We were greeted by all 12 Girls, all waiting to get out to munch grass. When we opened the gate, Camilla and Siouxsie stayed behind - which is what they did before they came home for a week.
I shut the gate so the others couldn't get back in, and I gave Siouxsie and Camilla some mealworms. Then I opened up the gate into Bertie's bit, and Bertie and Ping and Pong all came out for an explore. Then I opened the gate to the outside, and everyone charged in.
Bertie got extremely excited, and did a lot of wing fanning. The Allotmenteers all ignored him, and they ignored Ping & Pong too. I opened a tin of tuna and crumbled it up so everyone got some, and Bertie picked his up and dropped it on the floor, making encouraging noises.
I did the waterers, and then gave everyone some sweetcorn. Camilla and Siouxsie were not in the general melee, so I shut the gate behind me, and went to find them to give them their tuna and sweetcorn separately. They both look OK, no obvious wounds or marks.
I opened the gate again and distributed corn, starting by giving some to Bertie. He immediately started calling the Girls, and some came to eat the corn.
When we'd finished out chores, we herded Bertie and Ping & Pong back to the safety of their own pen. We had to do them one at a time, but it was relatively straightforward. Each was rewarded with mealworms for going back in.
We're going to open the gate permanently before long. Ideally I'd like Ping&Pong to be laying first (being in-lay gives hens a bit more confidence at standing up to each other), but I guess it'll depend on how long that takes to happen. In the meantime, we'll carry on letting them mix while we're there before doing anything more serious.
I miss having Siouxsie and Camilla in the garden, and I think of them everytime I walk past the coop. We're not dismantling it until Ping & Pong are integrated, just in case we need it.