Poppy leaves her Quartet

January 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well, for a moment.

We’ve had Poppy and her bubs in the Combine up the back for the last week, getting used to their new surroundings. They’re within sight of the other girls too, which should be good for later integration of the flocks. And it meant that Poppy would still be within sight of her babies when the time came to separate her from them. And on Wednesday it became reasonably clear that the time had come – Poppy was no longer allowing them to eat with her, and was chasing the boys – especially Ben – away at odd moments. It’s always a stressful time. Normally we would have had them in the new run a bit earlier than this, so they’d have plenty of time to get used to their new surroundings before being left on their own. But at nine weeks old, they should be more than capable of managing, even if a little nervous.

Anyhow, on Thursday morning (two days ago) we set up the divider in the Summer Palace run, and moved Poppy back to the main flock.

Poor Poppy. Gabrielle spent most of the day hurling abuse at her mother through the mesh, and Poppy hurled it straight back. We though that it might be possible to put either Claire or Ella in with her for company (both of them being securely at the top of the pecking order), but they were also not that pleased at the prospect. So we gave her a small secure yard area, and left her on her own.

That afternoon a really nasty storm blew up, and the forecast was for serious hail. The quartet were pretty nervous at the noise and wind and everything else, so we decided to put Poppy back in with them for the duration of the storm, just so they’d have someone familiar to comfort them and get them back inside when things got really rough.

Next day, Poppy didn’t seem at all interested in returning to the main flock … no more chasing her bubs away, no more being cranky. And to make things even more peculiar, she laid an egg! So as long as she doesn’t pick on anyone, we’ve decided to leave her in with the Quartet. It looks like Daisy is actually a Davy, so if we’re lucky we may be able to keep Poppy with Imogen, and reintroduce them to the main flock together.

And it won’t hurt to have a Dorking pullet shown from an early age that it is possible to lay eggs with minimum fuss!

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