Monday, October 26, 2009

New ladies in town!

Well we got a few more chickens to add to the flock. There is a gal in Monroe who has occasionally needed to downsize her flock and pretty much been gives them to me, which is awesome!

What was even extra cool was that she brought her baby goat along for the ride. For the kids to see of course. Well the kids were excited but nowhere near as much as I was. Holy smokes, seeing that baby made me want to rethink the front yard and make a goat paddock. But no, I like my husband too much and the kids and he has clearly discouraged the goats, and my kids probably should have at least on spot in our yard to play on!

Anyways the new birds are a wonderful mix. The older ones are a little older than a year and are molting. They look pretty pathetic and gawky, kind of like teenages. But the feathers they do have are absolutely beautiful.

I think if you are going to give away or sell birds the best time to do it is during their molt. When they are all feathered out and gorgeous I think it would be hard to give up their charms.

We have a much larger range of americanas now. I'm hoping to get some blue eggs this time around, most of ours are green. Still cool though. Delawares, which I've been wanting to get. I think she said some were Lakenvelders and I think we got a red lace wyandotte, so pretty.

Hopefully by the time everyone is feathered out I will have my regular computer back from the shop and I'll be able to post pictures. We also got a few rhode island reds which are still juveniles.

So I've read a bunch of different ways to introduce new flocks and sometimes we do it slow, like with chicks, but when we have enough full sized new birds we just toss them in.

Our run is a 60 foot long wide run with various distractions, waterers, feeders, raspberry bed, ect. So as long as everyone is spread out there really is not much of a problem. Because my birds are yarded, meaning that they have a set yard and not pasturage to roam, they of course have reduced the green to nothing.

So I dump two bales of straw in the run every month or two. When the bales first go in the birds spend several days scratching through to find seeds. I also dump a few gallons of bird seed throughout to give them extras to dig for. Also after a bit the straw breaks down enough to make the best compost for the garden.

This keeps and sparring and pecking at each other to a minimum. They size each other up for a moment, but mostly they ignore each other to get to the seeds. I'll give them extra snacks for a few days until they settle in.

Nights are so nice with the size of our coop, by the time the dark creeps in the older girls are so docile they don't bother newbies coming in to roost.

We have added new birds probably every other year and sometimes several times a year, and really there is not much fussing. But we have a big coop and a big run. Space helps everything.

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