So, when we got our chicks, the guy we bought them from had this certain way he sexed them – he would hold out their wings and look at the length of their feathers. Well, guess what…that obviously doesn’t work. Now, I can understand if he would’ve gotten a couple wrong (since he’s “been doing this for years” and seemed very confident), but out of 12, we’re pretty sure we have 5 roosters. I mean please, just tell me you’re guessing if you’re guessing. Don’t get my hopes up in thinking I’m getting all hens and one roo.
A few days ago we took two buff orpington roos back to the chicken man (we had 3 but really want to keep one of these), and he traded us for 3 of his older girls who are supposed to be pretty close to laying age. Now, I realize that you can’t take young chicks into a coop with all older chickens because the older ones will kill the younger ones, so I was thinking taking a minority of three bigger hens (now known as “the mean girls”) into a coop with 7 younger hens and 3 younger roosters that we wouldn’t have a problem. Boy, was I wrong. This whole chicken thing has been live-and-learn for me.
[Hopefully, I can add a pic of the 3 mean girls soon]
My first mistake was not letting the mean girls acclimate to their new coop and flock while being separated from them by chicken wire. I just threw them in the coop as soon as I got home with them…big mistake. They immediately became defensive and started fighting with my little roos and literally scaring the poop out of my other little hens. They were chasing them, pecking them, you name it…it was a traumatic time for all of us.
Commodore (the buff orp roo we were planning to keep) was even scared of them at first, and they seemed to have called his bluff. He finally came around a while later, though, and I actually saw him pick up one of the meanies by her chest feathers (she’s twice his size, I might add) and hurl her across the coop. He definitely earned his keep at that point. He will be the one to stay and take care of
our his girls.
Now, we only have two (we hope) superfluous roosters: Myrtle and Linda Sue. (Obviously, we named them before we knew they were roos.) Hopefully we can find homes for these two, because they are really pretty little roosters.
After several days with the others, the mean girls have finally become accustomed to their new home and the other chickens. Of course, they are occasionally still mean to the other hens and peck them off the roost every chance they get. Sometimes I swear I see the three of them conspiring against one of the others, but I guess that’s just pecking order forming with the biggest first. And, since we got them at an older age, they’re scared of us. Lauren has the hardest time catching them, but she does manage to grab one occasionally. Hopefully, though, they should be good egg layers…that’s all I can expect from them at this point.
I’m linking up over on the Barnhop today, so check out what’s going on at other homesteads!