Introducing our new hens and the Tormentinator
A few weeks ago we acquired two more chickens taking our total to four.
Witnessing the pecking order is a cruel pass time. In our coop feathers were viciously plucked and combs were used as lasoos by our oldest hen, now fondly named The Tormentinator. There was no level of cruelty that that hen would not stoop to, from enforced starvation to noise persecution . To give the new hens some space to relax over a meal we needed to regularly let The Tormentinator out to run amok in the garden. With an 'I'll be back' cluck she would waddle to the compost heap but still keep half an eye on the coop. If any hen went near the food bowl, she was back, it was not an idle threat.
A month later and the order is now well established. We survived the Hierarchy Hostilities, although my nails are quite a bit shorter.
The next step was to give them more space. Our Cube hen house and run is suitable for six but I'm a generous chicken keeper. I wanted my hens to have freedom to run, stretch their wings, to scratch and dig, not to mention run away from the Tormentinator. So we bought an extension to the existing run and an extra grub bowl to avoid arguments. I defy The Tormentinator to guard two food bowls simultaneously, well unless she also time travels. I wouldn't put that past her.
Timing is not brilliant. We are having another unseasonably warm and wet winter. Our soil is clay. Combine the two and conditions are terrific for a mud fight but not digging out space for the run. Mr Him kindly donned wellies and took on the Clay Dig Challenge. The hens stayed in the locale to ensure that he didn't take the biggest juiciest worms uncovered for himself.
The run extension was up and in place in a day. The prettyfying with borders and paving will await another day, so Mr Him told me. I told him otherwise but clearly have asertiveness skills to learn from a certain hen.
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