Friday, July 29, 2011

Hen Update

Our ladies are about 4 years old now.  They continue to lay but just aren't so reliable.  Like people, chickens don't have eggs their whole life.  I guess some of our hens are going through menopause.  Do chickens have menopause? I wonder if they have hot flashes? Mood swings?  Hmmmm.... Should I start adding
St John's Wort into their feed?  About 12 weeks ago we ordered Buff Orpington hens from Murray McMurray Hatchery.  Sweet little chicks.

They ate and ate and grew into much bigger poults.  Too big to stay in the brooder so we moved them to their own section of the coop.  They still had to share their space with the turkeys but had so much more room.  They had to be kept separate because the hens would bully them.  Evidently they haven't seen the PSA about bullying.  I wasn't sure how to introduce the new kids to an established flock.  I did what I do a lot.  I went online.  The Murray McMurray Hatchery site had a blog with ongoing information on just this subject.  We put in a gate and a chicken wire mesh to allow the birds to see each other but not mingle.  We did this for about 3 weeks.  Then each day after I opened the coop up, and the hens went out to free range, we let the new poults out to get used to the coop.

They enjoyed the freedom.  The hens would come in check out the new girls.  There were a few episodes of hair pulling and pecking.  Just like transition to middle school.

The turkeys were right at home.  They even fly up to the highest roost.

Everyone is getting along great.  The poults still tend to roost together and no more bullying.

Now we have an integrated flock.  I guess they get along well because they have so much room to range. 

Happy Chickens!
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm


Marigold said...

Happy chickens? A good thing. Happy turkeys? Even better. Happy goats? Priceless. :)

Lili said...

For being a former city girl, I must tell you I always learn so much from you on my visits over here. You could write a very cool book with all the experience you are acquiring with your farm and critters! ~Lili

Michaele said...

Good for you to do everything correctly and have such good results!

Kathleen From Eggs In My Pocket said...

How wonderful! You are going to enjoy your new feahered friends so much! I love MacMurray Hatchery! So much to see and I want it all! blessings,Kathleen

stampedconcrete said...

is your chicken is a native chicken ? nice to see that your chicken is so healthy .. like your post .. thanks for sharing ..

Rain said...

I have 4 handsome roosters who would love to come visit-I'd even give them a ride!!! Then I'd disappear into the darkness!!................!

Melodie said...

The social order of poultry,lol!One of the things I never knew existed before farm life!