Is a Coop necessary?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thesearcherman, May 26, 2010.

  1. thesearcherman

    thesearcherman In the Brooder

    May 23, 2010
    Hello everybody! I have one hen, part Rhode Island Red, one lady said it was called a " producer". She showed up one day about a month ago, and now calls my place home. Anyhow, she lays one egg a day, like clock work. Sleeps in her tree at nite, about 10-11 feet up in the air. Does she want/need some kind of shelter? Looked like a rooster tore her up pretty good before she showed up. I went out and bought 2 other hens, she ran them off? She also runs from a rooster who shows up across the street once and a while, like really scared of him. Thanks for your replys.
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    [​IMG] from ct. to the byc forum here.
    to answer your question: do you want to keep her? will she come to you? where is she laying her egg?
    if you care about her, surely building her a safe home is the answer for ya.
    on this website there are lots of coops to build. some expensive , some not so.

    good luck! [​IMG]
  3. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    If you want to keep it to just this one chicken, it seems she is fine. I've known people who let their chickens roost in trees and while I would never do it, to each their own. If you do want more chickens, definitely get a coop. The ones that ran off have likely been eaten, so that's not a very nice fate for them.
  4. thesearcherman

    thesearcherman In the Brooder

    May 23, 2010
    She will eat out of my hand and come to me. Very smart bird. I don't mind building her a house, however, she does have a mind of her own, and I wonder if she will get in it? She now lays her egg in the corner of my chimney, everyday, between 9:30 and 11:00, I would call the brown egg a jumbo size. When I went and bought her 2 buddies for company, she attacked one of them as soon as I let them out of the box. She was not happy to have company. Is this strange or normal? Guess I will have to build/buy a hen house to she if she like it? Thanks
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Pecking order.

    For 3 hens, you don't need a huge coop. If she prefers to free range, a rubbermade tub, upside down, that is elevated would provide some shelter for her, but it sounds like she it pretty much self sufficient. I assume you're feeding her?
  6. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    What about next winter? Chickens need a place to stay dry and shelter from cold winds.
  7. thesearcherman

    thesearcherman In the Brooder

    May 23, 2010
    Yes, I feed her. She eats like a pig! I think I may be feeding her to much? I will get her a house, but she may reject it I suspect. Seems to enjoy her freedom and roaming around in the woods. It is my understanding she cannot lay an egg a day is she does not get enough to eat?
  8. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA

    That is cool! You have a primal chicken! [​IMG] There is a park here in Sacramento that houses about 30+ roosters, all just wild park roo's, and they do great. They find shelter from the rain, and some even just stand in the rain, but they do fine. She is probably doing good enough eating bugs to be laying so well I would think [​IMG] if you can afford a bit of chicken feed to sprinkle here and again that would be good probably [​IMG] My friends had a ranch and had ranch chickens that found shelter where they could (tons of trees), and they were happy as could be.
  9. Quote:I reccomend you get yourself a good chicken book and hang around here often. There's alot you need to know. [​IMG] And the mind and behaviors of a chicken can be complex at times.

    Firstly, your new hen attacking newcommers is 100% normal. She's protecting her own territory. Assuming she's been in your home for a few weeks now, this is her turf. That means she'll feel the pull on it and show the newbies that they cannot invade her home without going un-noticed. But in time, she will accecpt any newbie. They just have to go through a sort of initiation. It is sad that your two friends ran away (or were eaten), but just because you're raising your own house-chicken, it doesn't mean the others will take to it well, especially birds that you have not hand-rasied from chicks. You can't just let them go and expect them to stay/have your hen babysit. They don't know what home is. The house-pet behavior your hen shows is a bit of a rarity in the chicken-world. Although she is pampered indoors, if she was to begin a new life outside, I'm sure she'd adjust and it would come more naturally.

    A few questions for you:
    -Have you established the age of your hen?
    -How old were the birds you had bought that ran away?
    -What are you feeding her, exactly?

    She WILL absolutely need buddies. But they should be roughly the same age as her, if not, a little bit older. She'd dominate young birds to the point of possibly killing them. Also, if you get any new birds, they should be quarantined for at least a month. They might have outside germs or your hen might give them something, and they should not mix until you make sure BOTH groups are healthy, that is, in that critical month.

    For her own safety, I suggest a small coop enough for at least one buddy, probably two to be safe. Sleeping in a tree is okay now, but as it was previously stated, what happens in the winter? Also, some predators will be able to get her once they figure out there's something tasty hanging in a tree at night, and chickens really can't protect themselves.
  10. thesearcherman

    thesearcherman In the Brooder

    May 23, 2010
    Big Red, my chicken, killed and ate a snake this morning. About 7 inches long.

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