Saturday, 27 April 2013

Establishing their Place

Our two new hens are making good progress in our little flock.

Whitey Didee and Rosie are getting along well.  Our Scots Dumpy named Bizzy Lizzy is still acting threatening towards Didee, but not too violently, so I think she is getting used to the new hens being around.  Didee doesn't seem to be too bothered about being with the other three darker hens.  She does go to the same general area that they are in, but never really in amongst them.  Her confidence in her environment is growing, but she knows her place and seems not to mind.

Matilda our black Australorp is still the top of the pecking order, but she is a sweet and gentle leader, who only gives a quick little warning peck to the others if they get too close.  She seems to accepted her look-alike Rosie very well, and they are spending a lot of time together - Rosie following Matilda around wherever they go like a desperate best friend.  It's really sweet to see.  Rosie does have a few feathers missing from the back of her neck - from the rooster that she had been with before she came to us.  Hopefully this will grow back in soon, if not we will have to wait until the Autumn moult.


This week I have been putting any eggs laid by our two new hens aside, just in case somebody becomes broody, then I could put their fertile eggs under a broody!  Sadly, it has been a week now, and still nobody is showing signs of wanting to stay in the nesting box, but I'll keep them for a little bit longer - apparently if a hen has been with a rooster they can potentially be producing fertile eggs for 12 days.

Early on in the week, when we had only had our two new hens for a couple of days, our new hen Whitey Didee was walking around croaking loudly.  So I guessed that she wanted to lay an egg but didn't know where to go.  I picked her up and put her in the nest box where Bizzy Lizzy's egg was still sitting and she laid straight away!  I have also had to pick up Rosie and put her into the nest box when she was crowing loudly, and she too laid quickly.

Night time

At first, night time was a nightmare!  Nobody seemed to want to go up the ramp, and then when somebody did go up, they wouldn't let anybody else in.  Then they'd come out, and someone else would go to the top of the ramp and block the entrance.  Whitey Didee was so distressed at all this that she flew up into the nearby trees!  A lot of to-ing and fro-ing as it was getting dark, so we coralled them in like sheep in a pen and they went into the house.  I had to put the two new hens onto the perch myself - but Rosie just won't stay on and jumps off immediately every time.  Ugghh!  I hope they get better at night time SOON.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the new girls are starting to get situated into the flock. It seems nighttime is always the worst when you have a new flock arrangement. Even when they are an established flock, the bed time routine can still be crazy!


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