The New Girls have been in residence for four weeks now and they’re 16 weeks old. It was time they met the Old Girls and got their pecking order sorted out.
Up till now, they’ve been separated by a single wire panel in the corridor that connects the two runs. I decided to lift it and see what happened as they got up close and personal.
I got the hose ready to damp down any vigorous behaviour from Cheeky and Molly and slowly lifted the barrier. C and M wandered into the corridor, scanning this interesting new territory for edible goodies. The New Girls took one look at the two huge encroaching monsters with bright red wattles and combs and retreated to their run at the far end.
I was surprised that Cheeky, who’s been top of the pecking order all along, wasn’t interested in showing the newbies who’s boss. She was more interested in scratching up the new ground. Molly, on the other hand, went right into their run and helped herself to their food. They had plastered themselves against the wall in the furthest corner, aghast at the intrusion. Molly ran at them, with wings flapping, and there was a spot of panic with squawking chooks flying every which way, till I gave Molly a squirt from the hose and quietened everything down.
After that it was pretty much OK. Molly and Cheeky eventually went back into their run, Molly to sit on the nest and Cheeky to have a feed, and the New Girls took the opportunity to sneak up into the main playground area and have a look around. I sat on the nearby seat and watched as they investigated every nook and cranny, with eyes goggling and necks craning. I was happy that their curiosity overcame their fear of the other two. Later in the afternoon, they’d managed to get right up into Molly and Cheeky’s run and were having a look at the amenities there, so it looks like they’re going to fit comfortably into the system. Molly seems to be the most aggressive of the two oldies, but that will settle down in time.
Investigating the sand bath (a covered area that is always dry) :
The New Girls have discovered that Cheeky isn’t too much of a problem and that if they run very fast past her, Molly can be coped with as well.
And I discovered that, unlike a dog, a chook doesn’t respond to the word “NO!”