I’ve been laying the groundwork for the Ladies to join the flock of Gems. They’ve free-ranged together. I encouraged mingling by tossing corn on the lawn.
Next, I put the Ladies inside of the coop so that they could get to know their new digs.
Meanwhile, the Gems were out on the lawn.
The next day, I cleaned out the Big Barn. I shoveled out all of the old bedding and then used a blower to get the dust out of every nook and cranny. (This is my new favorite cleaning tool! Despite frequent swipes with a broom, and a once-a-year thorough vacuuming, surfaces were thick with dust. If you do this, use a face mask and protective glasses!)
I put down a thick layer of fresh Koop Clean. The hens love this bedding, and I knew that they’d be so overjoyed at the prospect of scratching in it, that they wouldn’t bother their new roommates.
I carried the Ladies over to the Big Barn and tucked them inside, and then I invited the Gems in to meet them on their home turf.
At first the Koop Clean was so distracting, that no one cared about the interlopers.
The Ladies went outside before anyone noticed them. For awhile they stuck together.
But then the pumpkin that I’d put out provided a distraction (as I knew it would.)
Soon, everyone was milling around. No drama.
At nightfall, the Gems went to their normal places on the roost, and then the Ladies climbed up and settled down.
So far, so good. I expect a few skirmished as the chickens realize that there’s a new pecking order to be sorted out, but I don’t think that it will be too bad.
Phoebe, by the way, is enjoying having the Little Barn to herself. More on that in another post!