We just welcomed 5 new chickens to our little homestead. The little girls or girlies, as I like to call them, are 4 month old buff orpingtons.
Orpingtons are our chicken of choice. They are a heritage breed that are strong, great layers, and very friendly. They are really easy to work with, especially if you free range. We’ve had little issues with them and my only complaint is that they like to lay their eggs in about a million different hiding places around our yard. Its like Easter every day around here!
Introducing new hens into a flock can be tricky. Because our ladies are pretty friendly we weren’t too concerned but, some breeds and bigger flocks can have pecking order problems. We started out keeping the younger chickens separate from the older ones, to give them time to adjust. We actually ended up using Fenway’s dog crate. It gave them the chance to get to know each other while still giving the little girls some space of their own. The crate worked perfectly and even allowed us to let the old ladies out to free range while keeping the others in.
After a week we opened the crate and let them mingle. We’ve had no pecking problems and everyone seems to be getting along well. For the most part the two groups keep to themselves but we’ve caught them all roosting together in the coop at night.
|Exploring on their first day of free ranging|
It will be awhile before the new hens start laying but hopefully when they do they’ll lay inside the coop. I can dream right?
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