I'm still learning with my new hens...newbie here.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by coolcanoechic, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. I just finished building my coop with run last week and purchased 3 hens from a breeder on Craigs list. One Rhode Island Red, one New Hampshire Red, and one Plymouth Barred Rock. All good birds for this area. They were used to free ranging with little human contact before I got them. They are in lock up, of course, until they know where their new home is.

    I felt that they were traumatized by the move and the change. They were frightened of me and slept in their nesting box the first two nights. I closed it off after that until I thought they would roost at night. Last night I removed the barrier from the nesting boxes and they did not sleep in them. Yea! :lol

    I have been trying to come up with a routine to acclimate them to their new environment. I have only had them for one week now. When I leave for work in the morning, I turn on their light in the coop and open their coop door. That is at 3 am. When I get home in the afternoon, I bring them a treat, close the coop door and clean it out and change the water. Then I open it again. They are now getting used to me and the NH Red sort of makes a crying noise when she see's me. Today, I actually got her to take some scratch out of my hand. I think she is the most receptive to me so far. [​IMG] They all cluck when I arrive and I think they know I am bringing them a treat. It is my opinion, that they have never had treats, so I am going sparingly with them, so I don't give them an unintentional belly ache. I sing when I am there taking care of business and the NH Red cries at me and follows me. I think it's so cute. [​IMG]
    I am slowly learning what it is like to take care of chickens and doing my best to make sure they are healthy, happy, and comfortable. Today, I made a dust bath in the run for them. The run is full of sand and covered with chopped mulch hay. It seems to be working very well! I raked out a corner to expose the sand and then mixed it with some dirt and DE. I have not seen them dust bathe at all since I got them. The coop has sand with DE in it and they do'nt dust bathe in there....at least not when I am home to see it. I wonder if they are doing the dust bathing or not. They sure like to pick at themselves and I don't want to traumatize them anymore by catching them and picking through their feathers to see if they have lice. I figure they probably do since they have been free ranging. I am hoping they will use their dust bath and it will take care of any critters they may have on their skin. Any thoughts on this? Like I said, I would really like to take my time with them so they will learn to trust me, before I go grabbing them and groping the poor ladies to see if they have critters on them.
    Anyway, so far so good I think.
    I wonder how long before I get my golden egg? [​IMG]

  2. NinnyGillaspie

    NinnyGillaspie Chirping

    Sep 18, 2011
    Huntsville, Tx
    Isn't it wonderful? I'm new to the chicken thing. Got my first White leghorns last spring. Now have incorporated RIR. They are 6 weeks old and when I go in the run, they jump all over me. Yesterd[​IMG]ay my EE who we call Bossy Barbara, was on my head! I love em.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  3. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Congrats on the new ladies.
    I found mine love bathing in pete from home depot. Mine avoided the sand entirely. They would not even step in it. Silly chickens.
    It takes some time for the gals to get comfortable with all the new things in their world. I have a group of four that I added and it took them 2 months before I could really handle them without a fuss.

    Welcome to the wonders of "chicken ranchin".
  4. Quote:Hey! That's a great idea! If they don't take to the dust bath soon, I'll try the peat. Thanks so much!

  5. Quote:Hey! That's a great idea! If they don't take to the dust bath soon, I'll try the peat. Thanks so much!

    Mine just like the dirt never would use the sand , but I'm in so.Calif. so they think they are stars [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Welcome to byc. If you think your chickens might have bugs, get some poultry dust. They can get anemic fast . Sprinkle it on each hen. Dust your nest boxes and coop. Have fun watching those chickens!:)
  7. MamaManda

    MamaManda Songster

    Dec 2, 2011
    SW Washington
    My Coop
    Sounds like you're well on your way to becoming a "crazy bird lady" too. [​IMG] (as my husband refers to me.) I have 10 week old chicks that I am totally addicted to.

    Thought I'd mention that all my birds (Have Coturnix quail as well) LOVE to bathe in fine, dry homemade compost. I sift the chunks out (or not) and let them fling to their hearts content. Don't know what the research says, [​IMG], but I feel like it's gotta be good for them somehow. haha. They often stop flinging and eat things they find as they go too. If you don't have your own bin, maybe someone you know can spare some?

    Good luck with your girls! Keep us updated!

  8. Quote:Ha ha [​IMG] a crazy chicken lady. Ya, probably. I have not had any pets in over 10 years. The hubby doesn't like dogs or cats. I'm surprised I talked him into a chicken coop and birds. In a way, maybe he doesn't seem to think they can have their own personalities or actually be pets......yet, I have seen him trying to make friends and talking to them [​IMG]
    I think he likes them [​IMG]

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