Completely new to this, worried sick....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jama, May 14, 2010.

  1. Jama

    Jama Hatching

    May 14, 2010
    Okay, so first of all, HELLO! FIRST POST!

    I brought home my 6 chickens yesterday. 1 Rhode Island Red rooster, 2 hens and 3 chicks (about 13 days old)

    I converted a shed in my backyard into a coop and made a small run out of old shipping pallets. One of the hens got out and is in the woods behind my house. I'm told not to worry, that she'll come back when it gets dark, but I can't help but worry!
    I'd like to let all of them out and let them frolic freely...we have a good bit of room and we're on a dirt road just outside of the city limits, I'm only worried about a dog that comes sniffing around here often and chases my cats. We'd like to get a fence constructed soon, but it will have to cover a large area and will cost A LOT, so it's going to have to wait.

    Should I let them roam? Keep them closed up? Maybe only let them out in the afternoons with supervision? UGHHHH.
  2. redturtle

    redturtle Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    stanardsville, va
    i wouldnt worry...when it starts getting time for them to bed down maybe throw some scratch on the ground...she should come back....
    i would keep them in their enclosure for a little while before i let them free range...that way they are for sure gonna know where home is....
    i am sure someone will post better info
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Keep them in their run/coop for a couple days, then you can start letting them out in the evening. Cause of the wandering dog - you will need to keep a very close eye on the chickens - even under supervision people have had stray dogs kill their chickens.

  4. Jama

    Jama Hatching

    May 14, 2010
    Thanks for the input guys, you said just what I was thinking. I hope Penny can find her way home, after all, they've only spent one night here!
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    If I were you, I'd go look for Penny and bring her back ASAP since she's only been there since yesterday....she probably doesnt know her way home. HorseFeatherz NV is absolutely correct about watching them til the dog situation gets taken care of as well as keeping them in the coop for a few days. You'll probably have to put them in their house for a few nights til they get used to it and do it on their own. redturtles idea of throwing down some scratch is a good way to train them to come home at any time, kinda like bribing them lol, and it works. Welcome to BYC.
  6. karen71

    karen71 Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Bear, DE
    I would go look for her also
    also when you start to train them with the scratch - say some words every time
    Mine come when I call Here chick chick chick (I know not very original) but it works -
  7. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Songster

    [​IMG] from Ohio; Hello Jama glad you found this forum![​IMG]

    After a chicken has lived in their coop for a week or longer, they usually won't get lost. Since your chicken is so new to your coop, she might need your help to find her way back home. Be sure ti bring some tasty treats! Mine LOVE hot dogs,ham, and apples. They jump as soon as they see them in my hands![​IMG]
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  8. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio also. I agree with Karen71, I would go look for her even if you have to herd back her home. Good luck. [​IMG]
  9. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Welcome again, I hope that you find your hen or that she finds you.

    In regards to letting them all roam together; I think that the 13 day old chicks are too young. They still need to be in a brooder with some heat and protected from the larger birds unless one of the hens is their mother. If not, there's a good chance that the bigger birds will pick on the smaller ones.

    Fencing is expensive, I know, but you might want to build a run in stages. If the priority is chicken safety, build a smaller run, minimum of 60 sq. feet that's secure. A smaller, well-secured run is much better than a large, flimsy one. Then you can let them out during the daytime for a bit of roaming while supervised. If you leave them in the barn, in the pallet run, they may begin to peck at each other because of the confined, small space. Chickens do best with a bit of room to roam. If you keep them in the pallet run, make sure their wings are trimmed to prevent flying out.


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