Friday, 29 April 2011

Hannibal spent yesterday in the indoor brooder in the kitchen.   We spent quite a bit of time talking to himher,  and letting himher out to have a run around.   S/he's in solitary cofinement to protect the others, not as a punishment.  Of course the upshot of such one-to-one contact is that we're getting quite attached to him/her,  even though we know what the outcome will be for her if she won't stop her behaviour.

This morning we put the chicks out early, extending the netted area even more.   We put the four injured chicks out with the others, and watched to make sure there wasn't any trouble. 

DH cleaned out the big brooder pen (it's amazing how much mess they make, especially considering they are only in there overnight now!),  and will be making it bigger today.

Eventually, we decided it was time to let Hannibal out.  We were still hoping that time away would make himher forget their cannibalistic tastes,  but we were sadly disappointed.   S/he pecked several of the black chicks, pulling tails, etc. Again, it wasn't done with any malice or attack,  she's obvisuly just attracted to black feathers.    We hoiked Hannibal out again,  back in the brooder temporarily.    

DH then rigged up a corner in the outside run, with its own food and water,  so that Hannibal could go outside with the others, but be separated from them.  We're trying this method of separation to see if being in sight of the others helps.  It's certainly less distressing for him/her than being in solitary confinement.   We'll try once more tomorrow to see how s/he behaves.

S/he'll have to come into the indoor brooder tonight. We're planning to leave the 4 injured chicks with everyone else overnight; we want to make sure Hannibal isn't there in case (a) s/he attacks them overnight, and (b) they get attacked  by someone else and s/he unfairly gets the blame.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.

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