Newbie needing advice

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by skywalker123, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. skywalker123

    skywalker123 New Egg

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Arnside, UK
    Ok so I finally managed to convince the OH to let me buy a couple of backyard chickens. I bought a coop with attached run off eBay that said suitable for 3 large chickens but when arrived is clearly not the case. I was allowed to buy 2 pol chickens from a reputable supplier (I believe) both fully vaccinated and laying (5 days ago). My second mistake I think was allowing the kids to choose them as there is a bit of a size difference. They are both hybrids the first is similar to a RIR and for perspective laid three eggs in consecutive days bigger than any supermarket eggs I have seen. The first two were double yolks and the third is still in the refrigerator. No egg on day 4 or so far in day five. The second is a blue egg layer and laid a tiny egg (20mm) day one and what I would class as a small supermarket size egg on day two. Nothing since. The larger hen is clearly bullying the smaller and pecking at her. She won't let the smaller hen out of the coop into the run and the smaller one has no wish to either. My plan is to immediately build a suitable sized run around the coop which will be around 9 ftx4ft. My main questions are will the bullying stop when they have more space as they are way too confined at the moment or should I consider introducing another pair to even things out? I am presuming the lack of eggs yesterday and today is a settling in thing so not too worried at the moment about that. Please help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings, sky walker, and :welcome! Pleased you joined our flock! Yes, I think the tight confinement may be contributing to the bullying...spacing them out should alleviate most of that but it sounds like the larger hen will always be top of the pecking order. And are you concerned about rate of laying? Chickens don't lay uninterrupted day after day...they will occasionally skip a day. Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC. :)
     
  3. skywalker123

    skywalker123 New Egg

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Arnside, UK
    Hi thanks for the quick reply. I do think there will always be a dominance issue which is why I wondered if it might be better to add a couple more birds so that it deflects it from the constant one on one bullying. I'm reassured about building the bigger run which I will be doing this weekend. The egg laying in not really concerned about yet I will wait and see how they settle in. Many thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  4. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I personally think it's always better to have more than 2 birds (in case something happens to one and you're left with a lonely single bird) so adding more is a good idea. But before adding more birds, you're going to need a bigger coop (not just a larger run). Pre-made coops are almost never big enough for the number of chickens they claim.

    Good luck to you, hope it all works out!
     
  5. skywalker123

    skywalker123 New Egg

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Arnside, UK
    Yes I've learnt the hard way that they clearly aren't suitable for the number of birds claimed. I had always planned to keep three but when I saw the size of the coop I realised this wasn't going to work. My plan is to build an extension to the coop as well as the new run. Im assuming a 9ftx4ft run is going to be ok for 4 birds? I intend to give them the supervised run of the garden occasionally as well once they've settled in.
     
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under skywalker123 [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some great advice I will just add that I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Chickens should have 4-5 sq.feet per bird in the coop, not including the roost or nest boxes. In an outdoor run, they should have 10 sq.feet per bird. Sorry I don't know the metric system.
    Please have more than one feeder and water bowl because the mean hen will probably bully the small one away from food & water. She could starve. I think foxes are the primary predator in UK, so please guard against them. Check out the predator threads on BYC to see how to safequard your birds. A solid run cover can provide some protection from the elements as well as keeping our climbers & jumpers like fox, and also birds of prey.
     
  8. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Hello!
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    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC. X2 on drumstick diva.
     

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