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Hm how can I PROPERLY take care of a chicken?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by babychickenss, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. babychickenss

    babychickenss Out Of The Brooder

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    First off, YES I am very irresponsible and I have just realized now that this is not okay with how I am raising my chicken.

    I live in a suburban neighborhood and having a hen is legal, just not roosters. Anyway, so in the beginning of September I bought a baby chicken from my local feed store, I didn't think they were hard to take care of. I just have 1. Big mistake I know.

    I'm pretty sure it's a hen, and I was told it was an ameraucana? chicken. But now that I think about it it could easily be a mix. I'll post pictures if that will help?

    Anyway, I want to change the life that my chicken is living. She currently lives in a cardboard box with food and chicken feed that I got from the feed store (they told me the chicken would need it for the first 6 months) and sometimes she has crickets and has granite grit available. She goes in my backyard sometimes but now I'm a little wary cause a few days ago a hawk almost attacked her. So my dad was planning on building a coop on tuesday? But I mean what does a coop need to have? What is that little rectangular thing sticking out of the coop? (on some coops) and since i only have ONE... Just so confused! I have researched but it only tells me how to raise like a flock? Not a single chicken. Please tell me what I need to know! I know I am very irresponsible, but I wish to change the living ways of my chicken because it is not fair to her.
     
  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    It is good to see you realise you need to change some things when it comes to how you are raising your hen. I think the above poster has offered you lots of good advice. I would also consider getting another hen for her so she has company but if you decide to stick to the one hen you have follow the advice above and i am sure you'll do fine. Post a picture of your hen if you like and perhaps we can comfirm it's a hen for you.
     
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 Chickens are complex animals with a variety of needs. They require daily care. They are also an expense. Please make sure that you and your family are willing to make this commitment.

    There is no information on single chicken care because chickens do not do well alone. You need to get at the very least one or two other pullets to be with her if you plan on keeping her. It would be best at this point to look for a bird that is around her same age. Look locally for a "point of lay pullet."

    A coop needs to have at least 4 sq feet of space per bird, at least 10 inches of roost per bird and 1 nest box for every 3-4 birds. In addition to the coop the birds will also need to either free range or have an enclosed run. The run should have at least 10 sq feet of space per bird.

    What kind of food are you feeding her?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  5. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to commend you for noticing your hens needs, and committing to doing something about it.[​IMG]
    I would plan a coop for 4 hens, about 8-10 square feet (2x4 or 2x5). Dad can help, it should match surroundings.
    Make sure she/they exercise and extra treats to supplement feed. Some of my chickens are 9 years old (like my avitar roo). I hope you have really good luck with yours.
     
  6. babychickenss

    babychickenss Out Of The Brooder

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    Well I want to keep her if I can make her happy, I WANT to commit to her and I know that chickens live a long time, but I just don't know WHAT to do. Well now I have some more knowledge. I am willing to do whatever is necessary I'm just not sure what is needed. I have a huge bale of bermuda hay in the garage that I bought for my 2 indoor rabbits but I'm a bit wary of the quality so I have bought orchard grass from another place online that is reliable, and so I have this bale of hay that I do not need.
    Also, I'm pretty sure my parents will say no to another hen, but I could ask? Is it like completely necessary to have at least 2 hens? Also, is it expensive to build a coop? I just got a baby rabbit 2 weeks ago (yes I am actually very knowledgeable with rabbits ha) and when I got her she had a very very mild case of mites so I had to get that treated plus just to be safe I got her a fecal kit to make sure she doesn't have mites, and everything has come out to nearly 300$. I mean we can afford to build a coop I guess, but I just want to know about how much will I be spending?
    Or is she better off living with someone who actually has a flock?
     
  7. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm pretty sure the OP came here looking for supportive advice and assistance, I don't feel the snub regarding finding the hen a home if the OP doesn't want it - was necessary. It's remarks like that ...that cause newcomers to just not show up here anymore, and then we'll never know what became of their hen. Never did she say or even remotely imply that she didn't want her hen.


    To the OP - I applaud you for realizing that your hen really isn't living in the best of environments and that you're looking for alternatives to help her live as a chicken should.

    I would recommend getting her a friend, yes.

    [EDITED since reading your update] BUT - if you have a rabbit in all honesty that is friend enough. Chickens are social and require companionship. What people don't realize is that companionship can be any critter that loves and gets along with the chicken. Rabbits and Chickens can co-exist in harmony.

    You can find shipping pallets for very cheap or even free, from a lot of companies that get their shipments in via that route. I would ask in your area to see if any have some available for you to use. It will save on the cost of lumber and provide your hen (and her hopefully soon-to-be friend) with plenty of shelter. I'd go hardware cloth route and not chicken wire (personal opinion). It's stronger and there are a lot of critters that go through chicken wire like a knife through butter - even in the city.

    Chick starter is best until she is POL (point of lay) and then it is best to switch to a layer feed as well as provide oyster shell for calcium.

    Since you're in a city I would definitely look into building a chicken tractor (enclosed area where they can range without worry of them escaping or being attacked by something). They can be made out of many things but make sure it's predator proof and that it has access to the sunlight (IE: hardware cloth, etc) I wouldn't let her free range in the city, in areas like that it's too easy to escape and cause traffic problems or issues with other neighbors pets, or a host of other location problems.

    Bedding is your choice. Some use pine shavings, some use hay...others use sand in the coop floor and use something else in the nesting box for comfort. The only one I'd stay away from is cedar, it's toxicity level is a bit too high for chickens.

    Good luck with your feathered friend and I hope you continue to visit BYC and keep us updated on your progress in giving her a new environment.

    The most important thing to remember is that chickens have been living and dying and getting along just fine in the cycle of life without our help. The best thing you can do for her is to create an environment with as little human frills as possible, using only enough to help keep her protected and properly nourished. Chickens love being chickens...humans love diapering them or treating them as they would a child. Loving your chicken sometimes means doing what is best for her...not what is best for you. =)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  8. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not a snub, its reality and a suggestion of thoughtful evaluation.

    When it comes to owning animals it is not about whether one "wants" to own them it is a careful consideration of whether or not one can care for them. It is a responsibility. It is research. It is great that the OP has recognized that and is attempting to better the situation. Kudos. I hope this is a learning experience and that in the future the research is done before deciding to buy an animal.

    I think you can definitely give your chicken a good home if you want to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  9. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  10. babychickenss

    babychickenss Out Of The Brooder

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    Ah thank you so much for that! And I will look around, and yes there are lots of cats that roam the streets at night (lots of people have outdoor cats, plus feral cats I presume).

    I think a chicken tractor would be my best bet also. I live in texas and it gets soo hot here in the summer, would that be a problem at all for my chicken? It's usually almost ALWAYS in the 100's and most of the time in the low-mid 110's. It doesn't get too cold here but eh it might reach the high 20's or low 30's. If it rains, will that be a problem? Also will the chicken know to lay her eggs in the nesting box?
    And thanks I agree! I just want her to be healthy and happy.
     

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