Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our New Hens

A friend of a friend was giving away most of her chickens, and we were asked if we wanted any. Since we are down to 7 hens after all the wildlife incidents around here, we readily agreed and so 12 hens of various varieties were coming over.

Marion and I put them in cardboard boxes with air holes. You can see a chicken beak sticking out of the box on the right.

I had already got the coop as ready as possible. A good fresh layer of hay, a feeder full, the waterer full.

Our other 7 hens and the 1 rooster were let outside and as I brought the boxes down one by one. I left them in the boxes in the coop still closed tight.

You can see da Wolf. He was helping me on each trip - I had already let him see the boxes and he could see and hear the birds. After explaining to him they were new chickens for him to look after and reminding him that he should "Be Nice to Chickens" he wagged his tail and led the way down to the barn.

Once I got all the boxes down there I closed the door and let the birds out of the boxes. They are nice solid birds, with a lot more heft to them than our laying hens.

The rooster and the older hens waiting outside the coop, probably not over impressed at this point to learn that there were be new members to our chicken family.

One of the two Buff Orpington's - they are beautiful birds!

I closed up the coop and left the new hens alone for several hours. The other birds were just hanging around outside as they usually do during the day. They really can't get far from the barn as there is still too much snow and so they are content to hang out in the breezeway.

Mid afternoon, I removed the board covering the little chicken door that leads out to one of the outside runs. I thought this would give any chicken who needs to get away the opportunity to do so. Then I opened the man door.

And slowly, the chickens met each other. I thought I saw a gleam in the rooster's eye although I may have been mistaken.  Over the course of that day there were a few hen fights between older and newer chickens, but let me tell you. These new girls can hold their own. They are quite a bit larger than the older ones and so they gave no quarter.

I closed up the coop and man door just before dusk. By the next morning, it seemed they were all getting along pretty good. I found some feathers in the coop so there was likely some jousting going on, but that is natural.

Now hopefully we will get more eggs and perhaps even be able to hatch some eggs!
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Anonymous said...

..your blog post rings a bell with me! Last weekend I butchered 3 roosters for the first time..I got chickens for the first time last summer as chicks..of the 9 I got 5 were roosters. They were manhandling the poor hens! I am in the process now of trying to find 5 more hens..I hope I get as lucky as you but I don't know many people who own chickens other than myself! I still need to get rid of 1 more rooster but could not decide which one to keep so I let the 2 live on for now. Hopefully soon I will have more then the 3-5 eggs every 2 days..I WISH I had a larger coop too but I only have myself to blame for it since I am the one who built and learn..Keep up the good work!

Andrea said...

I have mostly Buff Orpingtons and I love them - especially how well they lay all winter, not deterred by the cold weather.

Carolyn said...

Great Chicken Score!

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