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Hi! New member here! Help please?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Stephy, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Stephy

    Stephy Hatching

    Aug 5, 2010
    I found out about BYC because for several nights now I've been coming online and off to search up tips on how to raise a chicken. I googled a lot of stuff but only today I have found the BYC website.

    So around the end of last week, a chicken came to my house. By 'came to my house', I mean a lost chicken flew into my house compound. My grandma suspected it might be one of our neighbours', but it has been days now and every evening the chicken comes back to our place to roost.

    So I guess we'd just have to take care of it.

    But, it seems I am the only one in my family willing to take care of the chicken even though I am actually pretty busy this time of the year with school. ;w;
    Big problem!, I in no way know how to raise a chicken and I am hoping someone will help me/give me advice on how to take care of a chicken. Please?

    I am going to ask a hundred and one questions and I hope they will get answered...

    First of all, the chicken:
    Okay, not really a full grown chicken, more like a fully-feathered juvenile. It doesn't cluck or anything yet, it just peeps.
    Named 'Lossie' or 'Lossy' by my sister. ... Very awesome naming skills, she has.
    A picture with my hand in it for size comparison.

    I know absolutely nothing about chickens, so of course I have to start with these basic questions (the ones I can think of at the moment anyway):
    - What kind of chicken is Lossie?
    I live in Malaysia... I wonder if my location helps.
    -If possible, can the gender be determined?
    After searching for how to tell your chicken's gender, I am guessing this is a girl? Am I correct in my assumption?
    - Approximately how old is Lossie?
    The only sounds she makes are peeping sounds.
    - Is she is indeed a hen, is it a must to provide a nesting box for her?

    I don't know if this is normal chicken/chick behaviour at all... Lossie refuses to feed herself! I'll throw some rice grains on the floor and she'll eat it a while but then she won't pick up any anymore a few minutes into eating them. I read online that chickens may prefer cooked rice, but I don't believe that uncooked rice is much of a problem with Lossie. See, she refuses to eat the grains unless I hand-feed them to her, then she'll eat them fine. So,
    - A chicken that only wants to be hand-fed?
    I've left her alone for some time again and again before, but she won't touch the grains on the floor at all. Could it be that she doesn't like eating off the floor?
    - She won't eat out of a dish either. What can one make of that?
    - What else can I feed her?
    I have to say sorry to Lossie and any chicken enthusiast out there, but I don't think my parents are really that willing to go out somewhere and get some chicken feed or anything for her. Everyone I asked just told me to feed her rice or corn. Feeding one's chicken rice grains here is not unusual. I think I can say that most of the locals who raise chickens at home feed them just that or something. Keywords: I think.
    - Is it... okay to feed her slightly oily food?
    Because I did that just now. She won't touch the rice grains much so I guess that she really would prefer softer foods after all. So, I fed her fried egg (scrambled) and baby corn (stir-fried). These... were actually from my dinner, but that's not the point. The point is, as a Chinese Malaysian living in a typical Chinese Malaysian household, we eat a lot of stir-fried food, and my grandma especially puts a lot of oil into our food (Healthy eating? What's that?). I just hope that I did not endanger Lossie's life by feeding her some handfuls of oily food or anything like that. (Boy was she hungry, she gobbled down the food so fast that bits and pieces kept flying everywhere. And she tries to run after them if she can. xD)
    - Grit? Important for a chicken, yes?
    D: I am not sure what can suffice as grit! I have a yard, but it is a lawn overgrown with grass that I think Lossie doesn't particularly like to step onto. Also I am not sure any pet stores around town have any parakeet grit or something like that... I live in a small town and this small town doesn't have a lot of things. Birds as pets for one. It's rare to find a pet bird being sold in any given pet shops here.
    - Are weeds good for chickens?
    I've read somewhere some weeds can be good for chickens. But, this question probably wouldn't help much anyway, seeing as I can't identify plants for the life of me.

    - How much should I feed her?
    - She makes a sound like 'priiiiiiiii' when I feed her the eggs and baby corn. Does that mean she's happy? Like, 'Finally! Some good food!' (haha)

    Unfortunately, I don't have a coop for the poor dear. She sleeps on our shoe boxes (as in the photos above).
    During the first few nights she came here, she kept her in a box. But eventually she started flying up to a higher place, that is to say, the piles of shoe boxes we placed her box next to. Then she'll stay up there all the time. Oh! There was this one time when I was crouched near her, just watching her. She suddenly jumped onto my shoulder and settled there. XD I even walked into my house with her still on my shoulder. Which comes to this:
    - Lossie always wants to enter the house. What do I do?
    The first night she came, she sat on our windowsill and kept crying and pushing against the mosquito net to try and get in. Is she afraid of the dark, I don't know. But I guess she was scared because she's lost.
    Though now she has settled onto our shoes/shoe boxes, she still really would like to enter the house. Every time I open the door she would come close and stand in front of it. If we leave her be, she'll enter, but we can't have that.
    - Will she freeze to death?
    I know chickens can stand the cold with their feathers and all, but as of late the weather has been especially cold here. At least to me... Every night, it will rain and rain and raaaaiiiin. It becomes really cold during the night and I got worried whether she can stand it or not. Full-grown chickens maybe... but Lossie, who is still young?
    - Wait, is Lossie still considered a chick?
    - Will cats bother her?
    There are a lot of neighbourhood cats, though most of them are neighbours' cat/s and of course are fed by their owners, but will they still hunt her or bother her?
    SO, I do hope my numerous questions will be answered. C: This is all I can think of for now. If I have anymore, I'll probably just add them. And I apologize if these questions have already been asked! Oh I do hope asking millions of questions on my (not really) introductory post is allowed...

