Orpington Newbie

New to the forum? Introduce yourself here!

Orpington Newbie

Postby AMENZL » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:49 pm

Hi

My name is Tony and I run a small flock of Orpingtons for eggs and potentially, some meat.
Have had two broodies this year, resulting in 4 x two-month olds and 3 x month olds.

The four layers have their own coop, they free-range during the day. They shared with a big black Orp rooster, who thinks he has the best job in the world!

The two-month olds have their own coop, with mother hen reintegrated with the layers. The chicks are eating like there is no tomorrow, and are growing well.

Second broody and three chicks are in a small coop. Mum hops out some days, so I let her free range with the layers and pop her back late afternoon.

Next challenge (unless I have missed something?) will be integration of the flock. My thoughts are to get the chicks together first, then add all to the layers once of a similar size.

Coops are all in the same area, so each group is aware of the others.

Will deal with the meat issue separately, as that is not on the near horizon. The plan now is to get prepared for merging the flock.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
User avatar
AMENZL
Chick
Chick
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:14 pm
Location: Manawatu

Re: Orpington Newbie

Postby Raven81 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:41 pm

could you let her chicks out with her so that she can intergrate them with the flock herself when she is ready?
"Happiness is a journey not a destination. Work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like no one's watching."
User avatar
Raven81
Turkey
Turkey
 
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:23 pm
Location: Southland

Re: Orpington Newbie

Postby Marina » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:31 am

Hi and welcome to PC.

As Raven already mentioned - if the hen is allowed to free range with her chicks once the chicks are about 6 weeks old or so and it's safe for them to do so (dogs, cats, harriers etc) then this is the easiest method of integrating chicks into a flock. In this case it's a good idea to let them have access to their coop so that they can go back for sleeping until they are ready to sleep in the big hen house.

However, for the chicks who've been without their mum for a while, you'll need to proceed carefully. At 2 months old you could try to let them out under supervision, preferrably towards the end of the day. They usually go about it very carefully and the fact, that they are used to the place, is a big advantage.

Worst case scenario is that they get chased and pecked on by a hen. If this should happen leave them in their coop for another month, then try again.

If there is only a bit of pecking (which is natural - they need to be shown where their place is) you could try again the next day.

The reason why I'd do it towards the end of the day (like 4 or 5 pm at this time of year) is that they won't wander far and you want them back in their little coop at night.

I do this kind of thing all the time and almost always it goes just fine. However, occasionally there is a bird - usually a hen - who is terribly territorial so she gets locked up while the new chicks gain confidence and a bit more size.
Marina
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 3370
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm

Re: Orpington Newbie

Postby roobz316 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:10 am

Hi, welcome. I am 15min west of palmy and have orps as well, always good to see more members from around here.
User avatar
roobz316
Chicken
Chicken
 
Posts: 610
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Manawatu

Re: Orpington Newbie

Postby AMENZL » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:42 pm

Marina wrote:Hi and welcome to PC.

As Raven already mentioned - if the hen is allowed to free range with her chicks once the chicks are about 6 weeks old or so and it's safe for them to do so (dogs, cats, harriers etc) then this is the easiest method of integrating chicks into a flock. In this case it's a good idea to let them have access to their coop so that they can go back for sleeping until they are ready to sleep in the big hen house.

However, for the chicks who've been without their mum for a while, you'll need to proceed carefully. At 2 months old you could try to let them out under supervision, preferrably towards the end of the day. They usually go about it very carefully and the fact, that they are used to the place, is a big advantage.

Worst case scenario is that they get chased and pecked on by a hen. If this should happen leave them in their coop for another month, then try again.

If there is only a bit of pecking (which is natural - they need to be shown where their place is) you could try again the next day.

The reason why I'd do it towards the end of the day (like 4 or 5 pm at this time of year) is that they won't wander far and you want them back in their little coop at night.

I do this kind of thing all the time and almost always it goes just fine. However, occasionally there is a bird - usually a hen - who is terribly territorial so she gets locked up while the new chicks gain confidence and a bit more size.


Thank you for the advice one and all!

My biggest concern is the big black Orp rooster (see below), who jumps the hens at least twice a day; I can see him damaging the younger chicks, if they are not fully grown. I may need to isolate him for a while! Would you agree?

Image
User avatar
AMENZL
Chick
Chick
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:14 pm
Location: Manawatu

Re: Orpington Newbie

Postby Marina » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:57 pm

Roosters are much more likely to be ok with chicks than hens. They protect the chicks and no, they don't try to mate with them until they are about to start to lay.

When you let the chicks out for the first time be there, watch them, ready to lock them up again. It usually goes well.

In the very unlikely case that your rooster is a rapist you'll notice instantly. I've had one Orp rapist rooster in 20 years of breeding them and I raise up to 20 cockerels to maturity each season.
Marina
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 3370
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm


Return to Introduce Yourself

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests