Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hen house hysterics

My chicken flock has grown from 2 to 6, overnight.  I made the long trek yesterday a couple of hours north of here to Julie Thompson's hatchery, where she sells heirloom breed chickens.  It was well worth the drive, as Julie was so warm and welcoming, and was very helpful and patient as I asked questions, looked, cuddled chickens, and then made my choices.  I live in suburbia, so Council only allows me to have 6 chickens, but this is plenty for me, and it gives each one plenty of space to grow and thrive. They're around 14-16 weeks, and will have to do a little more growing before laying.

Black araucana Betty.....just because it seems to suit her and Silver Spangled Hamburg Lola.  Lola is so fancy with her silver spangles, I thought she's a showgirl for sure.

Pekin Bantam Hildie - she looks like a nun, in her soft grey, so she's named after Hildegard of Bingen.  She already enjoys sitting in the crook of my arm and being carried around.

Australorpe........Brenna, it means raven haired in Gaelic.

I haven't had black chickens before, so this lot is a nice change.  They've settled in well, and getting used to dirt under their feet, wild birds calling raucously around them, and the freedom of a larger space.  It's been great fun watching them, and seeing their personalities emerge already.

Goodie and Juno

And these two, the old flock, have been very unsettled and noisy.  They weren't at all happy to emerge from their night time roost to find intruders in the pen.  I heard their loud protests, and the sun barely up, and had to pull my boots on and a jacket over my jammies, and head out quickly to undertake damage control, before I had neighbours complaining about the much too early Sunday morning racket.  The two flocks are separated for now, can look but not touch!  I'll give them a week or so, then start to integrate them.  It's the part I don't enjoy, someone always seems to end up being hen pecked and it's not always the newcomers.  I let these two out earlier than usual to free range, and have been weeding and turning soil in an area I want to plant up, hoping if they keep busy scratching around, they'll relax's working, kind of...but there's still a lot of loud venting their displeasure, and nervous hysterics at every unusual noise. It will just take time and patience until all is harmonious in the hen house again.

I'm off out to enjoy the rest of this beautiful 23 degree sunshiney day, hope your day is full of cackles, good scratchings and sunshine too.


  1. How exciting, a sudden expansion in the flock. Hope they all settle down quickly for you. And what beautiful 23 deg day? ours is a freezing SE wind and grey clouds. Very Brrr!!

  2. Oh Kaite, it's kind of hilarious and stressful all at once, for little beasties with tiny brains, they sure do create a fuss...those old flock more than the new ones.

    My Katoomb on said it was pretty cold there, he had the fire going, I wondered if you would be chilly too. Been lovely here...still wandering around in my tshirt!

  3. This is so interesting and I hope it turns out that nobody gets henpecked. I agree, get them good and tired! You'll have to keep us updated on this because I'm really curious. It's bound to be traumatic to all the hens. Fingers crossed they become fast friends. Maybe if you had a rooster, they'd band together against him! ha. xx


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