New girls

Recently we have had just one girl, that being Snowflake, laying out of eight girls and I have had to buy eggs. Eggs aren’t the most important thing to me but even so it would be good to have some eggs. Also three girls are getting elderly and so I decided it would be good to add a few more girls.

For the past week I have been researching bantam breeders either nearby or who deliver. I like my girls what I call “clean chickens”. That means no crests, no beards and no feathered feet.

Two breeders had sold everything before they were even sexed and would have nothing more this year. Then third time lucky I found a breeder half an hour away who had two of the breeds I liked. He had just moved and preferred to deliver for a charge of fifteen pounds which I thought was very reasonable.

He said that he could deliver on Thursday. As luck would have it on the same day I called him both Sugar and Gold laid an egg. Even so I was super excited at the thought of new girls.

I had chosen a bantam buff plymouth rock and a bantam light sussex. Both beautiful birds and good layers and hardy.

Thursday the breeder arrived with the new girls at lunch time. He had bought four girls for me to make my choice from. One light sussex, two buff plymouth rock and one silver spangled wyndotte just to give me an extra choice.

The light sussex is seven months old and already laying. She is bigger than I was expecting. There was a seven month old buff rock also laying and a five month old buff rock just about to start laying. I chose the slightly younger buff rock. She is a beautiful colour. I have called the buff rock Saffron and the light sussex Diamond.

I have been successful with adding one older girl straight into the flock and I asked the breeder if he thought it would be okay to do the same thing with these two older girls. He suggested I try it and then separate them if it all kicked off but was fairly confident it would be fine. He had a quick look at our flock and set up.

I decided to give it a try and sit with a book to keep an eye on them with a water spray to hand just in case it was needed. I am so glad that I did it this way as it was absolutely fine. Diamond soon took her place as new head girl. She chased each girl in turn to establish her place at the top but there was nothing nasty. Saffron seems to be at the bottom. Dot and Gold chased Saffron. The seramas gave her a gentle peck when she got too close and the other girls took no notice of her.

Saffron very quickly found the food, water and the afternoon treat of apple. Despite some chasing away she just bounced back and soon seemed really settled. Diamond seemed much slower to find everything. I steered her towards the patio and she did peck the apple but didn’t go to the food or water despite Saffron being there. I am sure she will soon find it when she is ready.

The breeder took them from his box and put them in my cat box which I had ready. I set the cat box down on the chicken’s patio and they made no attempt to come out. I decided to remove the top of the cat box and it took a few moments for them to venture out.

Saffron and Diamond on arrival
They head out of the cat box
And off to explore the run
The girls took little notice of the new arrivals
Saffron finds the food dishes
She finds the apple
And the water

I wondered how well they would manage at bedtime and was very pleased with how it went for a first night. Diamond found her way in to the chicken shed but was sitting under the perch. I lifted her to the perch.

Saffron settled in the small shelter so I picked her up and perched her next to Diamond. I am sure she will soon get the hang of it. I thought that was a good result for a first night.

This morning they are all together and all is quiet and calm so I am very pleased with how it is going. It will be interesting to see if Diamond lays an egg today. I am so happy with the flock and am certain that I won’t be needing to buy eggs again for a while.

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8 Responses to New girls

  1. marion.pharo says:

    How lovely, what lovely looking girls, Saffron is a beautiful colour. And to get them settled with the others straight away is great. Very pleased for you.

    • Carol says:

      It is so much better having older girls as they mix so easily. The other breeders I called sold out while their birds were young chicks but then I found this guy who has a farm half an hour from us and has older birds which is so much better for me. I didn’t know he was there before but will be happy to buy from him in the future.

  2. Sophie says:

    Aw, they’re lovely Carol. I used to have a plymouth rock bantam but she was very nervous – hopefully Saffron won’t be! xx

    • Carol says:

      Saffron doesn’t seem too nervous. She did take a bit of spinach from my fingers today whereas Diamond hung back and took the bits that got dropped. xx

  3. Jenny says:

    Lovely girls. I have a silver pencilled Plymouth Rock bantam – she’s not the biggest of my girls but is the most solid and is top hen.

    Hope your newbies continue to settle in well.

    • Carol says:

      I have just looked the silver pencilled up and they are very pretty. Saffron found her way into the chicken shed tonight but both new girls were not perched. I lifted them to the perch. I am sure they will soon get the hang of it. It has all been very calm today with no chasing at all. They were all hanging out together as if they have always been together.

  4. DAVID says:

    Two lovely breeds, Carole; may they bring you happiness and eggs! Diamond has the typical ‘shape’ of a light sussex and buff rocks are such a lovely colour. Our local breeder now sells sex-linked crosses, guaranteed females, from a buff rock bantam cock crossed with light sussex bantam hens, looking just like buff rocks. I have more than enough atm, but could be tempted in the future, as I lost my only buff rock this year (age of 6). Integration seems brilliant – you have a very stable flock. Best of luck.

    • Carol says:

      Diamond has the typical triangular shape of chickens you see in sketches. She has a short tail. Saffron is such a lovely colour and is a breed I would have had sooner if I had found a breeder of them before. I am amazed how easy the integration has been. To see them together you would never know they were recent arrivals. I am really happy with the flock now and hopefully won’t need to add more girls for a few years.

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