The transition of the little ones into the larger coop has gone okay. I can’t say that it has been entirely perfect but there has been no blood shed and Dolly is a natural mother. A couple of days ago, under the cover of darkness, I placed both Fifi and Dottie Speckles under Dolly. Little did I realize how upset broody Feathers was going to be. I’ve now come to realize that she is jealous of Dolly having mini-chickens. Thus she is not too nice.
A few times per day, I find myself having to empty the coop and give the babies time to eat alone without Feathers preventing them from doing so. Just now, I opened the box to find the babies, Feathers and Dolly sitting in the same box with the mini-chickens panting beneath the two Momma hens. I had to intervene and allow the mini-chickens some air. I can’t tell if Feathers wants part of the motherhood action or if she wishes the mini-chickens were dead! Nonetheless, with a few sips of water, the panting immediately subsides and the mini-chickens go about their business.
As time goes on, I am hoping that the little girls will become large enough to defend themselves. Today is better than the day before; at least the mini-chickens are not trying to escape! As the chickens reestablish their pecking order and the mini-chickens realize their place in their new world, the flock will hopefully plateau off into a peaceful existence. For now, Dolly growls and spreads her wings as a protective mom should. I find it amazing that she has taken these chickens literally under her wings despite the fact that they are 8 and 5 weeks old!