New Flock Introduction

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TeamBigfoot, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. TeamBigfoot

    TeamBigfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello BYC,

    A new flock and caretakers for our introduction. My wife and I have four hens: Miss Buff, a Buff Orpington; La Ferrari, a Red Sex-Linked; Miss America, a blue wheaten Ameraucana; and Major Cluster, a Welsummer. We started in August of 2013 with five week-old girls, however our Light Brahma, Miss Feeties, caught something and was losing the use of her legs, so we had to put her down two days after Christmas. We're sad she never got to lay an egg, but I built a yard chicken in tribute.

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    Our coop - 4'x4'x4' with an attached run of 4'x12'. Bird house, flower box, and dual-pane windows from Habitat For Humanity's ReStore.
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    And now for our girls. Miss Buff (who as a young chick walked all over everyone else and was Alpha hen for a while):
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    Miss America (who, IF you could pick the most beautiful from your flock, she would be it):
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    La Ferrari (who, from young, was the fastest girl to the food, no matter where the food is, no matter what the food is, even if it isn't actually food):
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    and Major Cluster (who gets her name from a term delivered with a straight face at a teachers training seminar):
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    It is actually Major Cluster that brought me to sign up here at BYC, for I have some questions on her behaviors. If someone could point me in the right direction, that'd be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Beautiful little flock of hens and a nice coop you have. Sorry about the loss of Miss Feeties, that is a really neat memorial statue you made for her.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] Is Major Cluster trying to be a rooster?
     
  4. TeamBigfoot

    TeamBigfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All four hens are now laying, but only Major Cluster loses her mind when she needs to lay. The other three girls quietly go about their business.

    When Major Cluster needs to lay, she shrieks every few minutes over the course of the 1.5 hours it takes for her to lay, paces up and down the coop ramp, paces into and out of the coop, and into and out of the nesting box (separately, or all together, relentlessly). She'll spend 10 seconds in the nesting box, then hop back out, go back outside, immediately turn around and come back in the coop and do the whole thing again.

    Even more of a concern, if her need to lay an egg coincides with backyard recess in the afternoon, she's begun to make a bee line for our yard's rear fence. For some reason she has the strongest desire to jump the fence when she needs to lay. This has happened three times so far, and each time her desire is more insistent. So far I've managed to get a hold of her and shoo her into the coop, where I lower the run door and keep her inside. She doesn't try for any of the other three sides of the yard, just the back (nearest the coop) and otherwise none of the hens have any inclination to fly or try to leave the yard.

    When she does actually lay, she's in the nesting box for less than three minutes, pops the egg out, and goes to get a drink. As soon as she's laid her egg, I can open the run door and she has zero desire to jump the fence, is quiet as you please, and just wants to go explore. It is very much a Dr. Jekell & Mr. Hyde thing.

    We're wondering if her behavior is because she's somehow in distress, if this is something Welsummer's are known for, or if she's just affected by the whole egg-laying thing more than the others. When she gets down to it, she has no problems laying her egg, every one of her eggs has been well formed, etc.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
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    Beautiful flock you have!! Great to have you aboard and enjoy BYC!
     
  6. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

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  7. JDchicks

    JDchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great to have you join.

    Sorry about your loss. Brahmas are my favorite, and the monument was really really cool!
     
  8. TeamBigfoot

    TeamBigfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Much appreciated.

    The Light Brahma was the chick my wife bought especially for me. Miss Feeties was the most gentle and low-key of the five, and I think Miss Buff misses her as well. Once we read up on introducing new chicks to an existing flock, we'll add a couple more.

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014

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