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Keeping 1 chicken at home ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brooklynbirds18, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know in general chickens are not supposed to live by themself but I would like to explain myself and get some opinions. We had a problem with our HOA and we gave away 3 out of 4 girls, but kept one. She is an Ameraucana and is about a year old. We didn't give her away because she has a beak problem (https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/834747/weird-beak-issue-need-some-advice) and we are very scared for her.

    With that being said, she is the sweetest and nicest of all our girls we've ever had. She is at the very bottom of the pecking order and about 50% of the time we'd go in the backyard we'd see her by herself and the other three would be together. Obviously the other half shed be with the other hens usually under the bushes in the shade etc. She never lays an egg in the coop and found her own spot in a flower pot by the patio door above where most of the others can't fly. She's held the most out of all of them, never bites and is rarely noisy. She's fed separately and is spoiled with her own food and water ( only because our others aren't very nice to her). Even in the coop she sleeps on a support branch not even close to the others on the roost/ perch, I don't know what it's called. We tried to bring her to the new coop where our others are but even the pre-existing girls in there pecked at her and she wanted out immediately. At that same place where we would've left her, a small dog chased her just for play and she flew on my head, which she hasn't done since she was about two months.

    She's very timid and relaxed and loves attention from us and loves to just hop on our lap when we sit outside. I made a single roost for her so she can live inside in my room at night and I will make her a chicken diaper so she can be inside more, but she still needs to be outside just because of her nature. If her beak wasn't looking so unusual we would've given her away as well but that's just not the case.

    We gave our other hens away today so it was my Ameraucanas first day on her own. She wandered like she always does and to my knowledge didn't show any bad signs but what should I look for? How do I know if she's upset or depressed? We're gonna try to make her a house pet but we'll see how it goes. I found her just now in the coop and she was where she usually is.. I took her in and I'm sitting with her. She'll be with me in my room tonight.
    Any advice would be great, thanks to all and god bless

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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    A lone pet chicken like her will tend to get attached (or more attached) to its humans. In a sense, you are now her flock. It doesn't sound like she is suffering from the relationship. It's just not a natural one for a chicken, but obviously, she is a special case. I think as long as she continues to eat and drink, behave normally for her, and respond positively to you as she has in the past, that she will be fine.

    You said "for a little while." Do you intend to keep her for life, or to find her another flock? The problem I suspect would be if you tried to integrate her into another flock. I am wondering if you could get away with keeping one, especially if she is partly a house pet. A lot depends on how your HOA is worded -- and of course, whether someone chooses to enforce it.
     
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    She should be good just be aware that they tend to look out for each other spotting predators sharing goodies.... She will need a little more diligence keeping her safe when out free ranging.

    Good luck with that HOA.... those diapers work really well. Don't tell people shes a chicken tell her shes a rare breed of Galus Galus. LOL.... [​IMG]

    deb
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Haha, not a bad idea at all!
     
  5. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We want to keep her as long as we can. I posted my HOA situation on this site a few weeks ago and through that I found a helpful group where I live and were going to try to change the laws around here. We only got rid of the others because most of the them were pretty noisy and she is usually very quiet. We don't really want to bring a new flock on the property but rather impregante her with another Ameraucana so she can have her own family/flock. The only way another hen will join is if it was one that we just gave away.

    And il be honest I have no idea how to make a chicken daier but I'm going to have to in the next few days.
     
  6. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But in general how do I know that she's ok like mentally and emotionally? Now she is very friendly and I can pick her up pretty easily, sometimes she'll make me run a little bit but once I'm close enough she'll arch her wings and brace herself lol. Umm the last fee months she doesn't just hope on us as much but still does it a nice amount of time.whenever we pick her up and have her sit with us she calms down, and just sort of sits still and sleeps. I do that with literally like twice a day maybe more if I have the time. She always eats when food is presented to her and not that it matters but she's the only one of my girls who enjoys bananas.

    She didn't lay an egg yesterday but she is right now. Before she actually went in the coop this morning and was possibly looking for the others. She was going in and out of each nesting box scratching the floor and seeing If she could get comfortable making the tiniest little ba-gawk sound, probably because she needs to lay that egg lol.. And like 10 mins ago she flew in her usual flower pot by the patio door. I don't know how much of this matters I just want to get all this out so I can compare and contrast a change if I notice one.

    If she was depressed how would things be? I'm guessing not eating or drinking as much or maybe not laying eggs as much.. I did some research and some people said her eggs wouldn't be fertile anymore if she is depressed, meaning that little red spec when you crack the egg would cease to come back from her. I really don't know which Is why I'm posting here. It does kill me when I go outside now and just see her wandering around all alone, hopefully making her a house pet will be a positive change.
     
  7. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is foraging and dustbathing and doing normal chicken things, I think you're alright. Just keep an eye out for anxious or mopey behavior--if she starts hanging out in the same spot in the yard all day and isn't eating much, or if she starts getting nervous about her own shadow. From the sounds of it, she wasn't very attached to the rest of the flock anyway, so she probably doesn't care that they're gone. She is apparently getting the social interaction she needs from you.

    As for "impregnating" her, if a hen isn't broody, she isn't going to have any interest in raising a family, and in any case, she's not going to care too much if the chicks came from her eggs or someone else's. In particular, if she has a problem with her beak that is genetic, you probably don't want to breed her anyway, as she'll likely end up passing that defect down to her offspring. If you are really concerned about providing her with a flock, just buying some Easter Egger (or other breed) chicks and raising them around her would be your best bet. Odds are she won't be too interested in rearing them herself, but with them coming into her "flock" as newbies, she'll have a chance to establish herself as top hen. Just be mindful that she doesn't end up bullying and hurting any new chicks you bring into the scene.
     
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Oh my goodess.... You can buy Chicken diapers..... There are people here that sell them as well as you can get them on Ebay but you can also buy thim through Parrot websites...... The pattern is pretty simple the process of putting them on and maintaining is pretty simple too. They were originally invented for ducks so We gGOtto know they are water proof.... And some of them even have a little clip for a leash... There are even some that are decorative to look like a little dress...

    Let me dig up the websites.... You can make her a little area inside where she can live without a diaper that will still be secure and comffortable for her.

    deb... "sorry for the type os I was up late and can barely see right now.... LOL"
     
  9. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I never really thought of whether or not she is broody. How would I be able to tell if she is? She does sit on her egg usually after its laid, unless there are treats being passd around then she gets right up. The beak problem I posted in another thread and was told its her diet, and she's lacking calcium along with vitamin a and d.

    Right now she is wandering the yard, she was standing in the same spot for a little bit and making a very quiet sort of pur sound. Se has done that before but not too often. Sometimes she will also walking backwards out of no where.
     
  10. brooklynbirds18

    brooklynbirds18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2012
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    Buying one or two diapers would be great I have no idea how to sew lol. And plus Ill be keeping her in obviously much more when we get one.

    As far as what I just said a out her in the still position for a few mins, she snapped out of it and came over and hopped on my lap but left pretty fast. Now she's foraging for bugs and is exceeding there :)
     

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