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Little Hens on the Move
It takes time to create blog entries and not everything that happens, merits an entry. So, we've created this 'news' section, to keep readers up-to-date with our misadventures and accomplishments. Read about it here FIRST, before it makes it into a blog entry.
NewsBrief: [Little Hen's Big Day] Yesterday, the new hens (which we got in October) laid two eggs. Their first eggs! It was a big day for the little girls, as they moved in with their older "sisters"!
Little Hens, Big Day
Hutton House Chicken Run - Yesterday, Scott and Rachel's four new ISA-brown chicks became full-on hens!
"Well," said Scott, "Two of the four did anyway."
"The chicks laid their first egg!" exclaimed Alex, explaining things to Rachel, clutching a small egg in her hand, "Two eggs! One broke though."
The four chicks have been growing at a fairly good clip and are nearly too large for their small wire cage. Both the eggs were laid inside the cage and one had broken, presumably trampled. It was a double-yolker, but small.
The other egg had a small crack in it, but otherwise survived the close-quarters.
"I guess it's time for them to move in with the big girls," said Scott, as he removed the temporary wire fencing that divided the chicken run into two unequal areas.
For the first time, all seven chickens (3 from our first batch and the four new ones) spent the entire day together.
The older ones asserted their pecking rights and chased the young ones around the run, occasionally, but for the most part, the amalgamation went fairly well. No one was injured, though there was a fair bit of squawking going on, during the day.
Scott had to lower the other roosting bar, inside the chicken coop. This meant clearing the mesh floor of chicken poop, climbing inside and un-screwing the 2nd roosting bar and lowering it a foot or so. (One of the flaws in the original coop design, the roosting bars - two - were placed too high up and none of the chickens ever used it ... until Scott lowered it. Even then, he had to train the birds to "climb up" every night, by manually lifting them onto the wooden bar, for a few nights, before they got a clue that's what it was for.
When evening came, the three experienced girls put themselves to bed, on their normal roost, while the new hens were still clucking and scratching about, outside. Scott had to shoo them all into that coop and then later, had to climb inside and set them all onto the roosting bars. (The things he does for his "girls", eh?)
Once they settled down, Scott climbed out and washed his hands of the matter (literally).
"Hopefully, the new hens will into the groove and follow the pattern of the older, more experienced hens," said Scott, "They'll learn to put themselves to bed on the roosts and use the nesting boxes for eggs."
Scott and Rachel are hoping egg production will pick up as spring approaches. With seven laying hens, they're hoping for about six eggs per day (depending on how much of a slow-down there is with the older hens).
No matter the total, it's more than the Kimler clan can consume.
"We give eggs to our friends, fellow firemen, neighbors and house guests," said Rachel, "There's more than enough to go around!"