Thursday, 12 December 2013

Chicken Merger

After having bantams hens for over forty years, this season we hatched out two lots of chicks, one set of bantams and one set of standard size chicks.

Early this week our oldest chickens reached seven weeks old. They still had their mother looking after them but she was anxious to get out into the garden as she really loved that freedom.

Each time I went into the shed to feed the chickens the young mother hen tried to escape out the door.

After a couple of days of the chicks being on their own we thought we would merge the two lots of chickens. We were worried that the younger chicks might be bullied by the older ones who were two weeks older.

Bantam chicks sheltering off the floor in the nest box

How wrong we were. As soon as we placed the younger chicks in the cage with their older cousins they started to chase the older and smaller chicks. The older chicks are bantams, that is small birds, much smaller than normal size hens.

Bantams get a short sprint into the outside pen

This is the largest of the younger chicks. She is a coloured Orpington and just huge.

Now the younger chicks rule the outside pen and will not let the smaller chicks out there. The bantam chicks have taken to spending all their time hiding in the nesting box which is up above floor level. They only come down to eat when I come into their shed.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks all the chicks will be one big happy family.