Yes, this is a phone book, and yes, it is sitting in the middle of my yard. Why, you ask? Well, old country wisdom, of course! This idea came by way of my grandmother talking with her friends about my difficulties with integrating our babies in with the other hens. Apparently the reply to this was "what, she doesn't use a phone book?" Apparently this tactic is common knowledge among older ladies living in Auburn, CA.
The whole idea behind the phone book is that when laid out in the yard, the wind will flutter the pages. The hens should take complete offense to this and attack the phone book, thus creating a common enemy among all the ladies and a sense of camaraderie because they all hate/fear the same thing.
Maybe this works on country chickens. My city chickens, on the other had, just see it as an obstacle that they need to climb over to get places. No offense taken, whatsoever.
On a brighter note, the two gangs are sharing closer pieces of grass now, and they can be left to roam free in the yard without supervision. No chickie first aid needed in a while. Most of the attacks have ceased as well, though if Shawn or I pay any attention to the babies (like hand feed them garden greens and such,) and not do the same for Abby and Frannie immediately after, the older ladies attack the babies with a jealousy-filled rage. So now we just have to sneak the babies special snacks.
Pretty soon we're going to start the final phase of mission: chicken integration by putting the babies up to roost with their aunties at night. It'll be a covert operation that happens after dark, and I'll probably lose sleep over it, hoping and praying that the ladies don't kill them in the morning. I'll probably get up at the ass-crack of dawn just to get out there to greet them all in the morning to keep the peac. I'll keep everyone posted on how that goes.