Tuesday, 27 October 2015

New Girls in the barn

Sometime back in the summer, I'd asked Lisa at Westfield what they were going to do with their chickens during the winter.   While they have a lovely, cozy barn there, since the village is closed for most of the winter, I wondered if they were going to keep them or not.  If not, I was willing to give them a home, since I was down to 2 laying girls and one who was retired and just hanging around.  I was told that someone else had said they wanted them.  We talked for a bit and that was that.  I went home thinking about it and remembered that you could order ready to lay pullets.   A few weeks later, I popped into the feed store and yes, they could still get me some ready to lays, especially because I wanted just 4 of them.  A week and a half later, my new little girls came and all was good.

So a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Westfield about picking up the chickens.   While it was a bit unexpected, I was pretty happy because really, having 10 young birds in addition to my 3 old birds means that they will produce enough heat to keep warm all winter.   These are the new girls, who arrived on Sunday.  They were fine and calm during the trip home, in a dog crate in the back of my pick up.  They popped out into the new pen as if they did this sort of thing every day.  Yesterday they gave me 6 eggs.  A couple of them came up to say hello and not a single hen showed any signs of stress.  They don't even seem to mind having shavings instead of straw!

 The bottom 2 photos are of my summer girls.  They are a couple of months younger than the new layers.   They have a little more white and some of the lovely bi-coloured feathers.   Between the two little flocks, they should make one handsome larger group of very pretty chooks.

I've been feeding them GMO free food which costs only a couple of dollars more than the regular layer mix.   It has 2% more protein though which has made a huge difference in the birds' condition.  As well, the chook who used to peck her egg open to eat it, has stopped.  Even my old girls have started laying eggs with a nicer shell and a more regular size.  I've very happy with it.

So anyone need farm fresh eggs?


thecrazysheeplady said...

Did you have any trouble integrating the two groups? Any tips?

Nina said...

I opened the door separating the two pens last night, just before I closed up the barn for the night. This morning, the two groups were cautiously socializing. There were a couple of snaps and snarls when the oldest girls of the flock, put the new girls in their places and then all was well. I think having 5 days of getting to know each others scents though the door and half walls, probably helped a lot with integration.