So suddenly, with only about 24 hours notice, we were asked to adopt four more chooks! This would give us a total of 8. After some quick research on Google we learned that some care is needed when introducing new adult chooks to your colony. They need to be kept segregated initially and to introduce them slowly. This is because there's a pecking order that exists amongst chooks and there can be some initial teething issues and even fights as they all find their new place in the order of things.
But I also decided to build another chicken coop rather than make them all squeeze into the existing one I built originally. This time I wanted to make the whole thing without spending any money, and I didn't have much time, so I wanted to keep the whole thing as simple as possible and to build the whole thing within a day.
I gathered up whatever old timber I had lying around the property and discovered I had several bits of old decking about a metre long. So I started off digging a flat platform for the coop to sit on about a metre square.
Basically the idea was to start off building a big square box. I had a couple of old bits of tanalised plywood that I could use for the cladding and roof.
Within a few hours it all started coming together. I had the ginea pig run positioned right up next to the new coop with a door cut in one wall so the new chooks could easily get from one to the other.
In anticipation of their imminent arrival I had decided it would be necessary to identify the first group from the second as they are all the same breed (Brown Shavers) so I probably wouldn't be able to tell them apart. So using a cable tie and a soft plastic tag for each one I numbered the first group from 1–4. If there were any issues I could separate the 2 groups.
Over the first few days the chooks egg laying pattern was a bit hit and miss but by day 5 we were almost back up to an egg each per day.
So we decided to let them out and mingle with the first group. But sure enough, as we'd been advised, there was a bit of territorial squabbling with the original group being the aggressors, as can been be seen in the pic below with one of the chooks pecking at the neck of one of the new ones.
At times there was even a major scrap which was quite a spectacle as each chook puffed themselves up to nearly twice their normal size. We decided to separate them again, but we hope they will eventually integrate well with each other. I've been told they can stop laying if they get too stressed or upset. So, we just have to manage them carefully until they get used to each other.