Tag: pecking order

The Chicken Chronicles

Just like yesterday’s post, this one is two weeks in one.  I forgot to schedule both of them last week.  DUH!

The Welsummers are now about 13 (now) 14 weeks old, and they are FINALLY starting to venture out with the big hens some.  Up until this point we have wondered if we made a mistake putting them into the coop with the older hens, and perhaps we did, but now they seem to be coming out of their shell (pardon the pun) a bit.  😀  We are still cornering them by themselves in a separate cage almost daily to give them time in the sun without having to worry about the older hens picking on them.

One of the issues we have had with the Welsummers is that they just roost on top of the nesting boxes instead of the roosting bar.  Last night I put a branch in there near the nesting boxes and was happy to see a couple of them on the branch when I opened the door to the run this morning.

The laying is going full steam, and we have been able to bless family and neighbors with several dozen eggs so far.  It sure is nice to see the smiles on the faces of folks when you bring them a dozen fresh eggs, especially those who really enjoy them.

Speaking of eggs, the silly Welsummers are roosting on top of the nesting boxes, so there ends up being a mess in the boxes all-too-often.  I need to get another roosting pole put in the coop in an effort to prevent this – it’s not happening this week though.

Speaking of chicken projects, I also need to get the roof patched.  There are a few leaks, which aren’t causing trouble now, but I sure don’t need them to continue.  I doubt I will get to that this week either.  And that isn’t it.  I have another project I have been putting off for a while, though I will save the details of it until later.

The Chicken Chronicles

There is not a whole lot of new things happening with the chickens.  The biggest news right now is the babies (Welsummers) and the older ladies (Rhode Island Reds, primarily).  The Reds sure do pick on the Welsummers, so much so that they Welsummers stay in the coop away from the other hens.  This week we have taken the step of putting the babies back in the baby coop and a separate run when we can.  It doesn’t work so well when it rains, which it has been doing this week, but it is nice to get them outside.

One thing that is encouraging is to see the Welsummers testing one another.  No, I don’t relish the fact that they are establishing a pecking order amongst themselves, but I do like knowing that they are getting tougher and stronger, which means they will be able to hold their own with the older ladies soon enough.

The biggest problem with the Welsummers is they are roosting on top of the nesting boxes, and in fact they stay there much of the time, which means their droppings are falling into the nesting boxes.  We have to make changes because of this.  It isn’t hurting anything, but it is making the eggs more dirty.

One of the nice things about the hens right now is how they are fertilizing the garden for us when they are out running.  I like one way I have heard it said: chickens are a compost factory that just happen to lay eggs.   Surely they are not providing all the compost we need, but they are helping.