Hens won't coop at night......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by minimezzo, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. minimezzo

    minimezzo New Egg

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    Apr 12, 2011
    .....and my neighbor's dog killed one tonight. I'm so stressed! OK, got 2 lovely barred rock hens (age 2) from a rancher. He told me to coop them for a few days, which I did, so they'd know where "home" is. Today I let them out in my fenced backyard, where they stayed a couple few hours until dusk. Then, I had to go out to rescue one that was wandering down the alley. I imagine she was looking for the coop. I had a light in it, but it didn't help. The other was roosting on the fence. When my neighbor let her dog out to potty, he got her somehow! I feel TERRIBLE. Good grief. Any words of wisdom?
     
  2. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    The rancher didn't tell you right... It is more like a week before they figure out where home is... Sorry for your loss! It sux but really ain't the dogs fault... He/she just saw a weird bird that needed to be killed so it didn't do any harm... Dogs and chickens are natural enemies for some reason...

    Dave
     
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Not much good on the words of wisdom part...but it wasn't your fault, either.
    It sucks when something like that happens. Was the dog able to get the chicken that was roosting on the fence just by jumping?
    I am currently having the same problem with the younger chicks I have. Take them out of the brooder & put them in a cat carrier on the back porch for about a week & then put them in the grow-out coop for about another week before I let them free range. None of them seem to want to go back in at night. I dont have this problem if I buy older pullets & do the same thing. Maybe it's the age?
     
  4. minimezzo

    minimezzo New Egg

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    Apr 12, 2011
    Thanks! You're right and I certainly don't blame the dog. He's just being a dog! [​IMG]

    Here's my question: Will they really be OK for an entire week in there? (The coop is not really designed to be lived in during the day. I bought it from someone who only cooped his chickens at night.) Obviously, I'm out there several times per day feeding and making sure they have clean water, etc., but I hate for them to be locked up that long. What do you think?
     
  5. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I think they'll be fine as long as they arent too overcrowded, for just the time it takess them to get used to their home. There have been days my older group hasnt gotten out at all because I wasnt feeling well or the weather was really bad. Granted, it wasn't more than a couple days at a time, but they aren't piled on top of each other, either.
     
  6. minimezzo

    minimezzo New Egg

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    Apr 12, 2011
    OK, thanks so much!
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Sorry for your loss. You do need to get some more chickens to keep your lone remaining chicken company. Chickens need to be in a flock.
     
  8. jen5680

    jen5680 Southside Silkie Shack

    Jun 18, 2009
    SW Ohio
    If you don't want to keep them locked up untill they no were home is just leave them out and then put them in the coop every night. After a week or two they should start going in without your "help". A pain yes but at least they will get to free range.
     
  9. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    I certainly didn't mean to imply it was your fault that the dog got your chicken. That would be completely out of line as I have lost chickens since I started having chickens and I started when I was 5. Will be 40 this year so 35 years or so... LOL

    Raccoons kill chicken, possum kill chickens, owls, dogs, cats, hawks, snakes and the list goes on and on, and on. No you aren't to blame and neither is the chicken or the dog or the rancher for that matter. No blame can be placed on predation except nature maybe.

    It won't hurt your chicken to be kept up for a week. In the end, it is better to make sure she is safe v/s anything else. If she if flying up on things, clip one of her wings... You can do a google search to find out how... There was also a recent post talking about how to do it.

    Again, you have my condolences.

    Dave
     
  10. minimezzo

    minimezzo New Egg

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    Apr 12, 2011
    Thanks, Dave. No worries, I didn't take it that way. [​IMG]

    Elmo - Thanks for the suggestion; I will definitely get another hen. We love having eggs every day. And now I have a "professional opinion" to quote to my DH.....

    Jen - Catching them was really hard. The other one had gotten herself between my fence (chain-link) and my neighbor's (wood) so some friends (a vet tech and her DH who has really long arms [​IMG] and chicken experience) helped us rescue her. By this time it was full dark. Let's just say I had a really stressful evening! I don't know if I could handle catching hens every night.....any suggestions on "how-to"?

    Also, I have 4 silkie chicks in the kitchen and 3 human chicks.....

    I really appreciate all the support, everyone. Thanks.

    Emily
     

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