Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Introducing New Chickens

Recently I decided to buy a few more hens if I could find them cheap. I asked around and found one from a friend and then we traveled out to the country and bought one there; one was an Australorp and the other was a Maran/Orpington. (both black) Then just a day or two after that another friend from church called me up and asked if I could use 4 more hens because they were going out of the chicken business. I couldn't beat the price they were offering so I jumped at that opportunity as well. So now we have 6 new chickens.

I quickly realized there were challenges that we had to overcome. The rooster was pecking down the black hens as he had done another hen of ours. (she is on vacation to a friend's farm to see if when we bring her back she will fit in better, they say that helps.)

I started researching this oddity online and from others that have chickens. I found out that although some pecking is normal although it can be managed with a few boredom busters. Chickens who live in a chicken yard that is not real large can become bored especially in the winter months. Providing them with special treats or different perches can really improve their behavior. Its a lot like raising children.

I came up with a cabbage ball for the yard and hung an old c.d. I also made a fun treat with an old water bottle that was a hit. The cabbage ball I made out of wire hangers and a little wire that I had left over in the shed. I think it turned out really well. We did have it just hung up with a screw but they ate it too quickly so maybe this will slow them down a bit. Only disadvantage to making my own is that I will have to open it with pliers each time I want to fill it or just pull of some leaves and stuff them in. But it saved me about $20.  Every penny counts!

Here are some pictures that my oldest son snapped from the chicken yard this week.

Our rascally Rooster

Two of the newbies. One is a welsomer I'm not sure what the one in front is.

Up and coming rooster who was once thought to be a hen. 

Bullet the trusty chicken chaser. Around and around the coop he goes. He just wants to play. Its a challenge to get through the door. He was doing better until I started putting in new toys. 
 Feel free to share this information with a chicken loving friend.

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