We got the ‘new’ hens on Saturday, 3 seem to be a mix of Aracauna-ish and Rhode Island Red –though are supposedly all brown egg layers, and then we have 6 Rhode Island Reds. The man set aside 9 hens for us, not the 7 we had said, so we ended up with 2 more, DH took them anyway.
We have one pen thus far from that farm, and will hopefully get the other one today or tomorrow or the next day. The one we have doesn’t have a top and needs to be retrofitted for our usage — a door or two on the sides (or more), a laying box or two accessible from a door on the side or top, and a top that is secure but open-able. We have a temporary arrangement of metal roofing overlayed and a couple pieces of fencing as supports for that, and a piece of plywood on one end to fully fill out the space, since the pen is longer than the metal roofing. Like I said, that’s a temporary situation.
The new hennies are beat up looking, probably from the Roosters they used to live with on the farm. Thus far they are getting along with each other, and not pecking each other at all, as far as I know. We got 2 eggs from those hennies on Saturday, maybe 3, the third one being either late Saturday, or very early Sunday, and I think it was late Saturday. On Sunday we got 6 more eggs from them, as well as one of my other hens actually laid an egg! It was in the Black Australorp pen, and that surprised me, they didn’t look quite ready to lay (comb and wattles not waxy red, just getting redder lately but not “waxy and fully red” looking) but my two Wyandottes both “look more ready” with Trinity having a very waxy red comb and wattles and fully feathered and getting noisier, and Pointsettia having a waxy red comb and wattles and still not quite feathered out at the base of her back where her tail starts, and she’s not noisy. (A noisier hen is a sign of laying coming, during their laying season they will often get vocal every day a bit before laying, then quietly lay the egg, maybe announce it a bit loudly, then be quiet until the next egg laying session.)
I have to get some sort of laying box rigged up for them today, that I can access from the top of the pen. The pen is too high for me to get any eggs laid on the ground, seeing as there are no doors on the sides especially. DH has to get the eggs, I can’t do it alone at all, though he can, FWIW. Not good, since he’s not always here some days, for one to three days in a row.
I’ll see about a picture of the ‘new’ hens later –like I said about, they do look rather rough and ratty, and so aren’t pretty like my hens are when they aren’t molting. I don’t know how long it’ll take for them to feather out nicely, they are in a laying cycle and I don’t know how long they’ve been in this laying cycle. It’s a “just see what happens in the future” situation, which I am very accustomed to dealing with on many fronts. 🙂
I will have “egg reports” available on special pages, as I used to have in 2005 (and this blog was non-active for 2006) –look on my sidebar for “month year” links currently starting with (03-07) March 2007. I’ll try to keep it “up to date” daily as much as possible.