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peace negotiations

Well, it’s been 4 days, and we remain at a stand still with our peaceful flock integration. Gloria is still acting pretty freaked out / curious / territorial / excited whenever we bring the new girls out (a few hours each day). I tried once to open their door, and poor Alberta got a couple of hard pecks from Gloria for her audacity in leaving her cage, and Frances was extremely worried about her the whole time (well founded, I guess). Alberta seemed unphased and unharmed, but I freaked out and screamed at Gloria… even though I know that she is a sweet hen, and this is part of what they need to do. I couldn’t help it… they are just so little and I feel so protective! So I’m going to give it a few more days before attempting any real contact again. And in the meantime, here’s how I’ve set up our peace talk conference room:

peace-talks

Quite intentional side-by-side feeding and watering, and even a shared “dirt bath” patch. Frances and Alberta both seemed to relish their first real dirt baths:

dirt-bath-frances

dirt-bath-alberta

alberta-dirt-bath2

I don’t know why, but I love how this pic turned out. Happy Feathers!

alberta-feathers

 

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14 thoughts on “peace negotiations

  1. I’m just sure, being so knowledgeable about chicken behaviour šŸ™‚ that there will be some pecking no matter how much time they spend near each other with a cage wall between them. The question is, how much is okay? When we failed our integration it was because the rooster chased his sister like a mad man, grabbing her wing in his beak and shaking it – hard! She was unable to flap for about a week after that domestic violence. She ran and hid in her nest box (with me chasing him the opposite direction) and wouldn’t come out until long after I locked Lenny back in his smaller half of the run with the mini-coop and that’s where he’s staying until he can learn to peck without wounding.

    Good luck with the pecking order games.

    • Thanks! Yikes, I really hope it doesn’t turn into a Lenny situation. I would be surprised, since Gloria has never shown any aggressive tendencies… just quick bossiness gestures, but I’m more concerned that she won’t know her own strength with these girls being so much smaller. And I also want them to all understand they are part of the same flock now… and not threats to each other’s survival.

  2. Oh dear. I think Laura is right about the pecking being inevitable but yes, how much is too much. I remember having a broom with me when I had Hannah and her chicks free ranging with the big girls at first but of course that is with a very protective mother hen to help.
    I’m loving the updates and the photos.

    • Thank you! And yes, they are so cute, especially their little cheeps! I forgot how much fun chicks are to have around… I was only thinking about Gloria’s needs when I got them. You should get some too! Or maybe let a rooster visit your girls and they can give you some. šŸ˜‰

    • Thank you! Is it awful of me to be impatient for them to molt so I can steal them to craft with? And they are both going to have even more striking feathers as hens. šŸ˜‰

  3. I agree that some pecking will happen no matter how long you keep them in the cage. But they might be a little too young still for it to go smoothly with so few birds involved. Our one failed pullet integration had a few ten week olds (or so) with a few older pullets and they bullied them incessantly. You might find a few weeks makes a big difference as the chicks get bigger.

  4. I don’t know anything about chickens, but perhaps when Frances and Alberta are a bit bigger, Gloria won’t feel so free to peck at them. She’s the biggest one…for now.

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