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First Night/Day Observations

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I picked up 3 hens from a BHWT rescue yesterday. It was an hour drive - they were mostly silent in their box biut every now and then you heard some jostling.


Got them into their eglu and run and bless them, they just stood their unmoving and seemingly stunned for a while.


Then one of them, the largest (her name is Hilo) , made it into the eglu and just stood above the nest.


The other two (Kona and Kea) pecked around the grass for ages, found the food and water (yay!) and then had a bit of a fight / squaring up to each other when getting in the eglu.


In any case they managed to get in and I took this opportunity to shut the door as it was about 8pm by this point.


As Hilo had made a beeline for the eglu, I was concerned she was going to sleep hungry and thirsty but I know they feed and water them before people pick them up so I was hoping she'd be okay.


This morning I opened the eglu door at about 5.30am and they didn't venture out until about 8.30am - and only one of them at that (not sure which one as I can only tell them apart when they're together so far!)


I guess it's really cold for them and the ground is a bit wet from dew. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe them sitting in the run rather than the eglu for starters. Maybe this will come with time? They have poo'd a lot also. I don't know yet what is normal but I felt a bit bad as their feathers and feet were dirty from poo (I'm not expecting them to stay clean but it was a marked difference!)


BUT BEST NEWS >> we had an egg! I hope this continues but wasn't expecting one and I know it can stop anytime so just a bonus at the moment.


I was wondering - was Hilo's action of just staying on the nest (she wasn't actually sitting down, just standing over it for ages and ages) a pecking order technique? She was first in the house and didn't budge.


I hope they come out a bit more, I guess they're not used to the outdoors. I've put a cover on half of the run in case it rains and freaks them out.


I feel tempted to give them some mealworm but will wait as I assume it might be a bit much for their digestion. They're on crumb at the moment.


I feel already that Hilo is the boss. How amazing is nature!


Will post some pics:)

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Hi well done to you. I think they just need time to settle in and probably can't believe their luck. My only bit of advice would be that if they are sleeping in the nestbox I would try and stop them. I know it looks small but my two can both get in it and I let them for a long time because they seemed so happy. But they did get poo on them and I felt I had to clean the nest out every day before work which is a hassle. A few months ago now I started to put a football in there once they had laid (or when I got in from work) and took it out in the morning. They snuggle up to it as closely as possible but it has solved the poo problem. Much better. Good luck with chicken keeping.

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Thanks laurmurf and blueandwhite. That's great advice - I will try that!


Two more eggs have appeared - could have happened anytime between 9am and 3pm as I didn't think to check again after first egg - glad I did. Lined up - all 3 eggs are different sizes, and all 3 hens are different sizes so I'm hopeful they're all laying in that case. Am aware this might come to an abrupt stop so will get baking!

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They may not be used to roosting either. Even though the new enriched cages (and barns etc) have bars not all hens can/want to get onto them.


1 year on mine still poo in the nest box and I still have to clean it (any my eggs) all the time. Oh and they've laid all through the freezing winter and continue to do so :D


If baking with extra fresh egsgs your mixture might curdle. Wither kepp them till they are older or have flour on standby (or maybe add a bit of lemon juice. Thats if you manage to leave the hens for long enough to get round to baking - they're addictive. :lol:



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Thanks ohcarolina - I didn't know that about baking! I might make egg pasta instead - want to capatlise on the freshness!


A horrible thing just happened. I was hoping they'd just go to their eglu for bed again and two did, but one kept walking about until I had to crawl in to guide her and she went beserk. She hit the sides a few times flapping her wings and squaking and crying. She made it behind me almost out of the door. Not sure how, but I crawled out super quick and shut the door which hit her. It all happened so quick, I'm really upset. I hope she's okay :cry:

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Sure she is fine. When mine were little Connie tried to fly into the cube nestbox from below as she couldn't find the way in but could hear the others. After several attempts I was sure she would knock herself out and crawled in! She freaked! I have now learned to shut the door behind me!! But also they are more resilient than you might expect. Don't worry! Oh, and Connie eventually worked out to follow the others and she now leads the way to bed!

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I take out the roosting bars now, gave up years ago, I make the whole tray nest area let the lovies snuggle if they want to. I poo pick daily out of the port.. and yes they do poo a LOT :lol:

Have you a cover on the run, remember that big open space above them is still new, and they will need shelter from rain above and wind and rain at some place at the sides, :)

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