Monday, May 16, 2011

Segregated hens: the ruffians and the red girls

The silver laced wyandottes (black and white funky chickens) have turned out to be the ruffians, beating up on the smaller red girls. I will have to run out today to buy a second feeder to make sure the red girls get enough to eat.

It is supposed to be cool and rainy all week, and even with the door to the Chicken Shack fully open, the girls are all hanging out inside. They were penned at Jim's place, so I guess that is what they are used to. I think with some sunshine and coaxing from me, they might decide they like it outside.

They were also in separate pens at Jim's. I don't know if that is the reason they segregate themselves here, or if it's because the red girls are smaller, and therefore lower in the pecking order. Whatever the reason, the SLWs are always together, and the red girls are doing their best to avoid them. Red girls are also very friendly and relatively easy to pick up—SLWs are near impossible to capture. This may also change in time.

I hope to eventually remove the fencing outside, but that will have to wait until we introduce Lester and Sophie to the new inhabitants of Lester's Flat. Even though both were raised with a cat in the house, it took a good month before we could give the Kitten Davy freedom without having to worry about him being eaten. If there's a dry spot in the afternoon, I might take L&S out on their leashes and introduce them. It's got to happen sooner or later, and better when they are on a leash.

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