I felt sorry for her - Tweedle Dee definitely did the hen pecking and constantly chased her away from any food that was scattered on the ground in the evenings before they were locked in their coop for the night. (To ensure that she was getting enough, I used to inveigle Cluck away to one side and throw her her own handful away from Tweedle Dee.)
|Cluck took the frame coop on the right - I think|
Tweedle Dee made her life a misery when she
joined her and the chicks in the wooden one
The poor thing also spent the first few nights in the wooden coop with Tweedle Dee, but from the second that the chicks started roosting with Tweedle Dee, Cluck wasn't so happy, and put herself to bed - alone - in the water container frame house. I'm sure it's because Tweedle Dee was making her life a misery when they were locked up together in the wooden coop...
A couple of weeks ago, when the chicks were exactly 4 weeks old, Tweedle Dee started ignoring them. Walking off on a constant solitary mission, it seems as though it fell to Cluck to tend the chicks. She took to it like a duck to water - even though she is a chicken. Rooting round under the trees and bushes with them, settling down for a midday snooze with them tucked into her sides - she was a natural.
|Tweedle Dee went back to her old habit|
of laying her egg in the lucerne container
Having studiously ignored her chicks for roughly 5 - 6 days, suddenly Tweedle Dee started laying again. We discovered the egg one afternoon when we went to give the alpacas their rations - hidden in the corner of the container on a bed of lucerne scraps.
She didn't lay them in the quaddie tyre in which she had been laying before, and where she raised her brood, but back in the lucerne container where she had first laid her eggs when she arrived on our smallholding.
I tried padding up the new nesting boxes in the wooden coop with straw instead of the wood shavings to see if she preferred that.
Nope. Nada. Always in the blooming lucerne container.
|Can you see it hiding in the straw in the far |
nesting box? Clever Cluck laid her first egg - and
in the nesting boxes too! :)
One day, after I had retrieved Tweedle Dee's morning offering, I went to change the water in the wooden coop. What did I spy - another egg!? I deduced that Cluck had started laying too :)
It took Tweedle Dee another 6 - 8 days before she decided that "if the nesting boxes were good enough for Cluck, then they were good enough for her too". And, she didn't choose to lay her egg in the vacant box next door either, she is laying her egg right next to Cluck's.
Almost as though she is trying to enforce her "superiority"?
|Now both Tweedle Dee and Cluck lay their eggs|
in the same nesting box - right next to each other
Chickens - they're strange creatures, aren't they...?
|The potential rooster...?|
... and together with two of it's siblings,
for comparison. "He" is the one at the back.Whatever - we are certainly egg-sufficient now :)