House Chickens..Who has them & Why

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LaneHill, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    I'm asking because I have an extremely timid little EE that's 10 weeks & she's not doing very well in the coop.
    She's getting pecked quite a bit but not enough to draw blood
    She cowers in a box most of the day & at night won't go to roost unless I physically put her there repeatedly.
    The process goes.. I put her on the roost, she flies off & clings to me. I cuddle & coo her & put her back. Repeat over & over until it's so dark she finally stays.
    My heart is bleeding for her, she's soooo sweet.
    I'm considering making her a house chicken, but will absolutely need to figure out how to make her diapers (anyone know where I can find a free pattern because at the moment I'm completely broke [​IMG] )

    I'm begging for opinions please. Should I give her more time to get used to being in the coop?
    If so, how much?
    Is she just spoiled as my other half is saying or really too timid as I think?
    [​IMG] I'm stressing like crazy over this!
    Can anyone help?!
  2. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    I am sure there are as many opinions on thissubject as there are members of BYC. We have had several house chickens over the years for many different reasons. We had a very timid Serama recently that almost became a permanent house chicken. Instead we bit the bullet and forced her to stay in the coop with the others and she has finally come around. It hurt my feelings to do that to her but she is with her flock and we don't have to worry about her being alone while we are at work. We have also had birds that have been permanent house chickens due to medical reasons and we loved them being with us.

    Now, with that being said, I think each situation is different and the decision to keep a house chicken is up to the individual. Ultimately, you are going to do what is best for you and your bird.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I come close with front porch chickens. They free range, although separately from balance of flock and retreat to porch for roosting where social strife in minimal. You must be tolerant or like crowing in my case.
  4. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2007
    Please don't keep a house chicken. There's many reasons. I've blogged about it here.

    Also - those diapers needed changing frequently. I know I'll get attacked by the diaper users out there, but chicken manure is nitrogen and ammonia. The diapers keep that near the chicken's vent. As a friend who is a nurse in pediatrics OR said, "if they really invented a diaper that keeps the poo away from the bottom, then they'd make a fortune."

    You have a couple of options with your EE. Create a separate living space for her and get a couple of docile bantams to join her. Or, you can create hiding spaces for her in the coop - my little bantams go under the nesting boxes where the big girls can't get them. Also, have multiple roosts, some high for the little one. And, having two feeders takes the stress off.
  5. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    *nods* I'm afraid if I take her away from the flock she'll eventually be lonely, but on the other hand, right now she's really not part of the flock. More on the fringes of the flock.

    Schultz- I'm wondering, your Serma, was it hard to re integrate her back into the flock?
    I'm thinking forcing her to stay may be stressful at the moment, but in the long run maybe she'll come around [​IMG]
  6. babylotzahenz

    babylotzahenz Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2010
    I think maybe if you brought her in and kept her in a pet carrier at night, she would be fine. It may be best to make her a cage in the coop, and once she grows up a bit she will prefer to be with the flock. Right now, sounds like she is on the bottom of the pecking order. She will very likely get pecked to death, so be careful. This happened to one lone silkie. As it's peers grew, she did not. Finally a hen got at her at about 12 weeks old. You can make a cage out of just about anything, make sure it has good air flow. If you can get a small friend for her, that would be a plus, give her confidence. Good luck, and the diapers do work, but for a very short time as they do require changing often. I prefer to just use paper towels in a pet carrier for the short duration of house chickens.
  7. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    i have a (properly kept) house chicken. she needs to live inside because she is partially blind and crippled. she has not bonded with other chickens. even when she was in the coop, she would fly into the chicken wire of the pen trying to get to me, and that was before she went blind. she can't roost, she doesn't have the coordination for that, so she sleeps in the nestbox in her cage or on my bed. she gets time to excersise outside away from the others nearly every day and she always comes out with me when i close up the pthers for the night, so she gets to see other chickens even though she mostly doesn't like them. she had bonded with my old silkie rooster and my other d'uccle, but both are gone now and i think tiny perfers my company to another chicken's.

    so my point is, house chickens are great if you care for them properly. you should make sure that she gets to see other chickens every day, even if she doesn't like them, so she has the chance to be outside if she wants to. don't feed her any more treats than the other chickens or she will get fat. give her a proper sleeping place like a roosting bar in, say, the laundry room for example and make sure she has access to food and water and, if you can, outside as well. good luck with your house chicken!
  8. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    Thank you everyone for all the advice. That's why I love this place so much! [​IMG]
  9. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    i have had a bunch of house chickens my best one was clairese she died last year. she was about almost 4 i would say got her as a baby she slept on a big mirror in my dining room i laid one of those puppypads down and changed it every morning she wasnt a diaper chicken but in the day time if she didnt feel like going outside she would only go to the bathroom by the back door right on another puppy pad so she was easy to clean up after now she had multiple spots where she would lay her egg either it was the laundry basket or on my bed lol right beside me. she was very loud she knew her name and she hated other chickens. i guess i had her as an inside chicken because when she was a baby she had four siblings all from the same place and they died from something i still have no idea from what. i just felt bad so i babied her and she was my best friend. since her passing ive had jelly stay as an inside chicken she hated it but she was attacked by something so she was inside for close to 6 months before i let her out she was a diaper chicken lol. and now they are all at a friends house cause ive had problems with code enforcement havent seen them in months
  10. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I think if you give her more time in the coop things could turn out ok. you could try putting up more roosts and giving her places to sit in the run that are a little separated from the others but where she won't get trapped in a corner. If there is one or two hens who are instigators you could give them a good poke when you see them being mean. keep putting her on the roost at night.

    I had one roo who I put on the roost at night, too and he ended up doing well with the other chickens.

    BTW, there is a video on you tube where a woman shows how to make chicken diapers, and it is pretty amusing because her banty chickens are just so cute. Just search chicken diapers on Youtube.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by