I had a master plan regarding the integration of hens. Here’s how it went: 1) place metal kennel/cage of babies into large run of big ladies. 2) give it a few days, observing ever-closer-growing flock become comfortable in each other’s presence. 3) open door of babies’ cage after about three days, watching as they seamlessly integrate with the big gals, sharing chicken chats and maybe an old-mother-hen chuckle or two as they discuss their good fortune. Marguerite: “Could you believe how scared I was of you two? Silly me! You really are a delightful pair of henlettes, and we’re honored to have you join our flock!” Reply from Mabeline: “I know! I can’t imagine what life would’ve been like if the saintly and glorious mother hen Sheri hadn’t rescued us and dropped us into such good fortune with y’all!”
About to embark on the task of intermingling and watch my plan unfold brilliantly, I incurred one major setback: the kennel didn’t fit. Kennel width: 27″. Doorway to run width: 23″. It’s kind of like that time you found the perfect couch on sale for half-off at The Store You Could Never Afford, bought it, and it didn’t fit on the day they delivered. Distraught.
Plan B. I found some leftover wire mesh from the build of the coop and rigged up a divider in the run. Three-quarters went to the big gals, one to the freshmen. Placed water and food in both sections. Placed small cat carrier in baby side with hanging heat lamp over top (for cool nights–and because they’re still afraid of the dark). Placed Marge and Goldie in their section. Fetched baby Mabelene and Henrietta (amidst shrieks of murder which set everyone off into a frenzy that made the neighborhood dog barking problems seem minor), and placed them in their section, then stood back to settle my blood pressure. And pour a glass of wine. (3:00 wine on a Saturday = 5:00 wine on a Friday.) Then wrote this post. Whew!
Let’s see how it goes!