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Archive for August, 2012

It has been a while since I added anything to my Chicken Blog, I’ve been so busy, but we definitely have a new story to tell!

My friend went on holiday last week.  We got our pet chickens at the same time, we both live in Cheshire but about 15-20 mins away from each other.  She had two 8 week old chickens and I had 2 from the same brood of Silver Appenzellers.  We agreed that we would both look after each other’s chickens if either one of us was on holiday.  Thinking back on that pact, it was probably not the most practical thing to agree to!

However, her holiday was booked, and we agreed to have the chickens.  Since getting our chickens in mid June, I have done a lot of reading.  Many sources say that you should not integrate your chicken temporarily with other chickens, and you should not look after other people’s chickens in your own coop for health reasons.  Also that chickens don’t do well being moved.

All that advice aside we had no other options and no spare coop.  So we decided to see what happened and put them all in together (worst case scenario I could drive them to our aunties in Biddulph and she should have a spare coop).  This was on the 22nd August.

My friends Chickens had not had their wings clipped and had also never had the opportunity to fly,  (Appenzellers are very flighty)because the run they live in is not very high.  They have not been able to go loose in the garden as it is very exposed with a big risk of foxes.  As soon as we put them in our enclosure took their 1st flying lesson and flew straight in to the roof!  (it is about 7x7ft square and 6ft tall) We clipped their wings so they didn’t damage themselves.   When all 4 of the Silver Appenzeller’s were together they looked so similar!  It was hard to tell them apart.

There was no fuss really, they just pecked away together and had a good scratch.  When ours realised it was nearly bed time, Tufty (the smaller chicken of the two) went in to the coop about an hour early.  Almost to say, this is my place on the perch, hands off!  Whitey was next in, then the two new chickens took them self’s off to bed.  There was squawking and flapping, I was a little worried, but within the hour they have worked it out and were asleep.

The 1st morning, we let all 4 Chickens out, Tufty is definitely the boss, every time the new chickens came to the food, Tufty gave them a quick peck!  What a little bully, and to think she is the smallest – Little chicken syndrome!

They were also even more noisy than normal!  All 4 of them singing the dawn chorus.  I’m so glad out neighbours have dogs and kids!

For the 1st few days I let ours out in the garden as I normally do, and kept the other chickens in the enclosure.  Even though the house that both sets of chickens live in are the same, I didn’t want to have to run around the garden having to herd the new ones to bed, I thought it best to let them get used to their new home 1st.

When they were all together in the enclosure, ours sat on the top of the coop looking down at them, and the new chickens were on the floor.

On day 3 we let them all out in the garden.  Even though they definitely wander round in twos, they all stayed in the same vicinity.  It’s so nice seeing 4 chickens in the garden rather than just 2!

Its been 10 days and they are all getting on really well now, it will be a shame to split them up for the 2nd time.  Even though Tufty is a bit of a bully, should I say at the top of the pecking order.  There has been no real fighting.

It does give me hope that when we get 2 more Chickens to introduce, it should be hassle free.

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Just got back from the cinema, realised I had left the chickens out in the garden, they were not in their coop, panic set in. The other half tutted at me for not shutting them up. Came out side with the torch to find them fast asleep in the greenhouse! Sat on the shelves at the back, amongst the tomato forrest. I’ve left them there,

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