I'm about to inherit 10 chickens...


11 Years
Oct 3, 2008
Hi, I just joined this forum because my husband and I are going to be moving into a house in Portland, OR in a few weeks that has an awesome chicken coop and 10 chickens in the backyard (being left behind for us). We've never had chickens (though we've wanted to for a while) and I know we have a lot of research to do. But I have a few immediate (and very naive, I know) questions that I thought someone out there might be able to help me with.
1- We'll be arriving about 48 hours after the current owners vacate. Will the chickens be okay for this time with no attention? I assume you have to give them food and water every day...
2- Is there anything we can do, or shouldn't do, in the first few days to get the chickens used to us? Do they attach themselves to people in such a way that they will be distraught at their owner's absence?



11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
feeed and water them ,lol you outta get them fed as soon as possible and water is a must

suburban farm girl

12 Years
Nov 16, 2007
SF Bay Area
Get details from the current chicken parents about how they feed and water the birds. Some waterers are attached to a faucet and will keep filled automatically - assuming the water service isn't stopped...

They could put extra food in the run for them, too. Not the best case scenario, but as a last resort it could work.

Truly though, for their safety they should be secured in their coop at night and let out again in the morning.

How far is your new home from neighbors? Is there someone the current residents know and trust who lives nearby and could do a morning and evening visit to the chickens? If there is, I would also ask for their phone number so they can contact you with any questions or problems...

Depending on how much time the current owners spent with the chickens, they chickens could miss them. They'll get used to you though. Talk to them. Bring a chair and a book into the run with them and just hang out. Avoid chasing them or moving in ways that agitate them - calm and slow. Bring them treats. They'll be really excited to see you in no time!

(You can do a search for other threads for ideas of treats the chickens will love to eat- and love you for)
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Farmer Kitty

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Sep 18, 2007

First, ask the current owners to feed and water them heavy. They may have feeders already that will last them the couple days lag time.

Second, just spend time around the birds. Giving them extra treats won't hurt either. Here is a link to the treat chart: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart It will tell you what is saft to give them and what isn't safe.

Third, enjoy your new home and chickens!


11 Years
Aug 20, 2008
Canby, Or-y-gun
Just an FYI, if you are going to be in the city limits of Portland, the legal limit is 3 hens, no roos. Not to scare you or anything, if the previous owners didn't have any problems there's no reason you should. However, I would try to keep the flock on the down low.


11 Years
Jul 9, 2008
Western PA
If the current owners fill a good-sized feeder and waterer, the chickens should not even notice anything amiss. When I leave my girls for a weekend, I put a spare waterer in the coop, just in case of a mishap.

The hens will not pine for their missing masters. Feed 'em and they're yours.


13 Years
Jan 15, 2007
Garden Valley, ca
Quote:What the old owners neglected to tell everyone, the ten chickens left behind are roosters not hens.
The chickens will be O K for a few days without any human contact. You would be amazed at how well a chicken can take care of itself. If it is left to free range, it will find food nd water. For those that think a chicken or any critter can't live without human help is wrong. In some cases the critter is better off with no human around.

Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

11 Years
Sep 24, 2008
Skidway Lake, MI
Quote:For those that think a chicken or any critter can't live without human help is wrong. In some cases the critter is better off with no human around.

LOL - so true. One of mind disappeared into the woods for a month then came back with 5 chicks in line behind her one day. Strangest thing I've ever seen. She had a better success rate than I have in the bator!

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