On Monday, we introduced a new chicken family to our chicken family. The new family really has been their own little family for the past year or so. The newcomers were living with two roosters (bless their hearts), but we passed on the roosters and just adopted the females of the group.
Whenever we introduce chickens (even if the newcomers are young ones we've raised and are moving from chicken tractor to hen house), we always kind of force the issue. You know, like on your first day of camp or college when they force you to play stupid get-to-know-each-other games? That's what all the chickens have to do around here when they first meet. Because, if you don't force them, they'll just form their own little cliques and might not ever really get to know each other for who there really are. And that would just be unfortunate.
So, we shut them all up together in the hen house for about a week of get-to-know-each-other time. This period of time also helps the new chickens learn where to lay their eggs, where to roost and where their food and water are. Once they're well established in their new home, we open the door and let them all (hopefully) happily free range together as one big family.
Before we introduced the families, I snapped a couple pictures of them. First off is our "old" chicken family, headed by ever-so-meek-and-mild Merv, the rooster- 11 Silver-Laced Wyandottes, 7 Golden-Laced Wyandottes, and 2 Ameraucanas for a total of 21. They were patiently waiting in the roost.
Here is the new family- 4 Buff Orpingtons, 6 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Ameraucanas and one meat bird that evidently was pardoned on execution day. Lucky girl. They are a family of 13, for a grand total of 34 chickens. I hope Merv can manage everyone okay. That's a lot of estrogen for one rooster.
If you have a keen eye, you'll notice that those are white egg shells up there in the trough. Our hens lay brown and blue-green eggs. Well. After being gone for a five-day weekend, there were NO (as in ZERO) eggs to collect. I had to BUY three dozen eggs at the STORE (I had zuchinni bread to make). It smarted. Yes, indeed. I haven't had to buy eggs in years.
The next night (when the two families were combined), Jamey set a have a Havahart trap with an egg inside and this is what we caught.
But, unfortunately for this fella, we didn't hav-a-hart in the end. You see, we want eggs, too.