Another night of bedtime fiascos and unruly chicks tonight. There have been daring expeditions by the younger girls from their side of the coop into the realm of the older ladies. This seems to result in getting pecked at and cowering in a corner.
I had three this evening, and I managed to corner two of them and lift them back over to their own side. Number three decided to head for greener pastures, literally, and made a break for the older ladies outdoor area. She found it quite like her own area, I assume, and was pecked and chased for her efforts. She was wrangled and put back over the fence. The whole while I was running around, stooped over, chasing chickens, I was being watched by the audience onlookers. They perched themselves on the window ledges and cheered on their sisters as they gave me a run for my money around the pen. i think they must do this on purpose just for a show. "OK, who's turn is it to be the bait tonight?"
Trying to keep them separate but able to interact with limitations is proving to be more difficult than I thought. The little girls have started their own version of 'flying' - jumping up on window ledges and nest boxes and jumping off, wildly flapping and flailing until they land somewhere and then they do it all over again. Problem is, sometimes they land on the wrong side of the fence.
I guess this will work itself out in that they will be shown the pecking order and either stay on their own side or just deal with it. But they are still eating different food and I don’t want the little ones getting into the big girl food. i have read that this is bad and they should not have adult food until they are 18 weeks of age. Right now they are about 6 weeks, even though they look much older to my untrained eyes. They seem to be testing their boundaries, much like the 'tweens' they are, and much like a good parent, I think I must put my foot down. Probably in the form of a higher indoor coop-separation fence.
All that said, I must admit that I love my girls. They are very entertaining and I do spend as much time as possible outside in a chair watching "the poultry chanel" as Jenna Woginrich puts it. i am starting to be able to tell them apart and names will soon follow once I learn personalities. For some reason 'Gertrude' springs to mind as a good name.