    To anyone willing to answer my questions, thank you in advance!

    (Going all out to help Lossie- I just can't bear ignoring anything/anyone if I can help/take care of them in any way. Just getting her to eat is time-consuming enough. I reach home from school at around 4 to 5pm and spend quite a while feeding her. xD)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from Tucson, AZ.

    Good luck with your found bird. It should eat rice that is cooked, but I wouldn't feed it to it raw. From the description of your yard it should be able to get lots of food there. It might be frightened right now about the yard because it is alone (chickens prefer to have other chickens around), but I think that will change. The weeds will most likely be fine for your bird. Your chicken looks very young and will probably not need a nest box for a couple months. Other experts here may be able to tell you the sex and breed. Don't worry too much about her not eating from the floor or dish. That will change soon. Your bird will definitely not freeze to death where you live:) She is, however, susceptible to cat predation until she gets larger. Good luck! -Todd.
  3. alaskachick

    alaskachick Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Wasilla, Alaska
    [​IMG] from Alaska
  4. rebecky1305

    rebecky1305 Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Lansing, MI
    [​IMG] Glad you could join us. At the top of the BYC page there is a link that says "Learning Center". This is a good place to start for information. Any further questions, I'm sure you will find lots of people here willing to share their knowledge. Good luck with your new charge.
  5. tobin123

    tobin123 Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    [​IMG] and hello from Indiana
  6. wekiva bird

    wekiva bird Songster

    Mar 18, 2010
    South Carolina
    [​IMG] [​IMG] from south carolina/fla. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Stephy

    Stephy Hatching

    Aug 5, 2010
    Quote:I gave Lossie a dish of cooked rice, and it she actually would eat from the dish this time. ^_^ I am glad! I guess it's my mistake to feed her uncooked rice. I see now that she really doesn't like it after all.

    Though about the nest box... must I make her something for when she is grown? If I don't provide a nest box, will she start laying eggs anywhere she thinks id fine? [​IMG]

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    And to everybody: Thank you for the welcome~ c:
  8. The French Hen

    The French Hen Tres Chic

    Jul 31, 2010
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    [​IMG] From Tarpon Springs, Florida

    Good Luck, sounds like your on quite an adventure !
  9. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    [​IMG] from upstate New York!

    thank is so cool you live in Malaysia! Lossie is very cute! I don't know much about the feeding though.
  10. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    I'm honestly not trying to be mean, but if you think it's the neighbor's why don't you ask the neighbor if it is? I had a young bantam Delaware that would get out everyday twice a day and find somewhere else to perch and I would have to go and retrieve it. Maybe that is what is happening here and they owner might want to know where it keeps going.

    I would also suggest, if you keep it, getting it a mate. Chickens belong in flocks and are happiest that way. Your bird is a blue something or 'nother, and therefor not a barnyard mix extra.

    She does look like a pullet (young hen). I would guess her (judging only by the size I can tell in the picture) to be about 3-4 months old.

    About feed, one thing is for sure. 100% of anything kind of diet is unhealthy. What if you only ate one meal ever? Everyday the same thing? You would be sick eventually. You should mix it up. Chickens can and will eat alot of things... mine LOVE cucumbers, watermelon, kale, leeks, tomatoes, corn, lettuce, mustard leaves, and just weeds from the garden are great to them too. They also eat bugs, so you could buy some (if that is available near you) or you could just let her out for a few hours everyday and let her find her own.

    Yes that priiiii sound is happy. lol. And the reason she doesn't like the yard is because you said it was overgrown... she is little... that is like a jungle. If the grass was shorter, she would have a ball in it.

    All chickens are afraid of the dark. When the sun starts to set young ones make a "yuuuurrrrp" noise and try to quickly find a good place that is safe for the night. That shoebox isn't going to work for you much longer... if she is a standard... you have about a week to find something else.

    The younger they are the less they can tolerate the cold. She needs a safe dry place to sleep at night. Just enough room to stand and turn around will do IF she is only in it to sleep only. If she is in there any longer, you need at least 3-4 square feet. (example 2ft x2ft box) Sorry. I'm a true blue American and don't know what that would be in meters.

    Most cats won't bother her once she is older, but as long as she is small... they very well might. It depends on the cat and if they are the neighbor's you won't know for sure until it's too late.

    I hope I answered everything for you. I still think maybe you should ask the neighbor's if they are missing a young chicken. They may be better suited for caring for it. After some more research and growning up and getting your own place, maybe then would be a good time to get into it.

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