Bad experience

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sunshine Hen, May 26, 2007.

  1. Sunshine Hen

    Sunshine Hen In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    Stamford, CT
    Today I took home my first chicken. She is from the Nature Center that I work at. My mom and our friend and I went to pick her up. I held her in the car as we drove to my neighbor's house - she already has a coop and we were gonna keep my chicken there for a while. So when we put her in, my neighbor says: "I hope they don't peck each other's eyes out. Be prepared for some injuries." That got me extremely nervous. So the chickens start fluttering and fighting a little, and my chicken was pressed up against the door trying to get out. I picked her up and told my mom I wanted to keep her at home. My neighbor gave me some shavings and food for her. As I walked up, Suzy my dog barked and barked and the chicken flew out of my arms and into the garden where she raced around panting and making awful screeching noises. I held her and I was sobbing hysterically telling my mom that I wanted to take her back to the Nature Center because this wasn't working out. Finally my mom took me to the Nature Center and I put my chicken back and she was panting and still clucking a little. I think she was happy to be home, though.

    Has anyone else had bad experiences like this? And is there anyway for me to improve it? I wanted to keep her in a big cage for a while, but no! My mom said: "We're keeping her at the neighbor's house, or the deal is off." [​IMG] I'm still really upset!!!
  2. jmantoo1

    jmantoo1 Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    chickens are a big responsabilty.and if you can not take care of her at home and you cant put her in with the other chickens she will be better off where you got her give her a chance to live a good live hope this helps you [​IMG]
  3. Sunshine Hen

    Sunshine Hen In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    Stamford, CT
    Yeah, thanks. [​IMG] But the only reason I took her was because the Nature Center is selling all their chickens to farms where 1/2 will be egg layers and the other 1/2 is cat and dog food. I knew this chicken since she was a baby and I don't want her to be cat and dog food. [​IMG]
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    When a new chicken meets a flock of chickens, they will fight and get panicky. Does your neighbor have a separate area that the new chicken could live in for a week or so? That would help the new chicken adjust to the new environment, and would help the flock get used to seeing her there.

    I'm sad that you had such a rough day with your chicken. She was panicked, you were nervous, it isn't really your fault. Try not to get too upset.

    Maybe give the chickens and yourself a few days to calm down, and then bring the new chicken back over right at dusk. The flock might be calmer then, and that could minimize the stress of being introduced into the new group.

    Good luck.

  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    You got to give them some time--it can be traumatic at first to see but they have to work it out and develop a pecking order. If you wanted, you could always put her in a small dog kennel or cage inside the coop so the other chicks could get used to her being there without being able to pick on her. Then, after they start ingoring her presence in a few days, let her out. I would think she would mix back in. That is how I usually introduce new hens.

    I would give it another try personally, and know that things like that may happen and have plan for if they do....

    Good luck.
  6. michellerene

    michellerene Songster

    Apr 23, 2007
    Graham, WA
    Well, I think your neighbor should have known better. You cannot just throw a new chicken into an already established flock! Try the pen within the pen idea & they should eventually get used to each other. Sorry this happened to you! [​IMG] (and your chicken!)
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    What nature center are they at? How many are there?

    Ask your mom if you can have 2 chickens. Keep them in a dog house with a little fenced run. I imagine you must live on the north side of Stamford to even consider a chicken. It amazes me how many backyard chickens there are in Fairfield County.

    As Jmantoo said chickens are a big responsibility but since you work at a nature center you may have the chicken gene. Chickens, especially ones that aren't hand tame, can act a bit crazy at times. Think about all the animals that come in and out of there and how scared they are until they adjust.

    Best of Luck

  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    That's a bummer...I'd give it another shot...Is she the only chicken at the nature centre? A buddy would help.
    As for the neighbour, I'd let my Slifer eat her liver...that was not the correct way to say it to a new chicken owner.[​IMG]
    There will be a bit of friction until everyone knows each other. You can' t just toss everyone together and expect them to play nice.
    Your dog should've been out of sight of the chicken. That didn't help matters. She was scared of all the other chickens and then have something making a strange noise at her...The panting was stress and the baGawk! was the alarm call that something was trying to eat her.
    Did you want to keep her in a kennel in the house? Then I could see your mom freaking out a bit...But I have house chickens so I wouldn't.[​IMG]
    Why can't you keep the chicken at your house? If it's because of the dog, then I could see it, but what are the reasons. It would be nice if you could give her a forever home.
  9. Sunshine Hen

    Sunshine Hen In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    Stamford, CT
    thanks everyone [​IMG] I will give it another try. She is not the only chicken at the nature center, but she never "hangs out" with one in particular, so I don't know who I would keep her with. I wanted to keep her in a dog kennel in my house, but I guess my mom didn't understand that part. [​IMG] Oh well...
  10. farmgirl2477

    farmgirl2477 Songster

    Apr 2, 2007
    Oviedo, FL
    Try getting atleast two, and keep them at your place. They dont need awhole lot, just a safe place to sleep and a nice yard/run to play in.

    If you can watch them for awhile and you might be able to pick out her buddy. chickens are flock animals, and are happiest with friends.

    Hope your next try goes better![​IMG]


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