Mimi and Gidget seem to be settling in OK inside the coop; they have their little hiding spot, and the hens are relaxing enough to let the new girls sleep in the nesting box next to Coco.
But Mimi and Gidget aren’t getting outside very much, if at all.
I scooped them up and took them outside today ,and immediately the hens surrounded me. And when I put the new girls onto the ground, they scurried right back inside the coop.
Clearly they need to get outside and feel safe.
So I took the dog crate, set it up inside the chicken run, and surrounded it with potted plants. Mimi and Gidget got water and food inside the crate, along with some plants to hide behind.
And viola! It worked!
Mimi and Gidget are comfortable inside the crate, where they can watch what’s going on but are safe from the hens. And the hens are having a field day pecking away at the marigolds and pansies.
Hopefully the older girls will associate Mimi and Gidget being outside with yummy plants, and Mimi and Gidget will get comfortable being outside. Right now, they’re locked in, but once everyone settles down, I’ll open the door and block it just enough for the little ones to be able to get in in a hurry.
Postscript: How long does it take for a flock of hens to destroy a potted pansy? About 1/2 an hour.