Coop Drama

Friday, April 22, 2022

April “Pink Moon” Third Quarter @60.8%; Next Full Moon, May 15.

Yesterday, I released three fledglings from a holding pen centered in the chicken coop. All went well except for my two hen turkeys. I’ve never seen those gentle creatures, clucking and whistling while following me around, bother a chicken. Nonetheless, each was set on killing the new flock members. I saw a turkey expertly grab one of the babies by her neck.

That trying episode conflicted with my morning plan. I wanted to fledge three more younger birds from their start in my garage.

After herding away the turkeys, I stayed watching the flock for a long while. It seemed safest to return the three youngsters to their pen. That pushed me toward a difficult decision about the garaged birds ready to fledge. Could they be penned with the current holding pen residents?

The question was, would these allow others needing release to join them? Flocked chickens are close and territorial. A flock needs a gradual introduction to new birds or will consider them intruders and fight. I decided to try adding the birds, one by one. Maybe those already in the holding pen still were immature enough to accept new residents.

One by one, I carried a fledgling into the holding pen; I held it on my lap and reassured while observing bird behaviors. On releasing each baby, all went well, except that turkeys threatened from outside the cell. After hanging around and feeling somewhat reassured, I went up to the house for a short bit. Within minutes, I heard rain. Within more minutes, looking outside, I saw a total hailstorm.

I could only hope that the first set of three were allowing the second set to join them in the pen’s single shelter.

After the storm, I went outside to the coop. The holding pen hadn’t any outside chicks. I glimpsed through the shelter door a white body; the single white chick had just been added.

Later on, again checking, I saw that all six chicks were in the shelter, nesting in deep hay. Whew!

Dear Friends, Releasing the youngsters will need adapting turkeys to change. Diana

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