So, we had swapped the Green Cube for the Go. The Chicks now have a lovely green cube, with an electric hen in the back, and a huge free ranging area. The Big Girls have their orange cube and the Go.
In the lead up to the swap, I checked the two cubes each night to try and determine who was sleeping where. Every night was different; the only sleeping-arrangement-constant was the ever-broody Poppy, who permanently occupied one of the orange cube's nest boxes. The other constant was that Lotti was laying in the green cube.
Since the swap, everyone except Lotti sleeps in the orange Cube, and Lotti sleeps on the veranda (you may remember that DH made a veranda for the orange cube some time ago). Everyone was interested in the Go.... they go in, the come out. Lotti has started to lay in the orange cube.
So, today, I closed off the run that houses the Go. We would love to get them all in the one Cube: it's unlikely, as Milly's history shows that she only accepts newbies when there are no oldies left. Still, this is a chance to try.
I should perhaps also mention that Milly is on a final warning again. I can hear the "yes we've heard that before" mutterings and those of you muttering are right. So what's different this time? This time I caught Milly attacking Poppy (who had ventured off the nest to have a poo, something to eat and drink, and a quick dust bath), leaping on her and attacking her with her spurs. It would have been (relatively) easy to grab Milly and cull her there and then, and I was very close to doing it. Two things stopped me. Firstly, a long time ago I realised that I should never make that decision whilst angry; and secondly, I really wanted DH to help me do it, to make sure that I did it right. It's been a long time since I've had to cull a chook.
Milly did it a second time the next day, and I told DH that I think I might really have to do it this time. I know that it will be horrible and I will feel appalled at myself. I also know that once it's done, it will be a relief and I will wonder why we didn't do it earlier.
Of course when the moment has passed, and now that Milly is wandering around just being spiteful Milly (rather than evil Milly), I still find myself unable to make that decision. And on the third day that Milly encountered Poppy, when I was resolved that if it happened, I would do it - Milly ignored her.
So, she's on a red card for now.