The hens made the journey to our place in this lovely cardboard carton. They chuckled nicely in the car on the way. Very well behaved, but not even remotely potty trained. They’ve already made their first deposit to our compost!
Isabel is on the left (with the more pronounced neck feather colouration), Rosie is in the centre (dark red, smaller and, as of yet, with a very tiny comb), Bronwyn is on the right.
We picked them up (Rosie ducked but the others seemed pleasantly resigned to their fate) and plunked them into their coop. It took them less than 90 seconds to find the feeder and start at it. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were famished.
After they’d been locked in their coop for about 2 hours, we went out and sat and watched them for a little while. Not surprisingly they were scratching and pecking and eating and drinking. Very chicken-like. We’ll leave them locked in for several days so they get used to thinking of this new area as home. That should make it easier to herd them in later. We’ll hang out a lot and start handling them in a few days so they get used to us. This breed gets very comfortable with humans and we plan to get very comfortable with them.
They are reportedly 16 weeks old. The guy who sold them to us told us they should start laying in 4 weeks (when they’re 20 weeks old) but I’ve read it’s more like at 26 weeks so we’ll see. They’ve got a bit of growing to do, need to put on weight, and they have to settle down. After all this, we should get a steady harvest of eggs through the winter and for a couple of years before they slack off and go into early retirement.
At this point I’m picking Isabel as Queen Chook followed by Rosie and then Bronwyn at the bottom of the pecking order. But their whole world has been rocked so I may not be seeing the real them yet. The main thing is that they get along. I can’t imagine anything worse than having bullies living in my back yard. They are flocking nicely as they move about so I’m reasonably sure they’ll be BFFs.