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calling all COTHers with Chickens. A bit of help here Please

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  • calling all COTHers with Chickens. A bit of help here Please

    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.

    Her name is Rue.

    Thanks COTher's

  • #2
    You definitely want to have a safe, locked place for her to go at night. Predators will get them in a hurry if they aren't locked up at night and it's best to have a fenced run for the daytime if you really don't want anything to get her.

    Chickens are extremely social so you want to get her a friend if you're going to keep her. Do not get chicks for an adult bird, you will need another adult of a similar size. It's actually good that you don't want a rooster... One rooster to one hen is usually WAY to much "attention" for the lone lady

    For general care questions I highly recommend backyardchickens.com

    Good luck with your new girlie, they are a whole bunch of fun!

    Comment


    • #3
      Chickens are pretty easy, we currently have five in the flock. At the barn the neighbors have a flock that free ranges during the day with the horses, ponies, llama and geese. There are plans for pretty simple A-frame portable coops. We build one for ours and is has been quite easy. Put food in there and eventually she/they will get the idea and roost inside.

      Comment


      • #4
        You'll get much more responses from this in the Around the Farm section so I alerted the mods to move it for you
        Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
        Sam: A job? Does it pay?
        Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
        Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks everyone. Thanks Grataan, obviously I was not all there last night when I posted.

          I do plan on getting her a friend and did know not to get her a chick, for one reason the cats would nail it in a heart beat, not to mention the dogs.

          Our horses are used to small moving objects so there's no worry there-we have had wild pheasant here for years and once they figure out there's grain-dang they are more pushy than the horses getting to it!

          I don't want a rooster for a number of reasons.

          I've already got my husband working on the coop. I had read a bunch last night and especially about RRR's. They are very friendly so we may just look to get another one-laying or not. We're not big egg people.

          thanks for the link too. I think I am 'friends' with them on facebook but all the more information the better.

          She's still with us this AM and Alive to we're doing well so far.

          Thanks again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the heads up...

            Comment


            • #7
              I know everyone says that you HAVE to lock them up at night to keep them safe, but it really depends on your situation. Mine have a room in the barn where they go and roost (and are SUPPOSED to use the nesting boxes there but some seem to prefer the hay loft - grumble). There is a "doggie" style door that's open 24/7 and a dutch door that I open in good weather. The room is "inside" the pasture perimeter fence which is 7 strand electric, but so is the horses' run-in and the barn has an open door. So technically a predator could come in the barn, go through the run-in and get to the hen room. I did have 3 coons int he barn but they went for the eggs, not the hens. My barn cats don't bother them (in fact, push come to shove, I think the hens rule the cats even though the cats are great hunters). And of course my dog doesn't care. I did lose 1 hen to a loose dog -- a beagle from a neighbor about a mile away (as the crow flies) that got in under the fencing, but that's it. Having 35+ hens and only loosing 1 to predators in almost 2 years, I'm pretty ok with how I'm managing my flock. Ok, 2 if you count the tractor and bush hog as a predator (stupid chicken made a nest in the field and refused to move... the bush hog ran her over).

              Now if I could keep them off the patio, especially since I want to install my hot tub there. silly chickens!
              ************
              "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

              "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RedmondDressage View Post
                You definitely want to have a safe, locked place for her to go at night. Predators will get them in a hurry if they aren't locked up at night and it's best to have a fenced run for the daytime if you really don't want anything to get her.

                Chickens are extremely social so you want to get her a friend if you're going to keep her. Do not get chicks for an adult bird, you will need another adult of a similar size. It's actually good that you don't want a rooster... One rooster to one hen is usually WAY to much "attention" for the lone lady

                For general care questions I highly recommend backyardchickens.com

                Good luck with your new girlie, they are a whole bunch of fun!
                This pretty much says it all. We do lock ours up at night here, I have three, because we will lose them to fox. When we lost one to a fox, we got the replacement right through the feed store. Not chicks, pullets.

                Better find someone who likes eggs!! Chickens are pretty fun, good luck.
                www.Somermistfarm.com
                Quality Hunter Ponies

                Comment


                • #9
                  Depending on her age you might only get an egg every other or third day.

                  Keeping them locked up is only as safe as your coop. They want to sleep wherever they woke up alive so when you get your coop done, go find her after she's roosted and put her in the coop and she should return to it. If they get scared or attacked in the coop, by foxes, weasels or mites, they will go roost elsewhere so don't be surprised if she says thanks but no thanks, the trees feel safer to me.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by classicsporthorses View Post
                    Thanks everyone. Thanks Grataan, obviously I was not all there last night when I posted.
                    Oh no I didn't mean that, I just know the chicken peeps hang out in Around the Farm more than off course, I didn't mean to imply that you weren't paying attention! My apologies

                    You've already gotten great advice, I have nothing really to ad other than backyard chickens seems to be like the COTH of chickens (with their own biddies-there's a hilarious thread here on COTH where a COTHer commented on an unsafe horsemanship practice in a BYC thread and ended up with a temporary BYC ban for being "mean")
                    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                      . . . Keeping them locked up is only as safe as your coop. They want to sleep wherever they woke up alive so when you get your coop done, go find her after she's roosted and put her in the coop and she should return to it. If they get scared or attacked in the coop, by foxes, weasels or mites, they will go roost elsewhere so don't be surprised if she says thanks but no thanks, the trees feel safer to me.
                      Yep, we've got the bulk of our chickens roosting in the shop - and if you want a disgusting mess picture poop balls raining down from above. They prefer it because, well, they are rafters and even if we forget and leave the door open, which we have done on the chicken tractor to disastrous consequences, they are a dozen feet off the ground. We have also lost them in broad daylight to neighbor dogs (as best we can figure). If your paddocks have wire mesh small enough to keep dogs out, or really good electric, they will be pretty safe in there.
                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                      Incredible Invisible

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                        They want to sleep wherever they woke up alive

                        So do I!
                        Chickens are truly creatures of habit.
                        Once they feel safe in a coop they will put themselves to bed as soon as it starts getting dark.
                        I'm sure your girl will appreciate a friend and if you don't want the eggs your dogs will
                        Or you can be a softie like me:
                        I feed my hens a breakfast of oatmeal with eggs (shells & all) scrambled in.
                        They LOFF it : 9

                        And another vote for the BackyardChickens site - tons of info from people who know.
                        Just like a Poultry COTH.
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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