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Adding new chickens to our flock

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by MoonShadows, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Feb 8, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    We decided to add 6 - 8 new chickens in March/April depending when the weather breaks. Over the past 4 years, we've gone from 16 down to our present 3. (We free range them and the dwindling is due to hawks and foxes.) We were going to get chicks and raise them in a separate area in the coop until they were large enough to let them in with our present hens, but instead, we have decided to buy 17 week old hens. They will be Red Sex Link hens from a farm about 50 miles from here.

    So, on Monday, when the weather was nice, I started building a separation in our run. I will build a much smaller, temporary coop in that area that will house the new hens while our older hens get used to the fact that they have new "friends". Slowly, we'll start to let them mix, but only under supervision. Eventually, we think they will work out their differences and take up home in the main coop.

    I'll post some pics as we go forward.

    Below is a pic of our coop and run from last summer. You can see the door in the lower right side of the run that leads to "chicken freedom". (Notice the rope running up to the house so I don't have to walk down there every morning and night.) The separation is going to run from the wall where the clock is (between the hanging baskets). The new hens will not be free ranged for the first week or two. We'll probably make the separation a permanent structure. We planted 3 grape vines last summer in the back end of the run (protected by wire cages). Since we let the chickens free range (something we didn't do the first year), we plan to use that area to grow grapes. The entire run is 10 x 16...split up, each section will be 10 x 8. 80 square feet is plenty of room for the chickens if we have to keep them in their run because of predators in the area.
    004.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
    Hinotori likes this.
  2. Feb 8, 2017
    Annabellam

    Annabellam Enjoys Recycling

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    I love the coop i think they are going to love it. Awesome thing that you can use the area around to grow something. Proud of you. Keep sharing photos.
     
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  3. Feb 8, 2017
    sumi

    sumi Super Self-Sufficient Administrator

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    That is a lovely coop and sounds like a good plan! Keep us posted.
     
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  4. Feb 8, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    Thanks. We designed and built it ourselves in the late Spring of 2013. You can see the complete build from start to finish here: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/moonshadowsfarm


    Those wilted, kind of trampled-looking, plants around the outside of the run are the remnants of our strawberry plants last season. Best crop we've had so far since we started growing them. I am thinking of building a tiered strawberry garden and relocating them, so I can put wild flowers around the run...coneflowers, cornflowers, cosmos, daisies, black eyed susans, etc. I want to have more color there and "soften" the look of ground of the run where you can't plant anything with chickens scratching and eating.
     
  5. Feb 8, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Sounds like a plan!
     
  6. Feb 8, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    Can't believe it is in the 50's today and 24 hours from now they say we will have up to 10" of snow on the ground! :barnie

    Just snapped a picture of the wall I built on Tuesday across the middle of the run. I still have to cover it with wire and build the door. Realized I am going to have to build the temporary coop in two pieces and then join them together in the back run so I can get it in the outer door and middle door and back out again to store for the next time.

    BTW...the soil in the chicken run has 4 years of grass clippings and chicken poop mixed into it. Great soil.
    001.jpg
     
  7. Feb 8, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Progress!

    And - we're supposed to hit 84 today and break all kind of records....:th We've had about 3 days of winter. It'll get warm, everything will start blooming, and then we'll get a freeze. UGH!
     
  8. Feb 9, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Almost Self-Reliant

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    same here..was 24 @ wake up 4 days ago * topped at 39 for day, 72 yesterday & 73 today, so will be 40 tomorrow & 28 @ night. Couple days of that 40s, then 60-70 for weekend. YIKESo_O

    The animals don't know if they need to shed, molt again or grow hair. Plants want to leaf & bloom, then we will loose it all again. It's just a mess. I have heavy stuff and lightweight stuff hanging at the back door so I can choose each day :he:th

    At least we are NOT SUPPOSED to get the snow that those North of us will be fighting. Sorry you guys but, I sent my share to you. :hide
     
  9. Feb 9, 2017
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Almost Self-Reliant

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    We were supposed to get 3-6 inches, noe it says 5-10:mad:
     
  10. Feb 9, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Almost Self-Reliant

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    Guess that's the part I didn't want to have. Sorry. :rolleyes:
     

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