Howdy There to yall. UT newbie

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Yenrabaa, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Yenrabaa

    Yenrabaa Out Of The Brooder

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    So a little about my chicken story.

    A month ago a friend of mine called and said his neighbor was needing to get rid of his chickens and wanted to know if I wanted them. Being as my wife and I were excited about finally being able to have chickens (we were going to get everything ready and get new chicks in the spring) we decided we would take them. When I went to get the chickens, the man giving them to us told the story of why he was getting rid of them. Apparently he started with 12 chickens. and 2 weeks prior a racoon decided to start killing off his flock 1 bird at a time. Instead of letting the coon get all of his birds, he gave them to me. The Coop he had all 12 chickens in was very small (8 ' tall x 5' deep and 6' wide) The hens were very skittish and edgy when we put them into the Dog carrier to get them to my house.

    At my house, I have them currently in a 10' long x 8' wide x 6' tall dog run with a make shift hen house. They seem to like it a lot. (the first day home we got 3 eggs and have been getting 2 or 3 every day since) I have 2 Plymouth Rocks and a Red sex link. The guy said they are approximately 1.5 years old. I will post pictures later of the new hen house I am building for them.

    My question today involves free ranging them. I really would like to let them have access to my back yard and garden areas. The garden was fenced in by the previous owners to keep their dog out of the garden. It has 3' welded wire fencing around it. My back yard is a little over a half acre with 3 fruit trees and plenty of insect finding fun. How long should I let the hens adjust to the new area before I start them on roaming the yard? Also what would be the best way to introduce them to the yard?

    Thank you,

    Aaron
     
  2. ShaylaFox

    ShaylaFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I locked my hens in there new home for about a week. It taught them that this was safe and was home. After that I just turned them loose and when it gets dark they go back to the coop where I will lock them up. Once in a while the will be standing in the door way, I have a light up there so that may be why, all I have to do then is shoo them in. I have not have any problems from them not coming back, and at night I always shut the door so that nothing can get in there and eat them.
    Good Luck!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Greetings from Oregon! [​IMG] So glad you joined us. Good furtune for you getting a flock handed to you, too! The only thing that puzzles me is what you said, in part:

    Quote: You obviously live in predator territory and it would be wise as @ShaylaFox said...keep your flock to their coop for a period of time, at least 1 week I would think. Now the real problem is this: why would you want to free-range them if there are known predators (raccoons) in your neck of the woods? As you can probably tell from my 'tone' I am not an advocate of free-ranging...seen and read too many horror stories of chickens being wiped out because "it's the thing to do...let them be free!" mentality...I personally just don't get it. But to each his own and I wish you all the very best...keep us updated!
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and are here to help.

    You should introduce your birds to the yard simply by letting them loose in the yard. Another method is confining them to a run in the yard and then let them out.

    X2 on keeping them in the coop for a bit so they know where is home.

    Good luck!:)
     
  5. Yenrabaa

    Yenrabaa Out Of The Brooder

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    I live over an hour away from where I got them. He lived in a very rural area, where as I live in the city. 4 of my neighbors have chickens and have for years with no problems free ranging.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome back to BYC! [​IMG]

    Definitely lock them in the coop for several days to one week so that they learn where home is. When you finally open the door to let them out, they will venture further and further away each day from the coop but should always return knowing it is a place of safety.

    Great to have you aboard and welcome to our flock!
     
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Red Sex Links are egg laying machines. When you build your coop, be sure and make it predator proof, and use hardware cloth rather than chicken wire as there are just too many predators that can tear through chicken wire or pass through the holes in the mesh. You may be surprised how many predators you have there in the city. Even if there are no raccoons, there are still likely rats, cats, dogs, etc. Just make sure if you free range them during the day that you have them locked up securely at night. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your new flock.
     
  8. Yenrabaa

    Yenrabaa Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    These are my ladies. the kids named them Red, Floppy, and the other one. :D
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    I LOVE THEM!:)
     
  10. chickiemama1972

    chickiemama1972 New Egg

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    I am also a new member, but I am from Idaho. Our girls free range in our yard, 3/4 acre completely privacy fenced, "in town" (a suburb). I advocate free ranging whenever possible because then your girls will be happier, healthier, and productive members of your family. It is wise to be alert and aware of predators in your area as raccoon inhabit towns/cities as well as rural areas (they just need food and trees). We don't have any predator issues thus far where we are located, but a friend of mine who lives smack dab in the middle of Boise has many mature trees that house raccoon who have killed her entire flock in one night. Her flock was housed in very nice wooden sheds, but coon have adept little paws and she was devastated that her whole flock was massacred over night. I personally keep our coop within 20 feet of the house, and I always (even in winter) have the the window in my bedroom cracked open so I can hear any disturbances (I am a very light sleeper). I am very protective of our girls.

    By way of brief introduction, we share our lives with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and of course our hens. We are town dwellers, but have been trying to get out to the country for a couple of years; finances haven't been favorable for that kind of a move yet though. I was raised a country girl, and long to return to my roots. We keep things all organic here, and we do NOT eat ANY of our hens (meat free, dairy free, gluten free!). Regardless of egg-laying status, our hens have a place here for the rest of their lives. They are great little garden pals, and are of great worth to me beyond collecting their beautiful eggs. All of our hens are "rescues" and none were purchased from hatcheries since I don't believe in supporting hatcheries that kill male chicks. We have Rhode Island Red (Rhody), black Australorp (Katie Beckett), Golden sex-link (Sunshine), Barred Holland (Barbie), Redcap (Lilly Potter), Old English Banty (Fanny), Brahma dark Banty (Betsy Ross), black frizzled Cochin (Isadora Duncan), frizzled Mille le Fleur old English banty/cochin (Millie), Sicilian Butter cup (Princess Buttercup), and an Americauna (Goldielocks). Isadora Duncan is constantly broody, and we get fertile eggs from a friend who has roos in her flock, so we currently have 2 babies peeping about with Isadora, and they are Dandelion (possibly a faverolle/welsummer) and Lavender Brown (currently a soft fluffy gray chick that popped out of a brown egg, so we don't know possible breeding yet). We did have a red naked-neck, but she passed away. :(

    Photos are of Dandelion and Lavender

    Good luck with your sweet flock
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014

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