Originally Posted by COChix
Well there is something very enjoyable at watching the chickens explore their new area. Funny our pullets are the bravest and are the one's to first explore. They somehow managed to get through the dividers in the coop to go and lay eggs in the nest boxes on the other side. The older girls seem to not as adventurous and I had to shoo them and bribe them out of the run. The integration seems to be going smoothly this far. We will leave the divider in the coop and we are hoping to remove the divider this weekend. The birds have seen each other for two weeks through the barrier, that makes a big difference.
How many birds do you have? Sounds like a lot.
Yes, my young hens, too, seem by far the more curious and adventuresome. I have maybe 50 large fowl. Maybe a dozen+ silkies. Almost half of the LF are layers, and the rest are breeding groups and their grow outs. I've culled a LOT of cockerels, but if they get along and are nice to both me and the hens, I'm inclined to let them be. The LS Roos tend to be especially docile and friendly, so I still have a number of these, I am ashamed to say.
In my divided coop, I am still collecting eggs from the three hens on the underpopulated side. Two of the hens are pushing 3+ years, and they are the Mamas/aunts of their rooster offspring I put in with them to breed with them. The cock does not like to stay with these two old SS heritage gals, though, and I don't know if the eggs are even fertile. the only bird that does stay with them is a young LS pullet, who is the third member of this trio. She is likely to be the layer of at least one of the eggs I collect, but I'm not too sure about the older SS. Could be some of the more spritely hens on the other side are using their nest box to lay eggs. Last year I hatched some very unpure looking birds from my Heritage SS, so I know some cuckooing goes on. I am rather new to chickens - and to birds in general - and while I can research and inform myself about breeding strategies, nothing can prepare me for all the little chicky tricks my birds spring on me. There is no substitute for experience, as they say, and it's very hard to predict who will get along with who. Well, I do know how to find out if the eggs are fertile.
These SS seem slow to mature. Both the pullets and cockerels don't start developing size and type until late. Which means I have to keep and grow out a lot of birds in order to selectively breed for the best. I think. And then there are the Silkies who reproduce like Tribbles.
Looked to me as though you have a number of nice hens. Do you raise them for eggs? With names, I can imagine they are pets - like my Grusome Twosome and Tremendous Trio.😊