Chicken rescue ... Nothing like a little fire, aim, ready ....


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 4, 2012
This is NOT what I intended when I said a few weeks ago that my husband and I were looking to get chickens. We have been working on coop plans, breeds of chickens, what we want to do with them, free range or kept in coop, etc.

I've had experience with Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, and Plymouth Rock. As I said before, my grandmother had chickens, and had grown up having them. She knew a lot about them and had a really lovely coop for them. Armed with the knowledge she gave me, I have been reading posts in the various sections of BYC as well, learning some new ones from you lovely people.

So today, I was over helping my friend with some projects around her house. She has a flock of 6 pullet leghorns. Cute little buggers. Her neighbor moved and had 10 Rhode Island Reds that he let free range in the day, and locked up in the coop at night. Knowing that there's loose dogs, they couldn't be out all the time. Originally the guy had 15 of them. 5 got it from dogs and coyotes.

So the neighbor moved and couldn't take the chickens. So he just let them out to run wild. Nothing like wild chickens roaming the area, right?

Well my friend noticed the flock dwindle to 5, then 3. One morning she came out to feed hers and there were two left, standing outside the coop door asking for asylum. Feeling bad, she put them in. Of course these full grown chickens bully the little pullets. She couldn't keep them and had to either rehome them or let them back loose. She was really unhappy for it and somehow talked my husband into taking them home.

I have no coop.
No coop.
I have a very large wire dog kennel I put them in tonite while I do some quick calculating and figuring out what the heck to do here.

If these chickens free ranged before, what was done to teach them to stay in my yard and not wander to the neighbors homes?? All of my neighbors have chickens. What's going to keep them from wandering over there? Is there some method in feeding that I can do to teach them "stay here"? Until I get a coop made they are going to have to sleep in the dog kennel at night.

Here's the next thing I would like to understand .....

I put them in there with their watering thing and a pan of feed. For comfort I threw in a flake a coastal horse hay. I figure that's nicer footing than the plain plastic.

The one chicken meandered, pecking at the food, water, and grass. The other pecked the grass a bit and then comfied herself right in and laid down. She began pecking at the grass and putting it over her back ... any idea WHY? I thought maybe cuz she was cold but I guarantee she's not near as exposed to the elements as she was previously. My husband is sitting here with his ruler plotting out the coop, how much stuff we will need, etc.

So .... any thoughts? I'd feel bad having to take these girls to animal control considering what they've been through. I feel even worse with them in the dog kennel - even if it's a huge kennel. :(
Sometimes, for reasons unknown to me, my hens will put their shavings on their backs, when they are in the next box getting ready to lay an egg.
That will really get my friends goat. In the couple weeks she's had these reds, only 1 egg was laid.

Was kinda funny. Maybe they like the dog kennel ... I can't believe that's the case.

Guess I'll know if there's an egg tomorrow huh. LOL

Thanks for the reply. Just wanted to make sure she wasn't having a mental breakdown.
IMO 2 hens will be fine in a large dog kennel for a few days, Lord knows they are better off with you and Hubby than dead like the rest. Don't take them to Animal control if you don't have to.Sounds like you want chickens and these may be your first "rescues"

They will be fine, Look for an egg soon, sounds like she's gonna lay.

That's awesome if one of them do. I'll literally fall over laughing.

Thanks ... Now to build a coop.

Good thing I had decided that I WANTED rir's ... kinda wanted Plymouth Rocks though too.
As far as keeping them in you yard, is it fenced? If it is, don't worry , Most large chickens can't fly over the fence or don't want to. I would keep them in the kennel for a couple of days anyway, they will know where it is and think of it as their coop when you do let them out.Once they are settled they know where their coop (aka kennel) is and don't normally stray too far. You are on the right track as far as I'm concerned
Okay well ...

I live on an 11 acre piece of property. It's got a wood fence that keeps horses in or out - depending what part of the yard you are in. The immediate yard is fenced with a 3 board horse fence and the horses are not in the yard.

I have the dog kennel in the garage right now. Should I leave them in there or would it be better to, perhaps, put the kennel in one of the horse stalls and get them used to maybe roosting there?
The horse stall sounds perfect! Are all of your stalls taken? I have converted unused stalls to coops as well. Chickens and horses get along really well by the way. That's what I would do until you build a coop or convert an unused stall, just keep them in the kennel inside the stall until they are used to their new surroundings-

You already have a nice plan and weren't even prepared! Kudos to to you!
well to make it more like a coop add some different sized sticks. Put some grass and dirt and a bunch of treats! also add leaves or plants... mine LOVE plants and leaves. Go out and buy some dried meal worms they will really love that. Also try and hold them everyday so they become friendlier

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom