Spring in the Garden

Spring in the Garden

Monday, 6 February 2012

Anna and Bella's Third Day With Us

Yesterday we found out that Anna and Bella don't show up too well against snow.

I'm not sure how well they are settling in. Hubby put them down the ladder about half past seven this morning so he could clean them out but by half past eight they were back upstairs.  It may be that they don't like the snow, but the fact that Amber is behaving like a bully and chasing them away from food might have something to do with it, too.  They went upstairs quite a bit yesterday.

Luckily I was home from work by half past three as Anna and Bella were still upstairs, or if they had been downstairs they had gone up again early.   I decided to take some food out to them and by the way they devoured it, they certainly seemed hungry.

Anna was first to investigate.

Fairly soon they were both tucking in.

I'd given Amber some grapes to distract her, but once she'd finished those she started jumping up to try and steal what she could from Anna and Bella.

You can see Amber getting ready to jump

A close up of Bella . . .

. . . and one of Anna

When they had eaten most of the food I brought them some water, but they seemed most suspicious of it.  Bella did have a few sips before putting her foot in it and spilling it everywhere.  Anna showed no interest, so perhaps they had been down during the day and at least had enough water to drink.  They are still both very nervous of us and don't like being touched.

It's not just the chickens that aren't too sure about the snow, having been used to living in a big shed, but some of our flowers and even hellebores seem unhappy.  However, here is one that is enhanced by the snow


  1. Hi Karin,

    Looks like you're having fun!

    What sweet girls - hope they settle ok.

    Have a good week.

    Kay :)

    1. They do seem sweet, Kay, don't they Kay. Of course they are still young at the moment and very timid.

      I'm not sure what we can do to make Amber let them eat and drink as much as they need. She has kept them upstairs all morning, I'm sure. She keeps going up and when I went to see them they were squashed into the nest box. I also saw Bella come down and Amber chase her back up. I've just gone to give them some food and water in the roosting area, but we can't keep on that way. We'll have to come up with another plan.

      I hope your week goes well, too. How's the snow where you are? It's not been too bad here, thankfully.

  2. Karin, lovely to meet you and thanks for commenting on my blog! Hope your new chickens settle in well - they must be wondering what's going on with all the snow and the ferocious Amber!

    1. Hello Caro, it's good to see you here. I have visited your blog before, but for several months I didn't seem to get time to read many blogs. It is always good to pick up tips from other gardeners and see what they are doing, so I'm sure I'll be back again.

      I'm sure Anna and Bella must find it all a bit of a shock having been snatched from their friends in a sheltered barn to be deposited with just Amber for company in a cold garden, albeit in a hen house in that cold garden. I do hope they learn to grow a bit bolder and settle in soon. I have heard that it takes about a week to sort out the pecking order.

  3. The snow and bad weather is going to make things harder to stop Amber doing what comes naturally - naughty girl! It will take a couple of weeks, allowing them to free range together can help, but the weather isn't ideal I know. I give mine lots of space when introducing, lots more feed stations too because resident hens will always food guard.

    Listen up Amber, if your new pals grow to be as large as I think they will, well, they're going to dwarf you eventually missy!

  4. Our new girls seem to be feeling braver and less worried by the snow, too. We have added another feeding station and things did improve after that.

    I did see either Anna or Amber stand at her full height and she already comes to the top of the run, so something higher might be preferable. The man we bought them from said they'd be OK in a Forsham Ark and it is a bit higher, so I hope so. Amber is probably in for a bit of a shock eventually.


I look forward to reading your comments, it's always good to hear encouraging words or relevant hints and tips.