I have 2 hens, a RIR and an EE - they are 1 year old. I recently got a BO and a BR that are 17 weeks old. I have a "playpen" in the coop and the new girls have been in there for a week. Each day I let them out to mingle but only if I am present. The RIR rules the roost - no doubt that she is in charge - LOL - and she makes it known - although no blood shed and hopefully that won't happen. But here is the weird thing - all week I thought that the RIR has not been laying and I attributed it to the stress of adding new birds, however, this morning when I let the older hens out into the fenced yard I found the RIR in my smaller coop that I keep in case I have an injured / sick bird that I need to keep apart from the flock and she has been laying in there all week. My question is - is she doing this b/c she is not happy with new girls on her "turf"? And will she start using the next boxes in the big coop when things calm down and she FINALLY accepts the new girls? Should I close up that smaller coop so that she CANNOT get in there to lay? I appreciate any input - I have had chickens for a little less than a year and am still learning about their behavior. They really are fascinating creatures, each one has their own personality.
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3/11/16 at 10:10am