Time flies when you’re having fun! Or consistently busy… or a little bit of both!
They’ve gotten so big, haven’t they? They’re back to looking like feathered sardines and I’m currently wondering how long I should actually wait to let them try integrating with the rest of the flock. There are so many variables to consider right now, not the least of which is Claire and her babies. I should wait long enough for them to be ‘established’ as a fixture in the flock before I try adding new players to the game.
I love how all chicken breeds have something unique about them. My sexlinks (the golden comets) were rowdy and sweet at the same time. The little roos loved attention and the hens were shy and private.
The Rhode Island Reds were rough, wild and determined to break out of the brooder.
This years Australorps are very protective, as a breed, even the pullets.
My Buff Orpingtons, roo and pullet alike are all cuddlers. I have one little hen who will sit on my boot if I don’t acknowledge her and pick her up. And then there’s this:
The BO roos have, since day one of their life on this farm, cuddled up into little piles of fluff at night. Laying one on top of the other. They even do it in the heat.
As you can see from the above pic, this one BO boy will stretch out his extremely long neck over the other chicks in his ‘puppy pile,’ covering them completely.
I am always amazed by this.
And speaking of Buff Orpington roos…
Some of you may remember that, shortly after I brought the Australorps and Orpingtons home from Tractor Supply, one of the suffered from what I now believe to be a dislocated leg.
I did a lot of research, and upon strong reccomendations from a trusted chicken medic, I treated similar to splay leg, dubbed the chick ‘Baby’ and brought him/her into the house with a buddy (Ash) to keep him company.
They were here a little over a week, and while Baby never got back to 100% perfect, he/she eventually made enough of a recovery to go back to the brooder.
Readers… I give you… Baby. Not a hen as my post from back in March suggested (I called Baby a ‘she’ consistently)… but young rooster.
I’ve been trying to keep tabs, and honestly, it wasn’t too long after Baby and Ash returned to the brooder that I realized Baby might be a little boy. He exhibited signs right away and after a couple of transition days, dove right into the chest-butting displays like the rest of his brothers.
He is the smallest BO rooster I have right now, of the four. Shorter, and more compact, as I hope this picture shows. The dislocated leg left its lasting mark on Baby. He stands with one leg/shoulder/whatever slightly lower than the other and sometimes loses balance on the roosts at night. As you can tell, the tail isn’t straight either. It kind of curves.
All that aside, my observances of all of them show no signs that Baby suffers. The flock does not pick on him, he is able to run and play with his brothers and sisters, eats well and is growing at a good rate. As he and his brothers are destined for Freezer Camp at the end of the month, I’m not really too worried about it.
But I am glad that he is still doing okay. He’s just… one of the guys. 🙂
4 thoughts on “Is It Week 13 Already?”
I worried –not DS but me as usual–and finally asked my favorite resident authority at the feed store as I had eight Astralorp hens to integrate into a mixed flock. I trust her advice as she has flocks of 25 or more every year and adds from the store over the course of the summer. She integrates as soon as they have all their feathers as that is when a momma hen would encourage babies to do their own thing. Sometimes she mixes the feeds until baby feed is gone and has no trouble. We tried that this year (our fourth year ) and it went very well. We only had to show them where to go the first night, unlike previous years. We will follow that method from now on.
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I have wondered about that, myself. Abby raised Pip internally and no one bothered him. A few of the hens chase him off and he suffered minor nips and bites, but no one attempted to kill him. Not even Dots. (Although, I personally suspect Dots is still afraid Abby will hurt him if he killed ‘her baby.’ Abby is the true boss in the flock.).
But yeah, I wondered because they didn’t hurt Pip, and he was a singleton, too.
But all the books and on-line “experts” like the Chicken Chick and Fresh Eggs Daily say to wait until the pullets are 20 weeks (sexual maturity) or “as big as your existing birds” as a means of ensuring they could defend themselves.
This is what I have tried to do, but in the back of my mind, I’ve wondered if we couldn’t have just integrated them at 6-7 weeks and assume the older birds would treat them like they do Pip.
It’s a moot issue now, since that would have been 6 weeks ago. But if we get chicks again next year, I may try it.
I mean, I’m currently trusting them not to kill Claire’s babies, so that’s not that much of a stretch, right?
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I had a CoChin with a dislocation. It died.
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That’s what I was told would to Baby, too. I got some really good advice from somehow whose had a LOT of experience treat sick/injured chickens (she is in the process of opening a poultry rescue sanctuary) and she told me straight up he would likely die. I did everything she said and he looked rough for a while but started to get better. He gets around fine for what happened and most of the time, you don’t notice how he stands.
In other words, I was lucky he didn’t die, and even more lucky it wasn’t worse.