Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Yet another weekend spent reorganising the poultry. Each time we move them I think 'right that's it for a while', but in no time at all we seem to need to move them all around again. Next year when all the houses and pens are in place it will be better. This move involved all the hens and was the most radical change of all. It was only necessary because the new poultry pen isn't ready for the growers, due to the cold, wet winter and very dry spring.
It was planned that as soon as the growers were large enough to 'free range' they would move to the large open pen in the yard, but as this isn't ready for them I have decided they are more secure at home in the layers pen. So all the layers have joined the breeding groups at the yard. The heavier breeds i.e Light Sussex, Brahama and Dorkings have joined the Indian Game flock and the lighter breeds i.e Cream Legbar and the Leghorn cross have gone in with the Welsummer group. The young Exchequer Leghorn I have kept at home with the growers ( it is nice for her to be 'top hen' for a while.)
Once all the houses were cleaned and disinfected the change around could begin. The growers are now housed in the layers coop, their previous house and run occupied by the Indian game and her chicks. The ark the Indian Game was in isn't needed until the Australorp broody hatches her eggs, due the end of this week, so for now the growers are using it as a shelter. All the moves went well. Having a cockerel certainly helps when introducing new birds to a flock. The growers were a little confused last night and settled to sleep by the door of their old run and needed placing one by one into their 'new' home. It is very strange without the layers but the growers are fun to watch.
Photo: Showing part of the layers pen at home.
Left: the A frame ark used for a broody and chicks for their first week or two, normally kept on the grass in the garden rather than in the poultry pen.
Center: the permanent coop normally housing the layers, now home to the growers.
Right: The moveable house and run used for chicks between 2 and 8 weeks old. At present home to the IG broody and her chicks