Our friend Ellen gave us one of her 10 week old hens– a pretty Silver Laced Wyandotte named Persephone. I was a bit worried about introducing her to our flock of (now just 4) 20 week old, fully grown girls, but so far, all is well.
When we brought her home yesterday evening, the other hens were already roosting in the coop. I let Persephone walk around the yard alone for a bit. She was definitely lost and just stood there not knowing where to go or what to do. I then put her inside the coop, on the lower rung, and waited to see what would happen. Blackie, our alpha chicken dominatrix of a hen, cocked her head and looked angrily at me, but didn’t move. (They are so funny when they sleep– kinda temporarily lobotomized, I think.)
A few minutes later we heard a small clucking, and we realized Persephone had hopped to the upper roost next to the others and was looking out the window. The night passed uneventfully.
This morning, I checked on the girls and the 4 older ones were in the run wanting to get out while Persephone was still just sitting there on the upper roost. I put water and food inside the coop for her, and left her there while I let the others out for a bit. I don’t think Persephone can be let out unsupervised until she knows that the coop is her new home. I doubt she’d know to put herself to bed like the others when dusk comes…
I did let her out for a bit in the afternoon, and she wandered aimlessly around the yard and under the deck for a bit. We held her and she seemed OK with that, but wouldn’t really eat any of the treats I put out. Whenever she got too close to another hen, they’d chase her off, but not really peck at her. I am thinking she must seem like less of a threat since she is so much smaller than the other girls… I actually wonder if they even recognize her as a fellow chicken… maybe they just see her as a crow or overgrown sparrow or something because they have pretty much been ignoring her.
She sure is a pretty hen though, and we are so happy to give her a new home! “The yewwow one,” our Buff Orpington, has been demoted, and the new one is now Munchkie’s “shavorite.” (She still can’t say “ell” or “eff.”)
P.S. I am now pretty sure our red chicken is a Red Star and not a Rhode Island Red. What do you think?