The 10 little ladies have gotten so big, though dare I say it, I’m pretty sure their is a boy in the batch. When you buy chicks from a hatchery you can pay extra to have the chicks sexed to make sure you end up with hens, the success rate of sexing day old chicks is 90%. I bought 10 chicks…..
Even though noin size they are as big as the full grown silkie hens, they still are the little girls in the big girl coop! In the world of “pecking order” they are on the bottom. However, its already becoming obvious who will be the alphas in the group.
I have slowly allowed them to run around with the big girls until I knew they could handle themselves. Below is a picture of one of our older hens, Amelia, letting the little girls know where they stand in the pecking order, below her!
I also have let them free range several times and they handled it well, being much more adventurous than the older hens by trying out new spots in the garden.
One of my concerns about letting them run with the older hens, was Houdini our rooster thinking that he could mate with them, they were just too small to support his weight on their backs, but he isn’t interested. I think he knows they are too young to lay, so their is no point. Or maybe he has enough woman to worry about!!
Even though they were loose in the run with the other chickens, they still slept in their small coop at night. Well, Friday night I decided I needed to cut the strings, mostly because they are crammed up in their little coop. So I made the decision to move them into the big coop. To say I was a nervous mom would be an understatement. One of my hens, the Phoenix, is a she-devil! She is so nasty, and unfortunately she is in charge. She harasses every hen as they make their way into the coop at night, letting everyone know she’s the boss.
I went out at dusk, everyone was in their prospective coops and slowly I took the little girls two at a time and placed them into the big coop. They were a mess, chirping at me and scared witless.
I knew they would be fine during the night, chickens don’t move around in the dark, so no one would be picking on anyone else. As I went to sleep that night I was worried about what would be happening in the coop when the sun started to rise, and the phoenix decided to lay down the law. So, of course I woke with the sun and hustled my way outside to ensure that no one was getting pecked to death.
I arrived just after the dawn to dusk door had opened so everyone was already outside. When I got to the door of the run, all 10 ladies ran up to greet me and everyone was fine and all was forgiven. So, it must not have been to rough. That’s what I tell myself!
I closed up their little coup during the day on Saturday, so that the girls wouldn’t get confused and will eventually learn the big house is their new home. I had to encourage them into the coup on Saturday, mostly because they were trying so hard to keep away from the older girls that they were having a hard time finding a spot on the roosting bar.
I asked my hubby on Sunday to add another roosting bar so that everyone would have plenty of space at night and not be overcrowded. He used a 2 x 6 and attached it to the inside of the coop with a bracket and stabilized the end with a wooden legs. I went out at dusk and the girls were already on the new roost and everyone went in with no encouragement from me. YEAH!
I am sure for the next week I will have to keep vigil at dusk to make sure everyone gets into the big coup.
Keep your fingers crossed that all will be peaceful!