fence some off for them … but how do I stop the ex-batts digging it all up?  :think:

I can’t go on calling them ex-batts and bantams … so the ex-batts are now known as Milly, Molly and Mandy (see here) while the bantams are … Amy, Abigail, Alice, Annie, Agnes, Alberta and Amelia.

Just don’t ask me which is which!

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