Posts Tagged pecking order

New chickens join the flock

Yesterday we took delivery of 6 new Brown Warren hens who are 19 weeks old.  They came from a poultry farm where that is all they do, raise chicks from eggs and bring them on to point of lay.  We have had chickens from there before and they have been absolutely fine, without disease or any problems.  Brown Warrens are really good layers, nothing special to look at but very reliable birds.  Firstly we put them inside the hen house. They took a couple of hours before they ventured down the ramp to have a peck about, but they didn’t go far. They stayed very close to the hen house.

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Neil had to help them up the ramp last night as they hadn’t got the idea of going to bed when it got dark.  Today they were again reluctant to leave the safety of the hen house and stayed mostly underneath.

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I’m sure it will take a few days for them to acclimatise into their new surroundings and then the new pecking order has to be established with the older hens.  It is possible it will be 4 or 5 weeks before they start laying.

The baby chicks were playing up today.  We have given them a new feeder and they have decided it is something to fear as they wouldn’t come down the ramp into the run today but stayed up top in their hen house (a different one to the other hens) and were churning up the straw good and proper today.  They have grown so much, being nearly 7 weeks now.

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Little chooks join the adults

Our two remaining little chooks as we call them are now 16 weeks old.  We decided it was time they joined the adult flock and were integrated into the proper run behind an electric fence.  They have grown so quickly, from newly hatched chicks into amost fully grown.  One is larger than the other, with a proper comb and lovely colouring, brown amongst the black.  The other is smaller with no comb at all!.  We are hoping they are both pullets ie female hens that will lay eggs as opposed to cockerels, but for the uninitiated it is still difficult to tell.  We will have to wait a few more weeks to see if they start crowing!!.

Our two 16 week old chicks

So last night at dusk when they had gone up into the hen house we picked them up one at a time and ringed them (so we could tell them apart from the other black rock hens) and cut their feathers on one side to stop them flying out, and then popped them in the other hen house with the adult hens.

This morning when I let them all out, these 2 were slightly reticent about coming out of the hen house, and as soon as they went near the food the others chased them away, and they hopped back into the hen house for cover.

We’ve just been down to prior to lunch to scatter some bread around for them and the larger one seems to have got the idea, but the smaller one is just running around clucking like mad.

It will take a couple of days for them to settle down and for the new pecking order to be established.  It will probably be another 8 weeks before they start laying eggs if they are pullets, so we will have to wait and see.

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