the continuing reintroduction saga
August 4, 2008 § Leave a comment
We’re still working through the slow process of reintegrating Poppy back into the flock. We rigged up a mesh divider in the Winter Garden, so that Poppy could be with the rest of the flock but safe from pecking when unsupervised. The downside is that she has no access to a house (the run is roofed, but that’s it) if the weather gets nasty or something scares her (like the damn new cat that’s prowling around).
Did I mention that the weather’s been really nasty? Heaps of rain, for the last week and a half to two weeks. Argh.
Anyway, we’ve given her as much time with the others as the weather would allow. If it’s not actually raining, I’ve been letting them all out into the orchard. That way there’s plenty of room for Poppy to get away if Lily or Frida (or Ella, or Venus) decide to be nasty. The problem is that if one goes after her, she runs – and that makes the others interested in pecking as she goes past. NOT good, but at least she’s feathered up now, so she shouldn’t get injured. And it’s just a case of her learning not to over-react, and eventually they’ll get bored of pecking her. We’re almost there now, but not quite. So I’m not willing to have them all back in the confined space of the Winter Garden run unless one of us is there to intervene if things do get nasty.
Which is where this wet weather gives us a whammy.
We’ve let her sleep with the others for the last couple of nights. First night was good – she put herself to bed early, and so there wasn’t much pecking from the others to get their preferred positions. Last night was a bit nasty though – silly girl kept popping out again past the other girls as they went to bed. So they got annoyed, and pecked her. We eventually decided that the simplest thing was to wait until the others were on the perch, and then slot her in manually. Which we did, and there was even less grumbling than usual.
We’ll get there. Be nice when she has some mojo back!