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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reintroducing Your chickens

Over the winter one of our chickens, Cinderella, got injured. A pallet fell on her and hurt her leg. We had to separate her from the other chickens so they would not peck at her. We put her up in the garage for lack of a better option. Usually you don't wan to separate your chickens out of view of each other. Chickens have short term memories and forget easily. But we are a resourceful family and successfully made it work.

We kept Cinderella in the garage all winter long because there was really no good way to get the chickens around each other. it was too cold to stand outside and keep and eye on them in the coop and well.... there was snow everywhere so it wasn't like we could just let them roam the yard together. So around the end of March we started bringing our injured chicken out to the coop with us to feed and water the other chickens. Of course the alpha female puffed us and tried to attack but we would intervene. 

Soon the chickens got used to seeing her during food time. and as well all know we associate food with good feelings. and any primal instinct will lean you towards wanting to see that chicken because  food is near by. Pretty clever if I do say so myself. 

Ignore all the junk around the shed, that was during the clean up phase.

We did that until it warmed up enough for some of the ground to be exposed. Not all the snow was gone but we let all the chickens out to roam the yard. I don't think they found much by scratching but once again it was a step closer to getting the chickens re associated. 

Soon the chickens were eating side-by-side and the injured chicken would even go into the coop and lay in the nesting boxes. I am sure we could have made the leap to put Cinderella in with the rest of the flock but it just so happened that we were building a new coop for them.
 In the process of building the chicken run

The nesting boxes... even though they will only use one of them

This was golden for us. The coop was brand new to all the chickens so they were less inclined to be territorial. It worked like a charm. After being away for a good 4-5 months, it only took about 2 to get them back together. 

This could of happened sooner had we had the time to get the chickens together everyday but with our schedules this is the way it worked out. Just take your time and watch for the chickens reactions.