How the Golden Girls come to the Farm: Introducing new chickens to your current flock

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mommies out there!! You may be curious about how to best go about introducing new chickens to your current flock. No worries, we will get to that in a second. But first…..

Current Status:

We have officially hit “melt your face off May” here in Texas! It’s only 2 rings of hell away from reaching the “ashes to ashes August” (aka “ring of fire”). I know we will survive, as we have before. I will probably not know sleeping sweat-less for the next couple of months though. Although we have window units in the bedrooms, when you get home at 4:30-5:00, the heat has already creeped into the house and your sweat glands.

I will say, at least we don’t have an outrageous electric bill……. although if you ask me in August, I may retract that statement and say I don’t even care about an electric bill just get me some stinking cool air!!!

And the cherry on top is…

Our dryer has gone KAPUT on us! The heat has helped us in that sense because we have been able to hang our clothes on the clothesline to dry- nobody can say this millennial (apparently I’m still a millennial even though I was born in 1990-ugh) has no idea what it was like “back in my day”….I’m still in your day homie!

You could argue, that it’s actually worse, in a way, because at least in your day there wasn’t cool air anywhere so you didn’t know what life COULD be like!! (I’m joking by the way).

Is it a bird? A plane?… No that’s my thong.

Alex and I have decided that it’s best to have our clothes hanging on the line so that way it will keep some heat out of the house. The only problem is time! We’re so busy most days and don’t get home in order to have time to do a load during the week….so we can’t do any emergency loads if need be but honestly, we will manage- it’s not the worst thing in the world.

Also, we live on the same land as most of Alex’s family, and they have a dryers, so if we needed one desperately I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. My biggest concern is having my undergarments fly onto somebody’s porch and me have to go pick my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder out of someone’s potted plants!! (Awkward)

Can you imagine?

“Excuse me, sorry, yes that is my thong in your fern, I’ll grab it! Don’t worry about touching it!”

 


I thought this was about introducing new chickens to your flock: It is, promise!

A little background first:

Momma came to the Hood this Mother’s Day weekend and I got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with her. She is going to walk the Camino pilgrimage in Spain/France (500 mile journey which she has completed before) with my stepdad. Mom will gone a little shy of a month and will need to rehouse her girls (hens). She has (well HAD) 5 Buff Orpington hens. The sole purpose of her hens are for eggs and to help her garden. Since the girls are getting older and not laying as often, she is rehousing them with us. She can’t have that many living in the city but she loves her girls.  We always love new flock members so and we are getting to where we can pretty much supply everyone on the land with eggs!

Don’t just throw them in with the others if you can help it

Chickens are easily stressed. They are social birds and they get used to their home and get comfortable (like normal living things – imagine that). If you just throw them into a new flock, they will get stressed, get picked on, and probably won’t lay eggs for you. From the research I have done, it is suggested that you keep your new chickens separate but within range of the others so they can get used to each other for a couple of weeks. Not everyone has the facilities for this but if you can slowly introduce them, you should try to. It will help them from becoming stressed.

Expect for them to get “pecked on”

Chickens have their social hierarchy, and their “pecking order”. Some bullying will probably happen but this is normal. The old chickens are having “stranger danger” and are just trying to show them whose boss. They will survive and be totally fine.

SIDENOTE: If you are introducing chicks or pullets to a new flock they could get injured. We have had older hens peck to death a chick. It is super upsetting and that is why we created our critter proof areas for new mommas and babies to be safe and grow big enough to defend themselves.

The golden girls arrived on Saturday and spent the day in the yard so they could have some time to settle down from the car ride up here. We did put them in the large coop with our other chickens for the night and everything seemed to go well- we just made sure to get up extra early to have the coop door open so they could get the heck out of dodge before everyone else woke up! We don’t have the “critter free” space to have them roost somewhere else over night. All three of our critter proof areas are taken by chicks and new mommas.

Our experience with the Golden Girls 

Despite our efforts to let the girls loose (talking about chickens here, not “the girls”), there wasn’t any running whatsoever!  In fact, the Golden Girls stayed perched in the coop for a large portion of the day! I was a little concerned because I didn’t see them get out to eat or drink and it’s so blasted hot in the coop that I was worried they were gonna go rotisserie on me by the end of the day.

I went to check on them while baking for our Mother’s Day lunch and wouldn’t you know that Randy, OUR ROOSTER, was PERCHED in the middle nesting box so the girls couldn’t lay their eggs. Talk about a cluckin‘ jerk! You better believe I scooted his feathery butt out!

The girls did come out a couple of times during the day but for the most part they stayed in the coop or close to it. They put themselves up tonight as well. I am hoping they venture out tomorrow a little more….

Just gonna stay here.. all day

 

Make sure you teach them how to put themselves up in their new home (coop)

When the sun began to set the chickens started to roost. That was when we chose to put the Golden girls in the big coop with the rest of the flock. Chickens get sleepy at night so it was the easiest time to move them. It literally took a day for them to learn their routine. Fast forward to day two they were at their new home they put themselves up with everyone else.

Eggspect interruption in egg production

As I mentioned before, chickens can become stressed with a new environment. They may not know where to lay and honestly when they are in a new environment, they will be stressed. It just happens! The golden girls were laying normally for a while, although not in the nesting boxes (thanks a lot Randy). We are having some problems now however. They won’t lay. We are thinking it has to do with the heat though.


Update: The girls have worked their way into the hearts of the other feathered friends and actually Randy has got himself a new main squeeze!

3 Comments

  • Brittany May 14, 2018 at 11:54 pm Reply

    Chickens!!! Oh, I can not wait to get chickens! We’ve been talking about it this week, and I specifically mentioned getting Orpingtons for their friendliness. Really hoping to have nice chickens and not jerks! 😂 You and those chickies stay cool and definitely do not “go rotisserie”. Ha! Have a great last week of school!

    • hillaryhood08 May 15, 2018 at 12:00 am Reply

      YOU MUST GET CHICKENS!!!! They really are so much fun and the Orpington’s are really awesome! As long as you raise them together they won’t be jerks to each other. Also, you must be a speed reader girl!!!! Keep me updated on your chicken situation!! And I hope I survive this last week! Fingers crossed!

  • Dixey May 17, 2018 at 11:24 am Reply

    Loved the read!

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