Photo credit: Tracy Halladay

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Updates on My Flock Changes

Well, this summer we finally lost Olga.  She died peacefully of old age.  The weeks prior to her death I would have to get her out of bed in the morning and put her to bed at night.  She spent her days resting in the sun.  We had her over 10 years and she was full grown when we got her.  She was always skittish but the last couple weeks of her life she didn't have the energy or alertness to protest.  We enjoyed taking care of her to the end.

Nate and Olga

So that brought us down to two older hens, who lay very few eggs.  I have been looking forward to getting chicks in the spring and starting over.  I decided to ride out the winter with Sam and Broody looking forward to a fresh start...THEN my brother called. 

Mid November I got a call from my brother.  He was down to two old hens and one passed away.  Neither of us liked the idea of his remaining hen spending the winter alone so I chose to adopt her.  I brought her home and went through the steps (albeit quickly) of quarantining her then keeping her seperated but visible to the existing two hens and then incorporating her at night.  Well, my assumption would be the pecking order would place her at the bottom being the foriegner and being the minority.  That has NOT been the case.  Cocoa (as my wife has named her) keeps the existing girls corralled in the hen house and she stands watch to make sure they do not leave their roosts.  Now, granted, I am not out there all day watching them but that is what I see whenever I check on them.  So I make sure to break them up, make sure that Sam and Broody get some food and water and even force them outside to play (we just got our first snow so they weren't to keen on that).

I realize this takes time, the aggression stage has passed.  There were only pecks and small scabs on combs so no real injuries have taken place.  I am not sure how long this stage will last but we are all ready for it to be over.

The chicken coop is wrapped and ready for the cold weather to come.