Chicken Breed Focus - Sebright - Page 32
Whenever we add new pullets, my yard looks like it has 2 flocks. One group of hens & the other pullets. They prefer to stay apart, so I have extra feeding/watering stations around the yard. Eventually when the newbies start laying, they begin to hang around the outside of the flock - some pullets take about 9 months before they feel part of the group. Winter months can help because the cold brings them closer. Otherwise, they really only sleep together & there may be some night-time roosting scuffles. Never bloody. They just have to work some things out. If you find blood or bald spots, then you definitely have a problem & must take action
I usually house them near ea other while they're growing up. (the "Look but don't peck" approach) Around age 8 wks, I put the babies in the coop while all are sleeping. They wake up together, but other than the babies playing keep away, all is good. When the next night comes, I must herd the littles into the coop & check on them about an hour after dark to make sure all is OK. (Sometimes they try to sleep in the nest boxes, so they must be moved to a roost.) I have to repeat this for a few nights, but before the week is over, they accept the coop as their new home.
After the intro week, the 2 flocks exist during the day but at least they all find their way to bed at night. The older girls sleep on the high roost. The younger ones take the middle or low roost. They make sure to stay away from the older hens. It usually stays that way for a while. Eventually the pullets get ready to lay & may decide to join the big girls.
This is what I've noticed the past 4 years when I added chicks. When my broody adds chicks, she fights for them when young but once she leaves them, they stay together like a separate mini flock too.
I'm hoping to hatch some more sebright mixes soon, but right now I can't tell what genetics are doing what. Currently I have a sebright rooster and a sebright mix rooster with my bantam hens, but all my bantams are turning out to look exactly like my standard chicks, color and all. I guess I'll have to wait and see when they grow up if for some reason one of my standard hens was laying little eggs (maybe just really tiny pullet eggs?) or maybe a standard rooster bred with a little hen?
I have 7 golden sebright eggs going into lockdown tonight. Started with 8, 100% fertile, one blood-ring on day 8.
Plus 4 SDW OEGB eggs looking good, another 100% fertile from what I set.
The eggs that I set were laid only about 2 weeks after separating these 2 groups, so I hope they are pure breeds, but may end up with some mixed. I hope I'll be able to tell!
My crazy little sebright (Trouble) is trying out a new trick.
She's a feisty girl & makes sure all know what she wants. If I leave the yard without giving her a treat, she'll scream torture. I quickly return to see who may be attacking her, & she simply looks up at me expectantly. (No other critters around.) I have heard her screech at other hens who may think about taking HER nest and have literally seen her peck at full-sized Orps who offend her. Trouble is definitely an appropriate name.
So Trouble's new idea is to go broody. A few times I've had to remove her from the nest box after several hours. She's all flat & still like a real broody. After a few min in the sunshine & fresh air, she returns to normal. Today she was looking proud in her nest covering 1 jumbo egg with 2 more near her. My hens lay very, very large eggs. Trouble's spread is only about softball size. She really thinks high of herself.
Here's one of Trouble's tiny eggs. (DH calls her "Useless chicken." I call her entertainment.)
Trouble's egg next to the egg she was trying to sit on.