Monday, June 20, 2011

Update on Pumpkin

My last posting was about Pumpkin picking on Ginger.  And I was SUPER frustrated!  So I've tried a few different things and I think I'm getting the upper hand on the situation.

For one thing, Pumpkin had stopped egg squatting for me.  I didn't think much of it at the time, but now that I look back, I think that might have been more important than I realized.  My girls don't have a rooster to keep them in line.  I guess to some degree, I fill that role by giving them a good scratch when they egg squat for me.  So I've been trying to get her to squat for me and she's resisted up till tonight.

I've also been separating Ginger when I give them treats.  It's more work on my part, but worth it if it keeps the peace.

And today I picked up a spray bottle which I filled with water.  What I like about this is I can give Pumpkin a spray of water right at the moment she pecks which really reinforces a behavior as negative. And I only had to hit her once tonight with a shot of water before she got the message.

I also noticed tonight that Ginger no longer runs away from her.  They were all together eating wheat grass that I had growing out of a large pot for them and they were side by side eating together so Ginger is getting her confidence back.  Which really makes me feel good.

So I guess you really can modify a chicken's behavior.  I was seriously toying with giving her away and now I don't see that happening.  And I really do love her pretty green eggs.

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