Well that was easy.
I admit it, I’m still traumatized by my little Violet who, her first night in the coop panicked and wedged herself into a cinder block to get away from the flock. The flock ended up pecking (ripping) her butt away and little Violet died.
Talk about guilt. She was one of the sweetest little birds I’d ever had. I still get great heart sorrow thinking about her.
Which is why I now wait, wait, wait to integrate new chicks into our flock. They have to be big, they have to be strong. They have to be able to get away.
So I’ve waited, and waited. Long after I should have, they were still being kept separate.
We had started to let them mingle with the hens during the day, but every night we’d put them back into their own pen.
Safe. Safe. Always safe.
“Should we mix them in with the others?” My kids kept asking me.
But, this weekend, I finally took a deep breath and put our 3 chicks in the coop at night.
The next morning I hesitated. I didn’t want to go out and check on them. Sometimes chickens can be so cruel to each other. But after my second cup of coffee, there were no more excuses. I went to the coop only to discover….
That nothing had happened. Absolutely nothing.
The chicks were fine. The flock hadn’t attacked them.
In fact they were all getting along.
I had done all that worrying for nothing. How silly of me. I promise you the next integration time, I’ll try not to worry. Not even a tiny bit.
That is at least until*my* chicks need to re-integrate into the flock called college this September.
Then, this mama hen will resume worrying about her chicks. At least just a tiny bit.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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