Monday 25 February 2013

Hey Little Hens!

On Thursday we got our first egg of the year from our old lady chooks - they are more than 3 years old,  so practically pensioners. Our flock had shrunk down from 5 to 2 and we had been planning for a while to get more hens.

The taste of those first few eggs over the weekend had our minds made up, and on Sunday afternoon we went to pick up our new girls.

Here they are getting to know their way around the run.

Our first chickens were all hy-lines, a red-brown chicken that lays around 320 eggs a year for the first few years, hy-lines (or the very similar ISA browns) are generally the sort farms use to give maximum egg production for little cost.

Our 2 remaining Hy-lines - big fat old girls.
This time we went for something a little different and picked up 2 speckledy hens just for a bit of a variety (... um... so we can tell who is old and who is new) They don't look very speckeldy yet, I am hoping they will when the get a bit bigger.

The new girls are 13 weeks old or so and should start laying in 6 - 8 weeks, around about Easter.

The chooks all need to find their place in the pecking order now, it can be hard to watch. The older, bigger girls peck the little ones. They are in the same run at night, just roosting and sleeping when it is dark, so they get used to each others smells. During the day we let them out to free range (under a watchful eye) The new girls couldn't work out how to get out of the run anyway, but it gave them a break from being bullied, poor things.

In a few days they will have figured it out and all be one happy flock.

We did try to find Cream Legbars (a blue egg layer) but just couldn't get them around here just now. If anyone local knows of any available please let me know.

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