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New additions to the flock - Page 2

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
They are worse than kids sometimes. Ordered a new bigger coop that has access at the front and rear. This was I can put some chicken wire in the middle and bundle them in separately so they can sleep together / wake together. Then eventually I will just move the wire and leave them to it.

Nice to keep the smaller coop for a nursery / chicken hospital if need be. The existing one is for 4 birds but it's just badly organised so I can't really get the other two in once the big girls are in there. One of the young birds goes straight to the big girls coop at night every night. Tries to get in and gets pecked at because she doesn't know where she is supposed to go and ends up out again. So maybe a totally new coop and a new design in the run / total change around will help a bit. Who knows but it's all good fun trying to get them to like each other...... Or should I say tolerate each other.

Keep on trying and keep on letting them sort out the pecking order. Should be sorted within a week or two. Then back to low maintenance chicken keeping. Fingers crossed. Got another day or mixing today out in the garden. Just going to leave em to it today as the pecking is very minor when they do it. It's Gotta be done.
post #12 of 25
Ive read that change like a new coop for them all can be helpful. Your introduction time sounds pretty much like what ive been doing. Mine are relaxing more around one another in the garden. Tonight all 4 went upstairs ok. The matriach is on the perch, other older one in a nestbox, 2 newbies in another together. While i dont want them sleeping in nest boxes id rather leave them in peace for now (so glad theyve come this far without any real probs) & see if they move to the perch when things are settled more. If needs be i can sort that out further down the track. Yeah they are like our kids. Only chicken lovers understand the fun we are having smile.png
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Excellent work. Nice to be sharing the journey with you. So today I worked on the original, expensive but smallish coop. Made a bigger perch, crafted a rather nice slide in divider and made an external play perch for them in there walk in run. The run is only 2m X 4m but has a solid roof and is 6ft high. Just keeps all the coop and other stuff a bit sheltered as it rains a lot here. The girls tried to get to bed without the divider at first but stumbled all over the place and got super confused. I decided I was going a bit too fast so put the divider in and placed the new girls in one side and the older girls got in on there own. Left them for 5 mins then went over with the torch. There's only really enough room for 3 birds comfortably I'd say in there. Our one eyed Wilma was sat in the nesting box but just like you I thought just leave them and let them sleep.

So tonight I'm ordering a new coop fit for up to 12 birds. They can live in comfort in there for the rest of their days.

Today was a successful day of free ranging. Only minor bits of light pecking to say get out of the way etc. Left them all out all day and it's working well. The new girls are settling in and learning the ropes in regards to when they can eat and what they can do. One eyed Wilma is hilarious. She often get confused and runs around in circles if she is startled but just gets on with her day and spends most of the day fooling around, climbing on things, peeping through the fence into the neighbours and sun bathing when the sun pops out. I left them all out when we went to the shops and when I got back I sneaked into the back room and looked out of the window thinking "oh I hope they haven't killed each other" they didn't see me looking at them as they were all dust bathing together near the back door. Something must be right because it's getting very chilled now.

Fingers crossed for more happy hen times tomorrow. I'll just be leaving them to it and waiting a few days for the new coop to arrive. Then that's the last bit of stressful messing around. It's up to them to just enjoy the freedom and good food / bugs together.
post #14 of 25
Hi Chickentikka, reporting in from the land of Oz smile.png i agree its good fun sharing similar journeys from opposite sides of our planet. I'm jealous of your new bigger coop. Ive got a townhouse courtyard so my coop area is very limited. Glad ive got what i have though. Wilma sounds awesome! My Wilma is a black pekin bantam (Harri) so cute & fluffy. First day ive gone to work left all the girls in the coop. Had to try to not think about how they were doing. Put a big pot of celery that was going to seed in a corner so newbies had a hiding spot if needed. Others too big to get in behind it. Came home to everything A ok. Whew! Another milestone. Confess to making myself a G & T to celebrate. Laugh to know you are peeking out windows & wandering around your coop at night with a torch. THAT'S ME! Had visitors last night who caught me looking at the clock. I had to assure them it wasn't because i wanted them to go, that i was just checking my chickens' bed time. The way they looked at me ... B smile.png
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ha ha that's hilarious..... I've just left mine to do their thing again today. I constantly loose Wilma all day long. Every time I look outside I see 3 chickens. Then after wondering around the garden I find her sat on top of a bin round the side of the house or hidden in the bushes at the back of the garden. She's not scared just likes doing her own thing. Found her sunbathing with her best buddy Betty this afternoon. Literally sat on top of each other in the sun. It's a nice image as these two had never seen the sun for the first part of their lives and now they are lapping it up.

