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New girls - It's Time To Meet The Old Girls

Published on January 11, 2013 by Henny Penny in Penny's Posts

I've been really pleased with my new 'shed - coop' that I got last November. As its name suggests it's a custom built shed that I use to store all of my chicken paraphernalia (feedstuff, healthcare products, bedding etc), but it has a section at one end that is actually a chicken coop

The purpose of this is to allow us to take on new birds, either ex-battery hens or new 'point of lay' hens and keep them separated from our main Henny Penny hen house where our older girls live. The shed-coop has a pop-hole door at one end which connects directly to a fenced off area for them to wander around in. The older girls often come up to this fence to have a look at their future housemates, but the new girls are protected from any pecking order issues thanks to the sturdy fence. 

This is an important period for the birds to regain some strength before meeting the rest of our girls. We fed them crumb initially to help their general health, feather growth and egg production. 

In the second week I began to mix this with some layers pellets, just to get them used to it gradually. They always need plenty of fresh water, approximately one litre each per day. And I also used some grit in a bowl to help digest their food. Our eight new girls were looking great so it was time to meet the rest of the flock. 

The best way to do this is by putting the new birds into the main Manor House coop just before dusk. Then the established birds will follow a little later to roost and they all settle down together quietly. As always, it worked a treat! Next morning when they came out of the hen house they all seemed to be one big happy family. The only extra thing I needed to do was to make sure the new girls were going into the correct hen house. 

Sure enough, I found four of them trying to find their way back to the shed-coop! No problems - I simply needed to re-program their 'chick-nav' and encouraged them back to the Manor House. In they went, quite happily. The next night they went in by themselves. Mission accomplished - now I'm looking forward to collecting even more fresh eggs in the next week or so!

New girls - It's Time To Meet The Old Girls

Tags: Manor House, ex-battery hens, crumb, layers pellets

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