I love my hens but.......

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by my5hens, May 19, 2013.

  1. my5hens

    my5hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    I wish I hadn't gotten them. I am so sorry, I have Rhode Island Reds that don't lay anymore and when they do they eat their own eggs. They only 2 years old. I've spent dollar after dollar getting their coop nice and its still a fly attracter. My yard looks like tobacco road because they live in it.

    They are sweet and I do love them, I will keep them until they die a peaceful hen death but I will never get hens again. Sorry [​IMG]
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It is not for everyone. Don't let it bug you, but you might try advertizing and someone might buy the house and the girls and then you would be out of it.
  3. BrendaJ

    BrendaJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2012
    don't be sorry. Im sure your just frustrated. You work hard & give them a lot & its not working out right now. There are lots of tricks to get them to stop eating eggs - several threads on here about it. The fake egg trick worked on my bratty BCM hen. I put a few plastic eggs in a few nest boxes, started collecting more & it snapped her out of it. She then went broody & wanted to hatch the fake eggs [​IMG] I thought there was no winning with her but I took the fake ones away & now things are good. My flock is mixed & chickens can be destructive. Do they get extra calcium & can you keep them in a run to help the rest of your yard? Maybe just little changes will help your frustration & there egg production :) I think most of us have felt something like this from time to time[​IMG] Take care
    1 person likes this.
  4. Katiedid

    Katiedid Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2011
    Don't feel badly. I feel the same way. I can't seem to get rid of a mite/lice infestation and I can't believe the amount of time I am spending worrying about this, without solving it. I don't have the heart to euthanize them, but I feel really uncomfortable about the fact that I don't know why this isn't getting better. I think this is a hobby for someone who has experience or friends with experience. I love this forum, for starting me on the right path, but I feel like I need someone who can come over to the house, tell me if my basic assumptions are correct and then actually show me what to do. It drives me nuts that I can't fix my own problems and I hate feeling helpless. We are moving in a few months and won't be having chickens again. The chickens themselves have been fun, but I don't have the skills or resources to handle issues that come up.

    I think we can just do our best now and look back on this as a learning experience when it's over. There have been some very fun moments.
  5. tcmstalcup

    tcmstalcup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Please rehome your hens. If they are stressful and not enriching your life, move on without guilt. They can live a long time and you should not be saddled with them that long if its not pleasurable.
  6. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2012
    From Southwestern, PA.

    I agree, I have heard of 15 year old hens. If you do care for them, find them a new home. You can ask that the new owner not eat them and they will be happy.
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have taken a couple of chicken breaks over the years and REALLY recommend this!!!

    Sell them or give them away. Let several months go by and see how you feel then. I found myself OVERWHELMINGLY missing my chickens and then got some more. Then I could return to the joy of having chickens, having rested.

    The flock that you have at the time makes ALL the difference in the world in terms of the experience you have with chickens. A flock with problems takes all the joy out of it.

    Chickens who are eating their eggs should be either retrained with mustard eggs (I haven't had to deal with this) or culled in my opinion. If you don't want to cull then selling them with full disclosure about their egg eating is the best thing.

    They will teach any new chickens you get to eat their eggs, too, so it is like a disease that spreads through the flock.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Here is what I do (I have dealt with mites repeatedly and have been in tears many times over this...but have finally found what works):

    If you skip some of these steps they come right back:

    1. Wear mask, gloves, long sleeves, (take shower afterwards) and put some Poultry Dust from the feed store (permethrin) in a tied-off sock. Turn a chicken on its back on the ground and hold onto the feet with one hand. Dust with the sock around the vent area, under the wings, and the abdomen. Turn chicken over. Dust the neck and back. Don't dust the face. Next chicken.

    2. Scatter some Poultry dust in the coop if you use sand in the floor of the coop. If you use shavings toss all shavings first. Then dust the coop (get the cracks and crevices with some permethrin spray or dust). I use liquid permethrin for the cracks and roosts (even the underside of the roosts). I have found that by switching to sand in the floor of the coop (I scoop with kitty litter scoop and plastic rake) that I have fewer mite problems. Also with the sand I don't have to throw anything away with my treatments except nest box shavings.

    3. Also make sure that you get rid of all nest box shavings too OR they will come right back!!! I now use cedar shavings in the nest boxes unless I have a broody hen (normally cedar shavings are not good but they say not to put insecticides in the nest boxes). Those mites crawl around in the nest boxes and if you don't clean them out too they crawl back on the hens. I have covered plastic kitty litter pans that I use and they clean up better than wooden boxes.

    4. Repeat this FULL treatment of the birds and coop and nest boxes at 7 days. Because of the life cycle of mites, if you don't retreat them the mites come right back and it is like you didn't treat them.

    If you have collected mites in your house, be sure to vacuum and wash sheets. They will NOT breed on human blood, but they do bite humans and the Northern Fowl Mite can live for 3 weeks with no poultry blood meal. The red mite (lives in the coop) can live for 9 months with no poultry blood meal.

    There are some websites still recommending Sevin Dust (which worked VERY well) but is not labeled for poultry anymore.

    Now I dust my coops and chickens every 2-4 months. When I get a bite or feel itchy, I do it right away. This works and the Poultry Dust makes them instantly die. Don't try to treat an infestation with Diatomaceous Earth- it doesn't work.

    There are some other products (like Ra vap I believe) that are approved for chickens- you can research what you can use to rotate to prevent resistance of the insects to the pesticide.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    There is absolutely nothing to apologize for. I agree with the advice to find them a new home if they are not bringing you any joy. You may want to try again sometime, or you may not. If you're sure this isn't for you, sell the coop and buy something that will make you happy. They are chickens. Not children. You can get rid of chickens. The kids... not so much [​IMG].
    1 person likes this.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I agree, rehome them. You can disclose their egg eating and I'm sure someone will still take them. Those birds can easily live 5 more years, I'd hate to think of you begrudging caring for a flock that long! I see 2 year old hens on my local CL and the ad is gone in less than 48hours, so folks do buy them!

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