Did I totally screw up???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nbenevento, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I asked for advice the other day and like any good American, I ignored it. So I ask again, am I doing the wrong thing? About a week ago, I got my first chickens. 2 leghorns and 2 Rhode Island Reds. They are about 8 months old. I also got their coop and so forth. I got impatient with them for not laying one stupid egg yet, so I got 2 more chickens out of frustration. (1 Australorp and 1 Barred Rock). I found out later that the 2 new ones are only 3 months old and wouldn't be laying anyway. OK, so I threw the new ones in with the old ones to let them figure it out. After a day, I came home to find the Barred Rock with some blood on her head. They have been being pecked to high heaven and I just felt like they were now in danger. So I seperated them and I am going to split the pen in half and build another coop right next to it. I am hoping that if I have them living right next to each other, they will get along better if I combine them in the future and bring in new chickens to the second coop. Is any of this making sense? Anyway, did I screw up in th first place or am I screwing up now? PLEASE HELP!
     
  2. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Integrating flocks can be that way...having them live side by side and get to know each other through fencing for a while is an excellent idea. It even happens when you separate some of a flock. We have one who injured her foot, so we took her out of the run and kept her sequestered to let her foot heal. When we put her back in the run the others (with whom she's lived her whole life) all went after her like mad! We've now split the flock with her and the other two who are low in the pecking order together. They get along fine. When it comes time to put them all back together, we're going to take the Boss bird out for a couple days. This is likely to change the pecking order, and we hope they'll then get along well again.

    You could try this as well, if you know which of your older birds is the dominant. If you take her out for a couple days and mingle the rest, they may well be okay. But it's best to watch and see how they all get along before you leave them unsupervised.

    As to laying, the shorter days will have quite an effect on production. They need about 16 hrs of light a day. Our 6 have dropped from 5 a day to about 3, and sometimes less...only 1 today. You can add light to the coop in the morning before sun up or just let nature take its course and wait it out till spring.
     
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  3. Kirklandchick

    Kirklandchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I would say Yes and Yes. We've only had our chickens for a couple months so I am far from an expert on chickens, but I wouldn't expect them to be placed into new surroundings with new people, new food, new coop etc. and still lay an egg right away. They may, perhaps, but most likely they would need abit of time to adjust and learn the ropes of their new home. And you can do a search on this site for threads that will help with introducing new chickens to each other, there is an adjustment period for that as well. Hope it all works out for you, I'm sure it will after some time.
     
  4. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Small flock dynamics can be thr most challenging. I'd take three of them for a "vacation" to the garage or a friends house in a dog crate for a week and then cycle another three for a week. Chickens tend to "flock" together and become best friends under stress (the "vacation" being the stress). Usually though one is the bully and may need to be re homed if the pecking gets out of control.
     
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  5. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, just to let you know that backyard hens rarely pay for themselves. Eggs at Walmart will be cheaper... They moult and get old and stop laying before you know it and it can be quite frustrating.
     
  6. morsekathan

    morsekathan Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, not if you count entertainment value. New coop - $100, fencing - $100, Automatic door - $200, Laughing all day at chicken antics - PRICELESS! I'm sure I have saved much more than $400 just on therapy bills!
     
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  7. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2012
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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  8. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From Southwestern, PA.
    I am definitely not expecting them to pay for themselves. Purely entertainment! I would really like to be entertained by finding an egg already though! I have a 6 year old daughter and a 4 year old son that I want to share this experience with so losing money on this is OK as long as they enjoy it too! Thanks for the feedback!
     
  9. morsekathan

    morsekathan Out Of The Brooder

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    It took my new "laying" hens quite a while to settle in and start laying again, well over 4 weeks before I saw an egg from them. Gave the ladies time, they will come through. [​IMG]
     
  10. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems to depend on the birds and the situation. We got ours at 7 months and they'd been laying for 2 months previously. With the move and new surroundings, we weren't really expecting to see an egg for a few days, but we got 2 the very next day and within a week we were seeing about 4 to 5 per day from the 6 girls.

    So, hang in there! :)
     

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