Getting Laying Hens This Week

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Booswalia, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Booswalia

    Booswalia Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've worked all summer on building the coop and pen. Now my 3 Delaware chickens are about to arrive and I'm wondering what I should expect.

    Will they need to be kept in the coop for a while so they treat as their home/roost?

    Will they need any special treatment?

    Is there something I need to do to prepare for them other than food, water, coop, pen and roost?

    Thanks for any advise.
     
  2. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Prescott, AZ
    Very nice coop. It is so cute, and the tile looks like one I want in my kitchen. Buddy is cute too! You will love getting chickens! We got 5 started pullets and they are great. It sounds like you have the essentials. If you are like me, you will continue to buy way more than 5 little hens ever really need, but hey, they deserve a little spoiling. Read some chicken keeping books if you haven't already. But really I have found it is easier than some of the 200 page books make it out to be, especially with this website here. One thing I have read on forums is the vulnerablility of chicken wire to strong predators like raccoons. I would ask someone with experience on the coop forum about the predator proofing adequacy of your run. Then again, if you don't have tenacious predators in your area, it would probably be ok. Last thing we ultra small flock owners want is to lose a chicken. Take care and enjoy your girls.
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    That's funny, I'm not seeing a pic but the 1st responder evidently did...

    On free-ranging...mine have now been outside full-time for a week. At first I would go out and pick them up to carry them to the coop at night. After a couple of days of doing that, I "herded" them to the coop and helped them in. Last night I went to put them to bed and found that they were just in the process of going to bed themselves. The last one was hopping in as I arrived. This fits with my experience keeping them as a kid where all we had to do was go and shut the coop doors at dusk. Once they know the routine, they tend to follow it, and dusk means bedtime.
     
  4. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    BTW, Buddy is a great looking dog. I had one that looked just like him when I was a child. Best farm dog and herder I've ever seen. Hope for your sake that Buddy is just like Blackie was!
     
  5. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Prescott, AZ
    I saw her pictures on her BYC page. Are you going to do some sort of bedding? Pine shavings are cheap at our farm store and smell so very good! I have heard to keep them in their coop/run for a week or so to make sure they have mentally imprinted that as home, where they "come home to roost" so to speak. If you start free ranging them in the evening an hour before dusk they won't go very far and then go back in. I use scratch (cracked corn bird seed mixture) to get mine back in. They love it! I say "here chick chick chick" whenever I give them scratch so they come running when they hear that. It is a good thing to have recall of sorts on your chickens.
     
  6. Booswalia

    Booswalia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. Yes, that's the kind of thing I need to know. I will try to keep them in the coop for a few days at least, but I think that might be hard.

    I haven't quite decided yet if I will let them free range or now. They will have a fenced in area that I can let them into but it's not much bigger than their pen. For them to leave that area, they have to come up on my deck and then cross over to the lawn. We'll see about that.

    I have to pick up some bedding and I have seen pine shavings at our local feed store.

    Buddy is a great dog. I just hope he's going to be as great with chickens.
     

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