We have ourselves a new group of chickens. After selling our old flock to new homes, cleaning and renovating the coop and enduring over a month of buying eggs, we brought home 31 new chickens; that’s 30 pullets and 1 rooster to keep them all in line. That’s also 31 new names the girls are choosing. The rooster was easy: Sir John, named after a character from a book we’re reading, Men of Iron by Richard Pyle. I believe the hen names include Mary, Esther, Elsa, Friend, Feisty and Penny.
Our birds came from Frey’s Hatchery and were delivered to our local feed store where we found them clucking away in crates waiting to be picked up. The excitement of 30 new chickens motivated the Little Harrolds to be especially cooperative and efficient during morning lessons. They finished their work and piano practice before lunch with time to spare. If only every day could be so smooth!
From the feed store three crates of chickens were crammed into the minivan to the delight of the Little Harrolds who reached out and stroked their feathers through the crates. They spied three eggs within the crates and even witnessed a hen laying an egg while travelling in the van. Once unloaded from the crates the birds familiarized themselves with the run and quickly found the water and set to scratching about. Before they arrived, we filled the run with leaves that we had raked last fall and set aside in a pile to rot away. Into these leaves we tossed in some barely composted fruits and veggies. The chickens seemed quite pleased with their new surroundings.
Come nightfall the chickens did not know to go into the coop and up onto the roost. We found them as a huddled mass in a corner of the run and picked them up one at a time and pushed them through the run door into the coop. From there we picked them up one-by-one and placed them on the roost. It took a few more nights before they all learned to file into the coop and up onto the roost for the night.
The pullets quickly found the nest boxes and began to use them. We have ten boxes they can choose from but they favour the bottom row of boxes. A handful of hens prefer to lay their eggs outside in the run nestled among some dry leaves. We expected the hens to begin laying within a few weeks of their arrival, but the girls came with eggs in the crate and haven’t let up. We’re collecting around two dozen eggs a day.
Ahhh... fresh eggs from the henhouse - can't beat it.