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Mother Of Merle

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello there!  I finally got myself signed up for this forum, as I was checking this site all of the time for varied chicken advice.  

   

 I started with 6 Sex Links hens from the tractor supply about 5 years ago just to rid my yard of dandeiions and ticks without chemicals.  I have since fallen in love with raising chickens and am about to raise my third brood of chicks come March.  I only have one lonely Australorp hen, ever since a fox got into our yard through a broken fence slat and slaughtered our other Australorp, our Orpington, and our 5 year old Sex Links still from the original brood. Merle is the last one, and she is very lonely.  I am planning on getting 4 chicks: 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 I still haven't decided on.

 

My problem:  Merle was taught by an Americana early on that jumping our fence was okay.  I was really miffed, considering the Sex Links NEVER left the yard and could be trusted to be free-range.  I got complaints by neighbors and everything.  Merle still wanders the neighborhood, but since she's only one, it doesn't seem to bother anyone.  She doesn't even roost in the coop, she roosts on the window air conditioning unit in my husbands workshop(which actually saved her life from the fox!).  I do not want to teach these new chicks bad lessons.  I could make a bigger coop and just keep them in a run (including Merle), but I have always let my girls free-range.

 

Any suggestions as to how to keep the new ones homebodys and get Merle to be in on the effort?

 

Thanks and happy to be here!

 

Sarah

post #2 of 7

Keep the chicks in their coop/run all the time until they are adults so they know what 'home' is. Then, encourage them to sleep/roost in the coop by moving them at dusk if they start to sleep other places. Reward them with treats every time they come in the coop and keep a special supply of treats in the coop at night to get them in the coop at night. Because chickens don't see well at night, luring them into the coop will keep them from leaving unless they're some sort of super natural chicken freak. (LOL Just kidding)

Hope I helped, 

Bailey1204

post #3 of 7

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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post #4 of 7

Hi and welcome to BYC. You may wish to consider clipping the flight feathers on one of Merle's wings to stop her flying around?

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 7

The best way to keep chickens from wandering is an enclosed run with some type of cover.  The chickens will stay put and predators will be kept out.

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                                         Please visit  "Current Movies - Thumbs UP or Thumbs DOWN"pop.gif

                                                           Movie  reviews    & comments -   welcome                                                 

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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank You!

post #7 of 7
Hello!

Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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