Yesterday, I brought home a roll of chicken wire and used a couple of pallets to build a more secure enclosure for the girls to hang out in while they get used to being outside.
Since the enclosure is attached to the coop, I wanted to make sure that the older ladies would be ok with them – I’ve heard that flock integration can be a bitch at times. I’ve been taking the younger ones out in a cage and spreading scratch, giving them all a chance to eat together without the danger of being physically in the same space, so I was pretty sure it’d be ok. But you never can tell.
I decided to put all of them into the garden enclosure and spread some scratch, to make sure no one got picked on if they were together. This video is some of what happened.
Yeah, just a little goofy. But they seemed to be getting along pretty well, so I left them out there last night.
I’d put a large dog house with bedding in the enclosure, but outside of the main coop, with their food and water dishes and the heat lamp. This morning, all seemed fine. The older chickens did exactly what I expected – ate the little one’s food. Otherwise, the younger girls stayed close to the enclosure while the older ladies roamed the yard.
So, Stage One Integration complete. Eventually, I’m hoping the younger ones will move into the coop itself, and we’ll no longer need the outer enclosure or dog house.
And hopefully, they’ll figure out what to do with worms.