Yesterday was dreary, rainy and cold.
The boys were even reluctant to go outside.
The chickens, were another story.
We introduced the new girls to the old hens over the weekend.
It was a slow introduction.
First, we let the little ones in the playpen while the big ones roamed freely during the day…as long as we were at home.
We did this for two days, shutting the big ones in at night and leaving the little ones in the pen to cuddle up and sleep.
The girls were skittish, but the hens had little interest in them. They’d strut around and sniff at them a little…at least while we were watching. I have a feeling they bullied them a bit when we weren’t around.
We’ve read that the best time to fully merge the two groups is at night, so Sunday night we left the coop hatch open and waited to see what would happen.
The pullets huddled together on the ramp, wondering if they dared go inside. Ray gave them a little encouragement and soon they were all inside the coop.
We held our breath but heard no squawks so we knew the hens were already sleeping…or they just didn’t care.
Neither Ray nor I thought they would all be alive in the morning. The pullets were terrified of the hens. Can’t chickens smell fear?
But when I went out to check on them…they were all alive with no sign of a struggle.
Five little girls were piled and smushed in the plank that goes from the pen to the coop. Four were in the playpen huddled at the very back. Two big ladies were strutting back and forth around the water and the rest were inside guarding the food.
So much for everyone getting along.