This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

hen pecked pullets

My two new pullets still aren't getting on so well with the big hens. I've had the pullets two weeks now. They've been staying in a dog crate next to my coop. I let all four hens out to forage for several hours on most days. The big hens will tolerate the small ones at about 5 feet away. They also tend to keep them away from food bowls and the coop area once they're out. The pullets like to forage in the woods and they can escape the big hens there and scratch in peace.

After one week, I tried putting the pullets in with the big hens overnight. It turned out to be a one night experiment. The big girls chased the pullets and kept them confined to a corner. They were pretty shaken by morning. I am going to wait a bit more before trying another overnight.

chickens 9410 chickens 9409 chickens 9406



Anonymous Connie Murray said...

Welcome to the Pecking Order! I normally only keep 3 hens. Last time I was down to one hen who seemed sad and depressed, I bought 2 pullets. The older hen (now the Queen of the Flock) didn't know who to pick on so she divided her attacks. Now all 3 get along well. Next time I get any pullets, it will be when I am down to one sad, lonely hen. And then I'll get her a couple of buddies! Hens never say thank you.

August 31, 2014 9:24 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes! I thought they'd say thank you for the two buddies I gave them after their friend disappeared! No way.

I just wanted more eggs than the two hens give me. Oh well. I'll keep working on getting them together. They need to be together and all in the warm coop by winter. Its a coop for three, but I didn't want to add just one pullet, so they'll be cozy.

August 31, 2014 11:28 AM

Blogger Linda from CT said...

Kathy, Did you try putting the crate inside the run and coop with the pullets own water and food. After a while you can open their door and then see how it goes. I'm still putting the crate next to the coop but tomorrow I am going to put it inside the run for the day. The head honcho hen has made it known already she isn't happy with her sing song!

August 31, 2014 7:13 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, I think that's a good thing to try. I'd like to make it so the door is open just enough so that only the pullets can get in. I'll do that tomorrow.

I imagine the big birds will fly up on top of the crate and poop on the pullets...

Another thing I have going on is that we top-seeded our lawn today. Grass seed is expensive! The chickens have realized that they LOVE grass seed. I could hardly lure them away with their special treat - bird seed or freeze dried worms - to get them back in their coop. They probably heard me thinking that they will need to stay in the coop for the next 2 weeks now until the seed sprouts.

August 31, 2014 9:05 PM


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