We had started by putting the new little guys in but they seemed to be having trouble figuring out going to roost upstairs and were sleeping in a pile on the grass.
So we moved them to the big chicken house and selected three full-grown hens (the three who were most aggressively picking on our young chickens) as the new occupants of the chicken tractor. They moped a bit but seemed to be settling in. Still we felt kinda bad -- they'd spent years in the chicken yard with the rooster and the other two hens -- and now they were in a smaller space wondering what happened. Hmmm.
Eureka! We decided to try some bantam chickens -- a rooster and six diminutive hens. They'll get bigger but they'll still be half the size of regular chickens. They will lay small eggs (I can't wait to make deviled eggs with them!) and a bonus is that bantams will go broody (sit on a nest for the 21 days it takes to hatch out eggs,) a trait that has been bred out of many full-size hens. We can put big chicken eggs under them and raise our own replacements! If nothing don't happen that is -- don't want to start counting my chickens before they hatch -- or before the bantys get old enough to go broody.
The bantys are really cute -- and they seem happy as can be in their new home. Meanwhile, the three hens are back with their friends after the enforced time-out -- and not near so intent on pecking the young chickens.
Claui's garden and we'll put three of the young Ameruacanas in. At least that's the plan.
Stay tuned for future chicken updates!