How did I get here??

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Twinkkitten, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Twinkkitten

    Twinkkitten Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    Hello,
    I just took over a house that came with 3 abandoned chickens and a turkey. I spent 12 hours cleaning the 7000sq ft yard this weekend and now I am ready to tackle the job of fixing up the coop. The coop is covered in molding gross hay and the birds wont go near it. There are wooden shelves plastered with poop. Since the yard is fenced they birdies are safe here. They seem to sleep behind the coop. I live in Arizona so its been warm, the coldest it gets is low 30s. No predators would be able to get in, plus an outdoor cat watches over them.
    I have never had fowl and have no clue yet how to care for them.
    They lived by grazing and eating table scraps and bugs. They were sitting on about 20 eggs each. I threw the eggs in the compost pile. Since I disturbed there laying areas (kitchen counter and laundry room) they quit laying. I got them laying crumbles.
    I am going to read all about how to care for them.
    My biggest concern is how to salvage the coop. Previous owner told me no need to clean the coop or feed them. They were alone for about 2 months.
    My questions are:
    1. Should I just rake up and discard all the hay?
    2. Why did they quit laying right when I moved in.
    Thanks! Now I will read the FAQs.
     
  2. 1876 Farm

    1876 Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Probably the 1st thing you should do is to make sure they have fresh water to drink and then pull out all the old hay in the coop and add it to your compost pile. Check out your options for bedding, hay vs. the DLM. I am currently using the DLM ( a deep layer of wood shavings with DM earth), I add an inch or so of additional shavings every 2 weeks, along with a dusting of DM Earth. My hens have been locked up in our coop for the last couple of days (and prior to that there was a whole week) due to our very cold weather (today will be high of -1 which we had at 5am and expected to be in the -20s tonight). There is minimal amount of stink, much different than when I used hay.

    It's normal for hens to stop laying when something disrupts their normal day to day activity, your moving in would do the trick. Also, since you have disturbed their normally laying area they may be laying someplace else, someplace in the yard perhaps, so search around.

    Good luck! You have come to the right place to learn and get advice for thousands of chicken owners.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hi there and welcome to BYC!

    First thing you might do is do some reading in our learning center here on BYC for some tips and hints on coops, keeping, and feeding your flock, etc...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    I personally would recommend you fix up the coop, clean everything up top to bottom and get everybody on proper balanced feed. A good feed will keep everybody healthy and a good clean up will help to prevent disease. Where ever birds have been living in small spaces and there has been no clean up done on a regular basis, not only disease breeds but so does internal and external bugs and worms.

    You also will need to get the laying hens on oyster shell for hard egg shells and easy passage of the eggs thru their systems.

    Also, I would teach them how to use the coop for sleeping at night. A coop can provide a sense of security and comfort over their entire lives.

    Good luck with this big project! I think you will do fine. And enjoy your new home and flock!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Twinkkitten

    Twinkkitten Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks! I do give the fresh water everyday. They have big plastic water bowls. Advice greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Twinkkitten

    Twinkkitten Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    [​IMG]
    The cat thinks it is a bird. He loves to eat chicken feed.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Cute! Either he thinks he is a bird, or the birds are all cats! [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  7. Twinkkitten

    Twinkkitten Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    I think the cat figures since the chickens steal his food, he may as well eat theirs.
     
  8. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! 1876 Farm and TwoCrows have given you great advice!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] great to have you onboard with us here at BYC [​IMG]


    Yes clean up the poop and old hay you haven't any idea what is growing in there [​IMG]


    Some birds are easley disturbed when their home has been turned upside down just as you would be and racking the nest probably did it and most likely they were brooding anyway which means they had already stopped laying and were getting ready to start a new family [​IMG]


    Once you have put everything back in order have give them a descent place to live the laying will resume with your chickens [​IMG]


    Turkeys are like geese in the sense they only produce eggs during secretin time of the year so you should look that up ....[​IMG]



    Good luck with your new place [​IMG]









    gander007 [​IMG]
     

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