Integration Day 2/3 – complete!

Next day, when we were once again in the garden, we opened the gate between the two broods. I sat in a corner with a pocketful of corn, and there were plenty of greens and dandelions scattered around. There were a few spats between the girls, but enough distractions that none lasted long.

I sat there for some time, simply watching. I could see which hens gave way to whom, who decided to stand fast, and which of the girls avoided all contact. Betsy still isn’t well and kept apart for the most part. As we’ve seen before with a poorly hen, others would come and keep her company but the distractions were too appealing else they may have spent longer with her. After a while, a pecking order became apparent … four of the Five on top, in their normal order, and Camilla at the bottom (not counting Betsy) … poor Camilla.

We realised it wouldn’t be as easy a second night to separate them … so I threw a handful of corn in the Hen Run, and closed the gate on all nine hens 😮 I went out just after dark to check all was well, and found five hens in the nest box – three ex-batts, Camilla and Clare – the other on the roosting bars.

This morning, confined to the run, they are mostly content, with only the occasional, short-lived friction in evidence. So that’s it … full integration in only two days 🙂 I’m astonished.

image

There are signs that Carey may not survive as top hen, but it’s all very subtle … I’ll keep watching and let you know!

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