Integration revolution

Day two of integration was something of a damp squib, in that it was raining on and off all day and cooled all attempts at dominance. The A Team kept under cover during the showers, while the B Team still haven’t quite mastered staying dry …

I left them together for quite a long time in the afternoon, but wasn’t outdoors much myself to see what went on – I didn’t hear anything very much from the kitchen, so I assume things were mostly peaceful.

When I opened the way between the two broods today, the A Team headed straight for the Eglu. I remember reading somewhere that one way of integrating two broods is to swap them into each other’s territory. And somewhere else I read that integrations are easier if you are adding a greater number of hens to an existing flock. So without too much hesitation, I shut the Eglu, chased the B Team into the Hen Run, put the fencing in place, and then released the A Team into the Hen Garden. In case you are totally confused, quite simply, the two broods have changed places! :o It’s generally a better arrangement, in that there are now three hens in the small Eglu run instead of four. And the B Team can get used to the woodchip of the Hen Run. So there they are, and there they will now stay for a day or two.

Although I don’t want to be impatient about integrating the two groups, I am anxious to get them together. After our fox attack in January, I am wary about leaving hens unprotected, but don’t like confining hens to the Eglu run for long periods of time if we’re out. However, on two occasions now, we’ve unwittingly left doors/gates open overnight – so we’re relieved to still have a full complement of birds. I don’t want to put temptation in the way of, for example, a vixen needing to feed her young cubs. The Moppet House is sufficient space for the bantams, and the Hen Run should be adequate for seven ex-batts as long as they have regular access to grass/dirt (once the grass is gone!). So sometime soon, we’ll combine the two ex-batt broods and leave them to get on with it. Hopefully, swapping them over for a couple of days will help …

We’ll soon see!


The A Team meeting to discuss tactics … but they weren’t expecting today’s move!

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  1. Love the picture of them discussing tactics. I am finally plucking up the courage to try mine together tonight, for half an hour before bedtime. They have had ten days of being separated by the wire and so we are ready for the next stage but I am a bit nervous.


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    Our original hen keeping adventure came to an end in January 2013, when a fox took our entire brood of hens. But don’t let that put you off … you can find the story at The Hen House Archive where there are still lots of stories, photos, and information about keeping hens I hope you'll find useful.

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