I've got 15 chicks and guineas moved into the coop now. They spent 2 days locked in a cage on the floor so they and the bigger birds could get acquainted without bloodshed. Today while the big guys were free ranging I opened their cage and let them wander out. For the most part everyone stayed in the coop though there was much flying about. Eventually 3 of the smaller guineas decided to look around out in the run. They ended up at the far end, dug themselves a little hole and sat in it for hours. Around 5 pm 2 more guineas made it outside and then all 5 wandered around a little more. The larger chicks chose not to venture outside.
When it was getting close to dusk I lucked out in that the little birds went back inside so I could shut the chicken door and re-open the run door to let the 6 big birds in. At one point the chicken door fell open on top of one of the cockerels who yelled very loudly in a sort of squashed yelp. I ran back outside to lift the door off him and he ran under the deck to hide for a bit. I had a hard time getting him to go back inside after that but he appeared to be fine.
The new birds decided that most of them would not go back into their cage so I waited to see what would happen. The big birds took a long time to head inside. In fact it looked like they would rather sleep on the ground outside, hunkered in the corner farthest from the door but still able to see inside. Finally, they went in and and when I went to check they were up on their roosts, the little guys were on the floor and everyone was minding their own business. The real test will be tomorrow morning when everyone wakes up and I haven't gotten out there to open the chicken door yet.
Links! And News!
1 year ago