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anxious newbie having chicken trouble

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Mmm :think: chicken noises. Well there's squark, squark ,.squark - I'm going to lay an egg. Squark, squark, squark, squark - I've just laid an egg. Bok, bok, bok, - give me some corn. SQUARK, SQUARK, SQUARK - I don't like you, this, I want to be let out, she's a new hen get her out of my coop

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Loving all the chicken impressions! I'm starting to recognise H's egg laying announcement I think, and her let me outta here/give me something nice noises. We also know her "that hurts" noise due to having had to put antiseptic on her twice a day, this sounds like a sort of harsh version of a chirrup. Petula is very quiet, doesn't make much noise as yet.


We've taken the leghorn back this morning and exchanged for another brown one. We can tell the 2 browns apart as the new one has black feathers in her tail, wings and on her breast, while the original one has white ones. SD has yet to choose a name. We chose one that came up to our feet at the farm and which was hand-tame and squatted when we bent down to her. I am feeling much relieved. I think she is going to fit in really nicely. :D

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Well done and good luck with the new hen. I think you used the 'right' criteria for choosing her i.e. her immediate demeneur. People do recommend particular breeds and say 'these are docile' but to be honest my experience is that every hen is an individual (within some broad characteristics). Good old 'brown' ones have, however, in my experience always ended up being the brightest and most friendly of our hens which makes up for their lack of attractive colouring I feel!

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How's it going sarkymite?


I've got my fingers crossed - it seems to be going really, really well so far!


Advice from the poultry farm was shut the newbie in the eglu for half an hour and then chuck all 3 in the run and see how they get on, being ready to separate if necessary, and if there was any overly aggressive behaviour, separate the run and have newbie on one side during the day, but plonk them all back in the eglu together at night.


So.... we did as instructed.

During the half hour (well, ended up being 1.5h as we had some other stuff to do) newbie (now called Wilma!) was in the Eglu, Petula kept trying to push her head through the air vents to see who was in there. We let Wilma out into the run with the other two. They completely ignored her for the first 10 mins. Then Petula had a quick go at her - just a few not-very-hard head pecks and a bit of forcing her to sit down quietly. Then Hen did the same, and then Petula had a go at both Wilma and Hen, and then they just all resumed their normal business - was all over in 5 mins.


So then later I noticed that Wilma was hiding in the eglu a bit as she seemed scared to come past Petula so I let Petula and Hen out to free range so that Wilma could eat and drink in peace - which she did. They were like that for 2-ish hours and then back in the run all behaved perfectly. They all put themselves to bed together before SD managed to get out to shut them up, and I let them out at 6.45 this morning - Hen was first off the blocks as always, Wilma came out last but was fine, clearly un-pecked and un-concerned, and has been eating and drinking with the others. The atmosphere in the run is soooo much calmer than it was with the leghorn present. Hen and Petula have visibly relaxed and although still flappy and anxious, Pet is really coming out of her shell (as it were). They are doing nomal chicken things - scratching, rearranging the bark chippings, pulling the straw out of the nest, eating rain drops from the run bars (CUTE!) rather than pacing up and down anxiously. So I'm very happy and just hope it continues to be this good :)


Latest news is that we were trying to have pancakces for breakfast and are STILL waiting for the egg-that-will-complete-the-batter-mix :lol:

SD checked 45 mins ago and said both Hen and Wilma were sitting in the nest box - so fingers crossed. We will go and check again in a sec when OH gets home with other SD (who doesn't like chickens at all but who is unlikely to object to pancakes!)

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The day has gone really, really well!! We haven't had a single s"Ooops, word censored!"!


We had all 3 out free-ranging from late morning until half past 4. Petula spent most of the time in the run despite having her freedom. I caught her doing some weird kind of chicken-yoga one time. OH tried to pick her up at one point and she squarked and flapped the neighbourhood down.


Hen and Wilma have developed a nice friendship and roamed the garden all day together. Well, after they'd both laid their eggs that is....


This morning there were no eggs and we waited and waited but when we let them out she raced up the garden and found a way to jump up into the hutch (I'd left the top open to air it in the sunshine) and started nesting (makes sense I guess as she's been stuck in there the previous 2 days due to having to be separated from the evil one) So we were treated to watching her entire egg laying routine bless her! I expect she'll go back to the nest box during the week as she won't have a choice.


Meanwhile Wilma fussed about with her egg more than I thought possible - she retreived and replaced all the straw that they'd pulled out of the box yesterday, also popped in some torn bits of radish tops and a whole radish for good measure and then spent 2 hours fluffing the nest up, getting it "just so" and popping in and out of the eglu to check for more straw before she finally produced!


Petula still hasn't laid an egg.


Hen is really bold and really friendly and attention seeking - we've all picked her up and cuddled her today and she's found her way into the greenhouse (argh, my plants!), the shed, the garage and had a good go at trying to get into the house too. She "helped" SD and I turn the compost heap (if by help one means scratted a load of it onto the path, tripped us both up, and sat happily on top of the heap eating worms.


So yes, we are all happy, the hens are happy, it's all good :lol:

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