calling all COTHers with Chickens. A bit of help here Please
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Calling all chicken people Calling all Chicken People Need your help!
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Okay here's the scoop, we had a Rhode Island Red hen just show up at our farm this afternoon! yes, just eating away etc, in my big boys (6 geldings and my stallion) pasture. Now our 'immediate' neighbors, how are each about 1//4 mile from us, DO NOT have chickens.
We live in a very rural area, think no high speed internet connection through your TV, Pizza delivery and only one cell service carrier.
Anyway, she just showed up and seems content to stay. We're not stressing her out by trying to catch her but she's not "tame" in any real way. She likes the security of the big boys run-in-it's 75 feet long and there's an area they can't get into the way we have the fencing. She can get behind some wood etc, so she's safe, sort of, from predators-. I say sort of b/c we have barn cats. So far they could care less. The big run in is about 300-400 feet or more from the barn. We've done the best we could for now-she can get higher up to get off the ground. For safety reasons, for her, we're walking our dogs on leashes so they don't go after her.
So far no eggs, which is fine and I told my husband he has to build her a coop/nesting boxes of sorts so she can be safer.
Any advice is welcomed. I may get her a 'friend' but NO rooster. Nope Not even going to be discussed.
I have never really had chicken (s) but I am a fast learner and will be doing research tonight on the breed and chickens in general.
She will need a complete feed to start with. They love leftover greens, tomatoes, fruit etc. They really enjoy company. You can got to Mypetchicken.com and get info on the various breeds. They will ship in small numbers which is very helpful to those of us who do not want to purchase 50 at a time. Any chicks that I have gotten from them have been healthy and vigorous.
I hope you can tame her. If you are going to get her a friend pick a tame pet breed/type chicken (aracuna I think are affectionate and good layers too but not the only ones) in case she never tames down you will still have a pet chicken.
Take a look at CL to see if there are any grown out birds you could pick up to keep her company.
My birds love to wander in the pasture, the horses are not bothered by them at all and they are great at keeping the bug population down by kicking around for larvae in the muck pile.
You should be ok with the cats too, we don't have any of our own, but the neighbor's cats roam loose and don't pay any attention to the chickens.
In fact last summer I caught one of my hens stalking the neighbors cat in our yard. She was sneaking up on her from behind like a cat stalks a mouse...when the cat turned around and noticed the hen, the hen stomped up to her and drove her off our property, it was hilarious
I recognized with despair that I was about to be compelled to buy a horse ~ Edith Somerville and "Martin Ross"
"Momma" to Tiempo, Tucker and Puff, RIP my beautiful Norman 8/2012
Sounds like fun--chosen by a chicken! She's probably a runaway from someone's flock, could even have blown off a truck somewhere. Do you have an old wooden ladder that's not doing anything? She needs to get off the ground and "roost up" at night to be safer from predators. Just a 4' ladder, maybe in the back of the shed, and a little shelf with a nest-box on it just in case she decides to favor you with an egg. No rooster necessary! They lay 'em whether you need 'em or not from 22 weeks to infinity . . .
Hard to beat rhodies! I can't free-range mine because of the over-abundance of coyotes, but my hens are gentle, sociable girls who produce WAY more eggs than I can possibly use. I can promise you - once you've had their lovely brown eggs you'll never get store-bought again.
Hey guys, thanks. Sadly our dog, and it was 100% my fault 'caught" Rue and broght her to me. She is not a trained retriever, she's not a retriever at all. So sadly Rue has crossed the rainbow bridge.
As a force of habit I had stupidly just opened the door early this AM and let the two dogs out, the other one is just an emergency back up dog so he's harmless. When we had checked Rue before we came in from chores at 6 AM she was safely tucked in her little area, behind wood etc.
Well inbetween that time she must have come out and Ellie got her. She was not trying to kill her but rather catch her and bring her to me. She's done this before with other wildlife, kind of like "Mom will fix this"or "I'll bring this present to mom". She tries to be gentle but she's not. As soon as I saw it and said my dog's name she dropped the chicken, tucked her tail etc. It's not the dog's fault.
It was too late though. I brought Rue in the house and she took her last breaths with me.
But, we are going to move ahead in her honor and get some hens. My husband wants to build the enclosure and a moveable safe area first before we get them. I am sure if I put something on CL I will be able to get some older hens-I don't care about eggs it's the bug eating I want!