Night before last, the night after introducing Sugar Baby (from the infamous Nighttime Chicken Wrangle), I inserted the big red hen (whom I've named, Jessamine) into the coop.
In the morning a very confused Jessamine exited the coop trailing after Sugar Baby. I'm sure the questions ponging around in Jessamine's chicken brain were...
"Where the heck am I"?
"What place is this"?
"How exactly did I get here?"
Jessamine stayed close to Sugar Baby, her flock mate and fellow kidnapee.
Jessamine is a big Rhode Island Red of even temperament. She seems fairly fearless in the face of the Cottage Cats, my dog Shadow, and me. Sugar Baby was afraid of me, ran from the cats (so, of course they chased her), skittered away from Shadow who was very intrigued with the small, white bird-thingy.
Now, Shadow is half Labrador retriever and half pointer. So after pointing at the the new Sugar Baby she decided to "retrieve" her. After several times telling Shadow, "No", she decided that Sugar Baby was just a chicken of another color and not an exotic game bird, after all.
Shadow paid no attention to our new Jessamine. And, Jessamine completely ignored Shadow. Jessamine is too big for the cats to want to tangle with as they've been head-pecked by numerous chickens for invading personal poultry space.
Sugar Baby led Jessamine right through the Back Garden and straight into the Kitchen Garden which has been opened to the chickens so they can scratch and peck lots of bugs ahead of my Spring planting.
Jessamine was soon finding lots of plump worms that had awakened with the thaw and thereupon decided that her new home was a keeper.
Like Sugar Baby, Jessamine figured out on her own (or perhaps from Sugar Baby) to head back to the coop and use the nest box to lay her egg. Good job for her first day in her new home! Better the nest box than hidden under a bush somewhere.
So far, so good in introducing two new Chicken Girls to my existing flock. No fights. No squabbles. A little confusion. Not a lot of mingling between the new Girls and the old Girls. Two separate camps, cliques, flocks?
It took only two days for Sugar Baby to realize which side her bread was buttered on...who, in fact, was the purveyor of food and treats. ME!
Now, each time I go outside little Sugar Baby comes running to greet me. She's a fast little dickens - a real Ferrari among chickens - who can dart under the expectant beak of a Girl aiming for a snack and whisk it away. I've quickly become very fond of her.
Just one more wrangled chicken to introduce...next post!