Thinking of getting more Chickens?
Sometimes we add to our flock too early
I know this, because I have the T-Shirt ! I've had a few, been to an Auction or heard of some chickens needing homes and taken more in. Great - but it's extra work and if you are a working person, this could be a problem.
Let's take a scenario; It's Spring or Summer and you take five chickens for the first time. All goes well for a few weeks and after looking at your space, feel you could have another five.
The thing to remember is that in Winter you have to clean out probably twice as much, so you could be in the situation of a quadruple amount of cleaning and maintenance compared to your first few weeks !
Have I space for more Chickens?; This is really important both in terms of the Chickens comfort and in the extra work involved. Chickens need space to roam around in and it isn't always enough to just to let them roam free in the garden when you're around to keep an eye on them.
Introducing new Chickens to a flock can present pecking order problems , having a large enough space will give any bullied types somewhere to hide and give them a bit of space. Compare it you suddenly having twice as many people living in your house overnight with no warning!
If you have ex-battery chickens, they are a pretty bizarre bunch and don't mind a good punch up given half the chance. Introducing newbies, either ex-batts or Hybrid could be a problem, especially if you try to introduce too soon. Give it a few month's for them to settle and calm down.
Kids and Chickens - The 5 minute wonder?
When you first get Chickens, the kids love it. They'll chase each other up the garden in the early morning sunshine to be the first out with the feed.
Come Winter and this can change and you may get the 'it's too cold', it's too wet' or even 'can't be bothered.
Feed. Many Chickens go off-lay during the Winter month's. In the case of ex-batts, they could go off altogether, so there is a cost issue, albeit small.
Adding more to your Flock is great, but it can upset things. Liken it to your family living in a Home on your own and suddenly five new people who probably don't know each other either, suddenly turn up and join in.
There are going to be matters you don't get on with and rules have to be made, some of which can take a long time to get 'obeyed'!
Some may never settle properly.
The amount of chickens you keep is really down to your comfort zone. Having double the amount of chickens isn't the same and a bit of extra work, it is double it!
If we intend to always keep Chickens, then introducing new one's is inevitable, but if adding more Chickens is in mind, we have to consider how it will effect both them and ourselves as well.
Rushing it could, at the end of a first Winter, make chicken keeping seem not such a good idea after all - but I'm sure in 95% of cases, it won't !