Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Welcome to the poultrykeeper.com forum. Read our rules and say hello if you are new here.

Moderator: pebojuno

User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Tweetypie » Sun May 13, 2018 7:35 pm

Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and new to chickens. Yesterday, I collected my 2 ex barn "battery" hens. I expected the worst, having googled information and looked on youtube, so was surprised that these girls were fully-feathered and chirpy.

I collected them at 1pm yesterday (Saturday 12th May) and found 1 egg this morning, which must have occured between 9pm last night and 8am today. The next egg appeared around 11am this morning. What was really strange, was another egg (with a broken and soft shell) was found around 2pm this afternoon. I didn't think chickens laid more than 1 egg per day? Could anyone give an explanation please?

The girls are drinking and eating plenty and are very inquisitive. They go in and out of their coop and into their pen, as and when they wish. They don't appear stressed at all. I am feeding them layers mash with some pellets mixed in. I also added some pumpkin seeds. They have oyster shell and grit in a separate container.
User avatar
rick
Full Member
Posts: 1371
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by rick » Sun May 13, 2018 8:36 pm

Hi Tweetypie,
Great to have you and your ex-batts here.
Chickens don't lay more than one a day, even soft shelled ones but as one of yours obviously has then its probably because they have had quite a lot of stress leaving the barn. I can only think that she must have released two yokes close together but far enough apart so they didn't end up in a double yoked egg (as is usually the outcome.) Soft shelled eggs, in themselves, are not unusual in a stressful situation but they will soon settle down in their new home.
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Tweetypie » Sun May 13, 2018 9:44 pm

Ahh I see. Thanks for clarifying that, it was a real shock. I am so pleased with them, they even took themselves to "bed" before 9pm tonight, so I closed the coop door, just to keep them safe, incase a fox is about.
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5835
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Marigold » Sun May 13, 2018 10:00 pm

Hi Tweetypie and welcome from me, too. We'll be interested to hear more about your new girls. What names have you given them?
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Tweetypie » Mon May 14, 2018 7:42 pm

Hi Marigold.
I have called them Barbie and Cindy, much to my husband's displeasure. 😁
Today they have dug a large hole in the soil and have enjoyed soil baths, rolling around in it and rubbing their heads in it. They're so funny to watch. Another egg this morning from one of them.
Hubby us going to make them another extension to the current pen, so they can have more freedom. I'd like to let them out but they may fly off. Would you recommend clipping their wings so they can be free to roam in my garden?
Thanks, Tania.
Icemaiden
Full Member
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:05 am

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Icemaiden » Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 pm

Hi Tania & welcome to the wonderful world of ex-batts.

Tempting though it is to let them out as soon as possible after a lifetime of captivity, you need to be sure that you can get them back into the run without stress, before you let them out.

I'd recommend letting them have a dessertspoonful of treats each in the evening, ideally something like dry mixed corn. For best results it needs to be something that'll make a noise when you rattle it in a tub.
Before you give it to them each evening, rattle the tub so that they come to associate the sound with treats.

Encourage them to follow you as you shake the tub, before they get their treats. After 2 - 3 weeks, if you're confident that they'll both follow you as though you were the Pied Piper of Hamelin, you can let them out. You should be able to lead them back into the run with the treats tub.

Be aware that they really don't "get" fencing & the fact that they can only come in through the door!

Enjoy your girls.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Tweetypie » Mon May 14, 2018 10:48 pm

Hi Icemaiden
I think I may have droppped lucky with the two girls I got. If I go to the pen, they come straight over and if I make clucking noises, they answer back. I am so surprised how they interact, as I expected them to be very shy. Tonight, again, at 8.30pm they both walked up the ladder to bed. I must be blessed.

I agree I need to take time for them to settle and trust me. Luckily I live in a fairly secluded area, but where there is a wall in my garden, there is a lane beneath it, which cars come up and down and that would be my concern if they were able to fly. That's why I wondered whether or not it would be safer to clip their wings. Is this something you have considered or done?
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5835
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Marigold » Tue May 15, 2018 8:01 am

As they're exbatts, they will be at least 18 months old and from a non-flying breed, so I think they're most unlikely to fly off. They're bred to be naturally tame, placid and stay in one place, having lived so far in some degree of confinement, although it sounds as if yours hadn't had too bad conditions if they're fully feathered. Agile young pullets faced with freedom in a new garden might fly away, but usually adult hens from commercial breeds settle down at ground level unless badly scared by some disturbance. What sort of run have you got? If it's the low kind that you can't get into, just tempt them out with a rattle of the corn box and a few treats, then see if you can get them to follow you around by hand feeding small portions of corn. With most chickens, learning this is instant! I'm sure you know that giving them a lot of corn isn't good for them in the long run, but during the training period a bit more than usual will do no harm. Just stay out with them to start with, enjoy watching them explore the garden, and every now and then, do the cornbox trick near to the run to get them to come back to you. As they've lived in the run for a few days anyway, they'll think of it as 'home' and if they won't respond to you (unlikely) they will go back there eventually to roost at night.
One word of warning, though - what's the fox situation like where you live? Don't leave therm out unattended, as urban foxes will be in a garden and kill them during daylight if they're around. Do read the cautionary tales in the Pests and Predators section. Several of us have had terrible experiences with foxes.
BTW, congratulations on passing the avatar test - we would love some pics of them!
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Tweetypie » Tue May 15, 2018 9:06 pm

Hi Marigold
Well, we set up a small extended manmade run today and opened the door of their enclosed run. They took a while to realise they could just hop out, but I coaxed them with grass. Once out, they were digging like coal miners LOL. They didn't try to escape, nor fly off, so you were right about them being bred to be placid. Infact, they hpped back into their pen to get a drink and hopped back out again.

They have a coop with an attached run, which is covered in chicken wire. Although we live in a fairly suburban area, we have not seen any foxes in the 3 years we have lived here. That said, we would never leave the hens unattended without enclosed fencing, just incase.

At night, they have set their own routine and go to bed at 8.45pm. We close the door of the coop and let them out again at 7am. Even if a fox managed to get under the fencing (with great difficulty), he would not be able to get to the hens.

I am also thinking of extending the run further, again it will be enclosed at the top aswell, so no wild birds can enter.
Attachments
32207207_10156022153044473_8710806499401662464_n.jpg
32207207_10156022153044473_8710806499401662464_n.jpg (189.42 KiB) Viewed 385 times
32331909_10156024145049473_6025950587869200384_n.jpg
32331909_10156024145049473_6025950587869200384_n.jpg (107.17 KiB) Viewed 385 times
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Hello all. Newbie from Nottinghamshire

Post by Tweetypie » Tue May 15, 2018 10:31 pm

Last pic :-)
Attachments
32350075_10156024144234473_1641207660655149056_n.jpg
32350075_10156024144234473_1641207660655149056_n.jpg (125.72 KiB) Viewed 379 times
Post Reply

Return to “Welcome and Forum Rules”