Molly has moved into the penthouse of the big coop. Kind of.
The integration of the flock initiated on 14 August is going well. Penny is top dog, then Henny, followed by Holly. Molly is the bottom because she’s sickly but Polly is naturally a bottom-of-the-pecking-order hen so they both generally keep an eye out for the other hens. Lenny, of course, rules the roost. He still maintains order but it’s not such a big deal. The little hens are mindful and quick and the big hens only pick on them sometimes and never for long. A sign of this harmonious living is that now all 5 hens lay in the same box (see my post about hens sharing nest boxes to know this isn’t an easy feat).
Somewhere along the way, Molly got tired of being picked (or, should I say, “pecked”) on – sometimes and never for long – and took refuge on the roof of the big coop. I think the main problem was that, since she’s sickly, she sleeps a lot and soundly. She has always napped away most of the day – I can walk in and fill a feeder right next to her without waking her. Since the integration I have seen her naps disturbed by quick pecks (her old roomies just left her in peace). She has taken matters into her own hands and moved into the penthouse. She spends most (? or does it just seem that way?) of the day on the roof of the coop.
She’s up there so much that we’ve taken to putting food and good weeds and whatever else we throw into the run on the roof as well so she doesn’t feel left out. If she’s not sleeping too soundly, she watches me when I come into the run, but rarely joins the others in the dash for the door.
She stands and waits to see what I’ll give her. With an eye only partly opened. One of the side affects of whatever ails her is trouble keeping her eyes open. She rubs them on her wings a lot too. Is it a tumour? Light sensitivity? Tiredness? Whatever it is, we keep giving her yogurt in a mash with her pellets every morning. The others get some as well but I always put a big plop on the roof of the coop just for Molly.
She’s spending so much time up there that she’s decided to sleep up there. I’m sure her sleep wasn’t bothered by the big girls since they sleep in the big coop and she and the little girls stay down in the small coop, but I reckon she’s just learned to love her penthouse. Which worried me. What does she do if it rains at night? Isn’t it cold up there all alone? So I moved a little box up there for her to sleep in.
Molly continues to spend more and more time on the roof (though I do see her down scratching around often). The other hens, sometimes Lenny too, occasionally pop by for a visit. They never stay long, but I guess they like the penthouse concept as well!