Again still some pecking and chasing here and there but that's to be expected and I'm letting them sort themselves out as not a single feather has been pecked out so its not going to get violent.

My daughter is at nursery tomorrow in the morning and I'm hoping the new coop comes then as I'll have time to build it. If not it's coming on Wednesday at the latest.

I've noticed an increase of flies in the garden since the arrival of the chickens. This isn't new to me and was expected and there are some great tips on fly management on this site. Summer will be bad if I don't figure out some preventative measures other than just cleaning.

All tucked up in bed. I kept the divider in tonight but I'm considering not using anything in the new one and just see what happens as they have enough room and I also open the coop before day break so fingers crossed.

I'm looking forward to when they just get on full time. Not long to go. Until then....Keep on keeping on.
post #16 of 25
A quick one re flies. I dont know if you have come across this tip. I hang those car freshener christmas trees in & around the coop. Vanilla, apparently flies are repelled by vanilla. I find the smell a bit strong on first day but it really seems to work. smile.png
post #17 of 25
Hi Chickentikka. I imagine you are pretty excited about getting the new coop. Remember back around Easter time waiting for the weekend to pick up my coop & put it together. Had the pad all prepared & kept visualising it in my garden. Then picked up my hens. A definite Yay time. Havnt looked back. I LOVE having chickens. Remember my grandma taking me out to feed hers & calling "chook, chook" when she fed them. Now i do that big_smile.png Rose & Lily made a smart move last night. Took themselves up to the loft early & secured their sleeping spot together before Ruby & Harri made the move.Resulted in a peaceful bedtime. Only Harri sleeping on the perch so far. Like yours, mine are lightening up socially in the garden. Rose & Lily dont hide anymore & seem relaxed when apart. Moving around closer to the older ones. There is still chasing & bossing going on but thats not bothering them or me anymore. I look forward to hearing how your go in their new coop. I agree, wouldn't put a divide in, see how they go. Maybe a hiding place which worked well for mine. Still got it in there just so they dont feel too vulnerable.
And hey, I notice others have been reading this thread. Feel free to say hello guys smile.png
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
So the new coop arrive today. It's a pretty little thing. 4 rows of perches, and 3 nesting boxes on either side. A mansion for the 4 girls. It arrived this morning while my daughter was at nursery. So I had enough time to dismantle the other one and remove it from the walk in run. Build the new one inside the run and then put the other back together at the top of the garden. Something like a chicken hospital or maybe a private hideout for any of them. All 4 other them are hanging out together today cleaning themselves. All looks and feels good in the new hen family. Very minor slow motion chasing away from food every now and again but other than that peaceful. The young girls are getting a bit too comfortable around the other girls and I've just been watching one eyed Wilma literally pecking at Storm (our big chickens) feet. I'll try and post a picture of them. Fingers crossed for tonight. Ps I'll get some vanilla air freshners. Also I order a 5kg bucket of DE powder as it's much cheaper that way to buy. Going to continue to use that in the coop as well as with food.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Not a great photo as I could only take it through the window. But evidence that the older girls allowed the younger ones to chill out and clean themselves in their favourite chill out spot. It's an empty herb planter right outside one of our living rooms. They sit there for ages just watching us through the full length Windows. Seeing all of them together proves that something is working. Looking forward to more updates! Have a good one
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