BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › Should we start a new flock with one remaining hen?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Should we start a new flock with one remaining hen?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello

 

We raised 6 chickens from babies with utmost care and gave them to my parents to care for them when they got older. My parents stupidly forgot to close the coop for two nights and now only one chicken is left. We are devastated and disappointed with how irresponsible my parents have been and are therefore considering if we should look after that one remaining chicken ourselves. I would love to get your thoughts.

 

We live on an acreage property with mowed lawns, a few very tall trees in the backyard, no secure fencing around the property and there is a pre-existing coop which is situated in the middle of our backyard. We have a good view of the coop from the kitchen/dining room. I would like to let the chicken free-range during the day and lock up the coop at night but am worried about predators. Our backyard is very open.

 

We live in Australia and regularly have kangaroos, wild rabbits, a peacock and guinea fowls on on our property and we have seen a snake and possums. Our direct neighbour has lots of chickens and guinea fowls which basically just live in wired chicken runs and never free-range. 

 

I’ve attached images of the pre-existing chicken coop. Is it a decent coop? How predator-proof is it? I can see gaps between the roof and the sides which we will fix. What else could be done to make the coop better?

 

The other issue is we would have to get more chickens to keep the remaining hen company. I didn’t plan on having chickens and would only do it to take care of the remaining hen. I am also vegan and don’t eat chicken eggs.

 

What should we do?

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 9
Hi and welcome. It's a little difficult to predict how predator proof your coop is. You may wish to consider having a chat with your neighbour who keeps chickens and ask for their advice - they must have lots of experience regarding local predators and how to stop them tucking into your chooks. Also, you may have a state thread where you can find other members in your area that can also help out - failing that, search for "Australia 6 states and that funny little island" and proceed from there.

Good luck

Ct
Edited by CTKen - 1/18/16 at 11:03pm
Nairobi, Kenya
Reply
Nairobi, Kenya
Reply
post #3 of 9
My thought is that the main thing to consider is the hen would rather be with company as they are not solitary animals.I am not big on eggs but love having chickens anyway. That co-op looks great but I would have your neighbor inspect it in person. It needs to be dig proof and bird of prey proof as well, for peace of mind.
Edited by SunHwaKwon - 1/19/16 at 2:57am

Japanese, OEG, Sebright, Brahmn, d'Uccle, and EE bantams; and RIR, BR, and EEs, Golden Penciled Hamburg, EEs, Anconas, Bielefelders, Wheaten Marans, Speckled Sussex, and a surprise variety of bantams with breeds tbd!

 

16 guineas and 2 turkeys to round out the flock

 

Another victim of poultry math. Aiming for a "designer" flock and egg basket :)

Reply

Japanese, OEG, Sebright, Brahmn, d'Uccle, and EE bantams; and RIR, BR, and EEs, Golden Penciled Hamburg, EEs, Anconas, Bielefelders, Wheaten Marans, Speckled Sussex, and a surprise variety of bantams with breeds tbd!

 

16 guineas and 2 turkeys to round out the flock

 

Another victim of poultry math. Aiming for a "designer" flock and egg basket :)

Reply
post #4 of 9
Your only real predators are going to be foxes and Hawks. I free ranged for 3 years but eventually a goshawk found us and I lost a bird so now they are confined to their run.

Your coop looks a little delapidated so may need a fair bit of work to make it fox proof.

Have you considered just spending $150 for an automatic coop door for your parents coop? Might work out a lot cheaper in the long run than renovating your coop and you wouldn't have to worry about them remembering to lock them up. (We have an alarm set on our iPad goes off to remind us every night because it's easy to forget)
Edited by appps - 1/19/16 at 3:54am

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
post #5 of 9
To me that coop looks decent. You might want to get some more hardware cloth and cover over any openings that predators can get through. I don’t know what predators you have in Australia but I use a rule of thumb that anything over an inch wide gets covered. That still won’t stop absolutely everything but it will stop almost everything. Check it for rotten wood or loose planks or wire, but it certainly looks useable.

Chickens are social animals and do better with company. Occasionally one will bond with another animal, maybe a dog, cat, or you, but they do best with other chickens. I’d suggest a minimum of three total in a flock. That way if something happens to one you still have two for company.

If you have those animals in your yard, something is hunting and eating them to help keep the numbers in check. That’s just the way nature works. If your chickens free range during the day they will be at risk, but nighttime is the time of most danger. Some of us are quite successful letting our chickens free range during the day or keep them in a predator resistant run but locking them up in a predator proof coop at night while others get wiped out trying that. It just depends on your predator pressure and luck.

Maybe you could give the eggs away, say to a food bank or some place that feeds the hungry. That’s what I do with most of my excess eggs. I don’t know if your Vegan principles would allow that or not.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #6 of 9

Why not simply give the lone hen to your neighbor to integrate into his flock? If you don't eat eggs or meat, I don't see the point in starting a flock. It's a big commitment and responsibility. Beware of mission creep.

post #7 of 9
That coop would make a great home for retired commercial layer hens. You be giving your one hen some flockmates and giving the layer hens a second chance at a much deserved comfortable life. They may still lay the occasional egg. You can either give away or sell the eggs or just feed them back to the birds (providing that aligns with your vegan philosophy).
post #8 of 9

It does happen, people forget the coop is open. It has happened to me. Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don't, I am not irresponsible.

 

I think that there is a sound reason that  your neighbor is keeping his/her birds locked up. Must be some established predators around your area. If so, you might very well also loose the last hen to a predator. 

 

The coop has possibilities, and you could set it up to keep this chicken or a few more, but I would recommend just letting your parents handle the whole deal, and if they want to get a couple more birds, well, they could do that.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
Reply
Western South Dakota Rancher
Reply
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by newchickenmummy View Post
 

Hello

 

We raised 6 chickens from babies with utmost care and gave them to my parents to care for them when they got older. My parents stupidly forgot to close the coop for two nights and now only one chicken is left. We are devastated and disappointed with how irresponsible my parents have been and are therefore considering if we should look after that one remaining chicken ourselves. I would love to get your thoughts.

 

We live on an acreage property with mowed lawns, a few very tall trees in the backyard, no secure fencing around the property and there is a pre-existing coop which is situated in the middle of our backyard. We have a good view of the coop from the kitchen/dining room. I would like to let the chicken free-range during the day and lock up the coop at night but am worried about predators. Our backyard is very open.

 

We live in Australia and regularly have kangaroos, wild rabbits, a peacock and guinea fowls on on our property and we have seen a snake and possums. Our direct neighbour has lots of chickens and guinea fowls which basically just live in wired chicken runs and never free-range. 

 

I’ve attached images of the pre-existing chicken coop. Is it a decent coop? How predator-proof is it? I can see gaps between the roof and the sides which we will fix. What else could be done to make the coop better?

 

The other issue is we would have to get more chickens to keep the remaining hen company. I didn’t plan on having chickens and would only do it to take care of the remaining hen. I am also vegan and don’t eat chicken eggs.

 

What should we do?

 

Sounds like you should give the remaining bird to a 'rescue'.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Managing Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › Should we start a new flock with one remaining hen?