Sunday, 1 July 2012

New Chickens

Well our smallholding has now got some animals! I think it's tradional that you start with chickens.
We've brought ten to start with, five legbars and five Welsummers hens all for egg laying with a view to breeed from them next year.
They're a little bit younger than I would have liked (one lot 10 weeks and one lot around 13 weeks) and come from two different batches with a bit of a size difference. Hopefully the pen is big enough to reduce fighting and keep them entertained until they even up in size. Moving them all into the new pen on the same day should help as well, they seemed fine today with no fighting at all. We have got a bit of time before they start laying but they should come into lay at the end of the summer and then they're be more likely to lay strongly through the winter (thats the plan anyway).
They seem to like their new coop but I've got a few nights of catching them to lock them up until they get used to it, tonight they gave me a right run around - I hope no one was watching!


  1. Hi Kev, I popped over from Down to Earth. Your chooks look lovely.

  2. The first night after I had brought a collection of Speckledys home they decided to roost in the trees above their henhouses, you should have seen me trying to push them out with a brush, it worked though and soon they were all tucked up. I had to do it for three nights until they all finally got the message that the henhouse was THE place to go.

    Thank goodness we didn't have any neighbours nearby!!

    Sue xx

  3. I've just read ALL your older posts, as your chicken run is pretty large you could sub-divide it to make your grass last longer and therefore keep down your chicken food costs.

    As they have a secure perimeter fence this internal fence could just be cheap netting on lightweight posts that you can move around to give them different areas of their run, always with a corridor back to the house, just an idea. It's something we will be doing once we move. At the moment we have to move the whole chicken area and houses every 5-6 weeks.

    Sue xx

  4. Hi there, just come over from Rhonda's blog to say hi, chasing chickens, we have done that many times here at our house!!! They will get the hang of it...banging a scrap tin with food in it will entice them in if you get into the habit of it at night....they will know to come running when they here you bang it..

  5. Hi Kev. Just popped over from down to earth blog. I like the hen house. You will need a light in there in the evenings if you want them to lay in the winter. Welsommers lay speckled eggs. They make good mother hens in my experience. Best wishes John.

  6. Well after four nights of chasing I went out and they were all huddled up together in the coop, so I was quite pleased they learn quite quickly.

    Niki - thanks for your comment

    Sue15cat - at our last place we brought some new chickens and the fisrst night I couldn't find them until I looked up! I had to clip their wings then but in the end they could fly out when they wanted and so long as they didn't eat my veg I was happy! I've thought about dividing the pen up but I thought that as these chickens come from two lots and are two different ages it was best to give them plenty of space to start with so they could keep apart if they wanted to. I might divide it up later (but then again I'll probably forget!

    Enchanted moments - These chickens will get scraps and plenty of weeds from the garden so no doubt they will be following my every move fairly soon. As for chasing chickens I almosted resrted to getting the fishing net out on tuesday night...

    Don't unplug your hub - I've had some welsommers when I lived at my mum and dads and always loved the colour of the eggs, I think that the birds look really good as well.

    Thanks again everyone for their comments!

  7. I would divide up that huge, fab run as well - you can have one half resting while the other half is being "trashed" by the hens. it also helps with worm control to rest the paddock.

    Your hens will lay in winter without artificial light - just not as many but it is better for their bodies if they lay more naturally.

    LOVE Welsummers! and love your blog posts.


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