Chickens in cold, soggy hay

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by australorpchick, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    I am so irritated! I live in a HOA community and am not allowed to keep my chickens here at my house. My chickens stay at a property about 30 minutes away. An agreement was made that in exchange for helping build a coop and sharing eggs, I could keep my chickens there and the other party would check the chickens and feed and water as needed (I go there to clean the coop and spend time with the chickies at least twice a week). Needless to say, I bought the materials, the chickens, the feed, built the coop myself and do all of the coop-keeping. I recently acquired two more hens and three hens of a breed that the other person wanted (despite my objection that this breed's personality does not mesh with my flock dynamics). The new birds are currently housed in two XL dog kennels, while waiting out the quarantine period and me building a much larger coop (once again, my money, my labor). I'm going out there every other day to change out their litter and make sure they have food and water. I went out there this past Saturday, did the coop-keeping and moved the kennels into a empty structure, because it was supposed to get down in the 30's Sunday and Monday mornings. Anyway, I went down there today (Monday) and the poor new hens have been standing, sitting, laying, in soggy hay! It looks like someone probably moved the kennels, knocking the water dispensers off their bricks and soaking the hay. The poor things have been standing in wet hay in 30 degree weather for at least 24, probably 48 hours. Not to mention they have been without water and were extremely thirsty. Meanwhile, someone helped themselves to the eggs in my coop!

    Thank you for letting me rant, I'm still extremely upset, but I actually have questions, I'm hoping someone can answer:

    1) Besides runny noses & eyes, is there anything else I should I keep an eye out for? The poor things have been looking pretty healthy during their quarantine period, and now this!

    2) Do you recommend hay or shavings? Shavings seem more sanitary to me.

    3) Does anyone know of someone who would be willing to rent out a little space for my chicken coop and a run, somewhere in the New Braunfels, Marion, San Marcos, Seguin, Texas areas?

    Thank you for your help!
  2. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    wow I am so sorry!!! I hope they are okay now that mama (you) got to go take care of the poor things. How dare people do that...I am so sorry that's pretty much all i can say i wish i had info to help you out tho!
  3. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    I use shavings. And am changing from the deep litter method to light use this spring(when it finally warms up)
    Post that you are looking for a place closer to you for your coop on Craigslist or put a bulletin up at the local feed store

    Unfortunately until you have them closer to you or move someplace you can have them in your own back yard. Getting out there twice a week isnt going to stop people from taking eggs and wont help with the coop keeping, water, food, dry or wet issues. No matter what agreement you have(is it written?) getting out there twice, or three times a week to take care of them, or get your eggs isnt a optimal arrangement.
    I rough board my horse and although my barn owner will feed him if I cant get there, it is my responsibility to make sure his stall is clean and dry and that he is ok. So unless I am dead sick or other wise unable to get there physically I am there daily.
  4. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    I assume by hay you mean straw??? I find that straw holds moisture longer and just gets stamped down and pooped on and can make a big stinky, moldy, layer of nasty [​IMG] Shavings are easier to deal with and stay cleaner.

    By getting more chickens there will be even more upkeep. I tend to agree with the last post. If the co owner isn't willing to do any of it coop cleaning and chicken care you may have to go down every day. I hope you can find somewhere that works better for you. Hopefully with someone who actually cares about the birds too.
  5. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Good news! There was an opening at a horse stable 10 minutes from my house and they'll let me build my new coop and run on their property. They won't take care of my chickens, but that's preferred by me, because being only 10 minutes away, I can see my chickens and horse every day.

    So far so good, all the newbies still look healthy. I was able to find a new home for the 3 RIR's. The remaining Delaware and Orpington/Americauna cross should mix in well with my flock.
  6. sweet_peeps

    sweet_peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Maybe add some vitamins to their water for a few days just in case.
    Glad you found a better arrangement.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  7. DollDoctor

    DollDoctor Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 5, 2008
    York County, Maine
    Glad to hear your story had a happy ending! By the way, what is an HOA community?
  8. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Home Owner's Association. We pay $60.00/quarter and they're supposed to maintain the common areas (which they only do when we complain) and pool and make sure that people aren't doing funky things to their homes that will bring the prop. values down. They can also tell you what you can and can't plant, what animals you can and can't have, and how many. Of course, unless you or your friends are on the board, in which case you can build permanent structures in your smaller yard and have a pig.
  9. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    You should never use hay as a bedding or substrate as it carries mold spores. Additionally, one can never underestimate the value of perches- many perches to insure that the birds stay off the ground as much as possible and reduce the potential of them coming into contact with their own droppings. Everyone that has had to bribe their own children or hire help on occasion has had to deal with the cavalier husbandry protocol of the casual hobbyist or uninterested, un-engaged laborer. People tend to underestimate the importance of keeping birds immaculate and allow them to live in unsanitary conditions which is stupid as they expensive to replace and the risks of bacterial pneumonia for birds and people are too large to ignore. What works for me is the "dunce proof" feeding table.
    Take a sturdy table and put an inexpensive plastic table cloth on it ( for easy cleaning) place a great big waterer container for sheep, cows or horses on the table and half fill with sand and oyster shell. On top of this you can you can place your water and feed containers.
    Or, you can get a bit more obsessive about it as I am:
  10. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    Great news. It sounds like you have found an even better situation for all. And I bet you will sleep better too?


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