Dominique is not a very good layer. She laid about 12 eggs in February and quit. I need more hens. Since I like to raise them from chicks, now is the time to get more babies.
I am torn between getting them from a local store or getting them from a farmer. My first ten were from the farmer. All those were mutts. The one from the local store are breeds.
Maybe I will wait until the warm up this next weekend. For sure, I have to get set up for them. When they start laying this fall, I may get rid of Dominique. Why?
She is not trained and does not know where she can go and where she cannot. Yes, you can train chickens to stay in the yard.
When chicks are little, I like to let them free range for 30 minutes and then lure them back to their pen with food. My high-pitched "Delilah" call means food. With Dominique out, she might lead them away or not obey the call to come into the pen.
They won't be put out when tiny, but sooner than usual. I have not seen any chicken hawks around here, but in other parts of town I do. After they got three cats and my two hens, the pickings were slim around here!
Okay, so maybe she won't have friends for long.
I know older hens teach chicks what to do and how far they can go. However, Dominique has never been allowed to free range since she came here. I was too afraid of hawks and where she would go. I am not capable of chasing chickens around other people's yards.
Do you like getting new chicks to add to your older chickens? Or, do you want to start over with all new chicks? Do you have a routine that you want your new chicks to learn without them following an untrained hen? Maybe you can extrapolate these concepts to other animals you have.