It's a good thing my area is virtually predator-free

Keg

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 11, 2010
60
0
29
Melbourne
Because I just had one of my CHICKENS break INTO the coop
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I have two ISA Brown hens (Shelly and Chloe), and just bought another at point-of-lay (Camilla
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). Poor Camilla is not being taken to too kindly by Shelly and Chloe just yet, so I've had Camilla locked in the coop with Shelly and Chloe outside.

Shelly discovered that the staples holding the chicken wire over the top of the run will pop out if you jump on the chicken wire... thankfully she wasn't too vicious with Camilla (I think she mainly wanted to get in to lay an egg, which she did).

There was some flapping about and a mildly pecked/scratched comb for Camilla, but I think they're sorting their differences out slowly.


On another note, Camilla looks set to earn her keep - laid an egg on her first day here, yay!
 

Keg

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 11, 2010
60
0
29
Melbourne
Omran, I'll try to get some pics to post for you :)

I've fixed the coop up and locked the two original hens in it - it has a run and a nesting area.

Camilla's ok now, I've had to rig up a "shack" for her out of a large solid plastic sheet and some plastic boxes and pot plants (running on a budget here), so that she's got somewhere sheltered to sleep. She has the reign of the whole backyard. I think it'll be some time before her and the other two can get along. I only got her yesterday so I know it's early, but I'm a worrier - anyone with previous positive experiences, feel free to provide reassurance!

When I was out there "supervising" their interactions, there was a bit of scuffling, but she always ran back to my feet (she sees me as her protector, it is SO cute). I left them on their own (really stupid of me
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) and the other two had a go at her. She's got a bit of a henpecked comb, it looked a bit raw. I've sprayed antiseptic on it.

Another worry I have about her, is that she seems to have a runny nose. She was vaccinated against Mareks and Infectious Bronchitis according to the breeder, but I'm worried she might have something nasty - and she would have already passed it on to the other two, if so. I'm hoping I won't be learning a lesson the hard way
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So far, I've given them all a hefty dose of crushed garlic mixed into some scrambled egg (at least a heaped teaspoon), but I don't have access to antibiotics of any type, short of an expensive vet visit - the vet won't give me broad spectrum antibiotics without a consultation.



(If a moderator sees this thread, perhaps it belongs in another area of the forum, sorry.. maybe "Managing Your Flock" or "Emergencies/Diseases/Injures & Cures"?)
 

gsim

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,997
40
196
East Tennessee
You are right about one thing. If a chicken can break into a coop, then that is one sorry excuse for a coop for sure! The absence or presence of predators is like weather. Wait a while and it will change. If you do not correct that flimsy coop, you will one day walk outside to a grisly scene. Do not take my word for it. Read predators section of this forum and you will see soon enough for yourself.

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Keg

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 11, 2010
60
0
29
Melbourne
Yeah, it is a bit of a sorry looking coop :-(
I've repaired it now, at least temporarily. As you'll see in the photos below, it's recycled from an old desk, with a plyboard internal wall, a plyboard door, and a pine frame with chicken wire over it.

The advantage of my location (VERY suburban Melbourne, Australia), is that there are definitely no foxes. My backyard is thoroughly fenced in, there's no way that a dog could get in. There are no birds of prey in the area at all. We have one or two native possums in the area, but they are nothing like the possums/opossums you guys get - these guys are strictly vegetarian :)

There is always the chance of a stray/feral cat, I'm not denying that. I've done a temporary securing job on the coop (see below photo), with plans to eventually replace the "desk" part altogether with a good solid pine frame and some corrugated tin, fibreglass or colorbond (the weather is quite temperate here; It never snows and there's maybe 10 days of frost a year).

The coop is also RIGHT outside my bedroom window (the "repaired" photo was actually taken from inside my bedroom to give a sense of perspective). If ANYTHING came near my chickens I'd be out there like a shot.


Anyway - on to the pictures. First, some introductions:

This is Chloe

This is Shelly (in the background)

This is Camilla, the newcomer

This is Camilla's fluffy butt (had to post it!)

This is the hole that bulldozer Shelly made by bouncing

This is poor Camilla's comb after a henpecking (it's not torn, it was always floppy - just a little raw. I put antiseptic on it)

This is Shelly and Chloe in jail until they can get along! (This is the photo taken through my bedroom window. It also (sort of) shows the repairs to the top - heavy cable ties at regular intervals through holes drilled in the wood).
 

Keg

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 11, 2010
60
0
29
Melbourne
Finally the other two are starting to accept Camilla. They can eat together now with only the occasional peck at each other. I'm quite glad, because I don't need to separate them any more
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