I can’t believe how successful so far this has been.It has been 5 weeks since we introduced 2 new girls Bonnie and Annie to our little group joining Clover and Rosie.After losing Poppy we decided to add the 2 new girls and expected as usual some stress with weeping and wailing from the old girls and a bit of pecking and shoving but we have had hardly none.
The WIR we have is separated into two with two coups while intros are going on with a hatch that is raised permanently in the end ,it is not state of the art but it suits our small garden and the girls are not fussy.
We then kept the new girls separate for a week with out free ranging at all and not mixing , they could see each other all the time . .Little Rosie was a bit suspect at first as she did not want to be bottom of the pecking order again but it was all very calm .
After the first week we let them FR together for half an hour at a time with plenty of space for the newbies to escape if needed. Annie was really quick on her feet and would jump on to any bench she could find but soon calmed down.She also chased off any garden birds she saw ..just a pity she did not chase of the pigeons!
The second week we raised the hatch so that they could all mix into one run but the hatch could be brought down if needed but we did not need to at all.The first couple of weeks they were in separate coups at night and then last week little Annie was brave and decided to join the oldies ,Bonnie was the last and joined them last week .
They are both laying now and Annie lays in one coup and Bonnie in the other .They are all the best of friends and Clover is still top chick and keeps the others under control and I think little Annie is bottom .
The one thing we did have a problem with was that little Rosie one of the old girls her eggs the shells were very weak and easily broke .many times she sat on them in the nest box and they broke,along came Clover and ate them!! I can’t put this down to the new girls arriving but it started the day after so I think it was stress and it was her way of showing it.I gave her Limestone flour which you can buy on line and cod liver oil to improve her calcium and after 4 weeks they are back to normal.
It is so nice now that the days are getting longer and they have more time out of the coup .I don’t like them spending more hours in than out .
Here is Annie the Black star and Bonnie Gold star
Clover the old girl and top chick . .
Rosie the old baby girl