Big Sky Chicks

3 Sweet Marans

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
5
0
7
Big Sky Country
Hi All,

Nice to join your great community. We live in Montana and are the proud owners of eight chickens. I've been raising backyard chickens since 1997. My original hens, who have all passed to the big chicken haven in the sky, were: 1 Buff Orpington - Motoko, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes - Henny Penny and Nugget, 1 Black Australorp - Kusanagi and 1 Araucana - Bubo. (You can tell my children named them, they were into anime...lol) Of course long after they were finished laying they remained our family pets and friends. They were the funniest group of girls and terrific egg layers. They lived out their lives wandering the front yard, taking dust baths, eating bugs and occasionally laying eggs in their senior years. Henny Penny lived to be 14..which is pretty ancient for a chicken, her sister Motoko passed away just one year earlier, at age 13.

I built their chicken coop from plans I copied from the library and 16 years later it's had a makeover and is being used by our second chicken family. The new group of girls were born April 2012, so they are now hens laying nice healthy eggs. We have two Buff Orpingtons - Shiloh and Goldy. Shiloh is VERY broody and has been through three broods this past year. We also have 2 Barred Rocks, Aerie and Dinah and 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, Beetle. That makes five girls who are living in the remodeled chicken coop I built so many years ago.

But that's not the end of the story. I got the brilliant idea of ordering 3 chicks in the dead of winter for our broody pullet Shiloh, who was on her second brood. I thought heck why not, she'll have a few babies to take care of and maybe it will snap her out of her brood. Well things didn't go quite according to plan. I did purchase three beautiful chicks (from Meyer Hatchery), 2 Black Copper Marans and one Blue Splash Maran but by the time they arrived, Shiloh was out of her brood. Sooooo, I raised three chicks during our long winter and now they've just started laying. Here are two of their first eggs. Rocky is the Blue Splash Maran, Copper and Ohio are the Black Copper Marans. They have feathered feet, which is a new experience for me but it's very endearing. The chicks started laying at seventeen weeks...the eggs were pretty small but as you can see from the pic below they are getting progressively bigger. I love the chocolate color! They will officially be pullets on May 3.




The Girls. Rocky is showing off :) The two black chicks next to her are Copper and Ohio. Behind the fence are Beetle, Aerie and Goldy, checking them out.

We have the chicks out with our older girls but separated by a fence so they get to know one another.. We're hoping several weeks of peering at each other every day will help to bond them. This the first time I've ever tried to integrate younger chicks into an older group, although technically they are only nine months apart. I was told to put them into a dark chicken house at night but I'm not very comfortable with that method. Does anyone have a better suggestion?

Our girls are a happy group. We are so glad to have our second and third group of chickens, after losing our dear Henny and Motoko and their sisters. We don't own a rooster, sometimes I think about it but we don't want fertile eggs and our hens are perfectly happy without a man...lol.

It's great to have fresh, healthy eggs once more but the best part is raising and bringing new chickens into our lives, they are the funniest most entertaining birds!
 
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redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,075
463
North Central Kansas
Greetings from Kansas, 3 Sweet Marans, and
welcome-byc.gif
! Great to have you aboard! Good luck to you and your flock!
 
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1muttsfan

Up Northerner
10 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,808
9,555
787
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

I usually keep them in close proximity for several days, then let them range together for a few more before owning them together. Expect some scuffling.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,868
262,983
2,027
Out to pasture
welcome-byc.gif
sounds like you know what you are doing - your birds are very nice but, my eye keeps going back to the picture of
droolin.gif
pecan pie. I'm the chow hound on here - desserts especially.
 

3 Sweet Marans

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
5
0
7
Big Sky Country
Thanks for the advice Rich, that's what we're doing at this point. We have them separated by a fence and they can see each other but not squabble. How long did it take before the older hens were comfortable with the newcomers? My two Barred Rocks seem to be a little aggressive toward the new chicks.
 

3 Sweet Marans

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
5
0
7
Big Sky Country
LOL drumstick diva...that pecan pie is actually a pic from my pecan pie candle...I thought it looked good for the brown egg backdrop but you're right it looks really yummy and smells great too!
 

Rich386

Songster
8 Years
Jul 21, 2011
718
49
123
Live Oak, FL
Thanks for the advice Rich, that's what we're doing at this point. We have them separated by a fence and they can see each other but not squabble. How long did it take before the older hens were comfortable with the newcomers? My two Barred Rocks seem to be a little aggressive toward the new chicks.
I usually do it for about three weeks but it may not take that long. When they seem ready try to put them in and keep an eye on them. If you are going to have a problem you will know in a half hour or so. A little get out of my way peck is to be expected but if they are chasing and holding them they are not ready.
 

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