Monday, 9 August 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Sometimes it's hard to know what to do for the best where chickens are concerned.

Let me just give you a reminder, before I explain my dilemma.  On the Allotment we currently (and temporarily) have 4 runs and 4 coops.  One Run contains the  5 Ladies-That-Lay; a second contains the 8 Taffo chicks, who are all (eventually) destined for the table; the third contains Roo and Mrs, who are in temporary accommodation while in the fourth run Rose and Ruby are convalescing.

At home, I have my 4 garden girls on one part of the garden,  and 4  14-15 week old pullets in an adjoining part of the garden.   Two of the four pullets will eventually join my garden girls, and 2 will join the breeding flock at the Allotment.

I can't take the 2 breeding pullets down to the allotment until a run is free.  (Unless I take them down and introduce them to Rose and Ruby, or Roo and Mrs in advance. Probably not a good idea).   Really I want them to live in an adjoining run for a short period before I try and introduce them.

In the meantime, I want to get my Garden Girls integrated as soon as possible.  I've been waiting until the pullets are old enough to hold their own,  and I'm planning to move on to the "free ranging together" in a few days time.

But is it fair on the two pullets who aren't staying?   I mean, it'll hep the other two as there will be 4 newbies to be picked on.   But the two who are staying will end up going through intros here, and will then have to go through intros at the Allotment as well.  Is that fair?

On the other hand, maybe going through the process here will better equip them to deal with it when they are introduced to the Allotment crowd?  I'd like to think so.    And I tell myself that it's not as if they've had to worry too much before - they've been with the same flock since hatching.

It may also be that they can't go into the "spare" run.  By the time Rose and Ruby are well enough to have Roo and Mrs back,  I might need the "spare" run to move the female dinner chicks into.  Doing this would mean we could keep the boys longer before having to cull them.

Next year, we'll hatch a large number of chicks, and do one hatch.  That will simplify things.

The questions are about merging the garden flocks, and merging the breeding fl

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