Thank you Shadow 920. . I do feed scraps- mostly old bread and vegetables and salad past their prime.. .My 18 year old Sheltie gets most of the meat scraps. Thanks for the warning about the avocado, I didn't know that. But we seldom have any of those left over and I don't think I've ever tossed any to them.
I have 4 LF hens right now and the 6 younger silkie pullets. I have extra calcium out for the LF and I haven't decided whether to switch everybody over to layer feed after the younger girls are laying. No hurry I guess. I was unsure at first whether to put the silkies with the big girls but I'm pleased the whole bunch seems to be melding into one flock. The big girls are a little bossy over food but it seems to be more of pecking order thing. They will chase one of the silkies of a few steps so they can eat first but no extended chasing and I see no signs of pecking or missing feathers. I started with 11 silkies and I think they overwhelmed the 4 big girls. Now.I've gotten rid of roosters and a couple of pullets I wasn't as crazy about and am down to 6 pullets I really like. I have 3 separate food and water containers and lots of hiding places and a 32 x 14 pen and everybody seems to get along okay. The showgirl is the boldest and she started eating along with the big hens and has persuaded the others to come along and eat with the big girls. Once in a while one of them get chased off but they come right back.I love silkies and want a bunch more. So I need toa sk another question:
I gave my best silkie cockerel to a friend who has considerably more space and chickens than I do. Would it work if in the spring I sent my six girls over to her place to visit the roo for a week ? They should be 9 or 10 months old by then. Will he breed them for a week or so then I can bring them home and can collect eggs for another week or two and try to hatch them?
chickens can take some time to adjust if you change their routine. i've been pretty lucky to have chickens adjust fairly quickly. it's possible that if the rooster knows the territory then the new hens will adjust faster. that's been my experience. i bought my cochin pair together. they were my first chickens. about a month later the hen was laying. however i had a banty rooster for a year and a half. last spring i bought two sebright hens, a week later had a hen laying to set. i just recently made the resulting chicks permanent residents in my banty flock. now be warned i tried to breed both sebrights. the other one took 14 days to lay 7 eggs, and then stopped. just abandoned the nest and has only laid 2 or 3 eggs since. this was in the middle of summer. i haven't seen any eggs from her for awhile. i won't be asking her to set a nest again. but if given the chance with a different hen i may add some of her eggs to someone else's nest at some point. so if the rooster is familiar with the territory it should be fine. roosters love new hens. lol