The Laurels are settling in well! They’re more trusting of humans, particularly if they come bearing treats, and are starting to venture towards us and eat from our hands. The time that both sets of hens have together has been slowly increasing, as there haven’t been any major incidents yet. In the past we’ve had situations where a hen would be physically pinned down by other hens, and viciously pecked, but for this integration, there hasn’t been any behaviour like that. There is still instances of silliness from the girls – mainly Hazel and Willow on some of the new girls, but it seems to be a little peck and it stops there, no chasing around, which is great, as we are confident that they can be left together unsupervised.
This is our third phase of integration, and we still give both groups an element of separation at the start of the day, mainly to ensure the Laurels can lay their eggs in relative peace, and have a breakfast that is uninterrupted. From now though, most of the day both sets of hens will share the same space. We will intervene if necessary though!