Keeping a house chicken

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by MsChickenMomma, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello everyone! I wasn't sure which section of the forums to put this, so I hope I have it in the right place.

    I have a 20 week old special needs Buff Orpington pullet named Sunni. I have been hand feeding her in the house 3 times a day for the past 3 months and she is an absolute sweet heart. Over the past few weeks I have been considering making her a house chicken, but I wanted to learn more about it from some experienced BYCers before I jump on-board with this.

    I have a whole list of questions that I am hoping someone will be able to answer.

    1. Would she get lonely? (I am home about 95% of the time, because I don't get out much, so she wouldn't be alone. I just wonder if she would be lonely without other chickens. I can always take her outside with me if that's the case.)

    2. What do you put the chickens in at night?

    3. Are house cats a problem when it comes to chickens?

    4. Can you train chickens not to jump on the table and counter tops?

    5. Am I crazy for even wanting to do this?? [​IMG]


    I found some adorable chicken diapers that someone here on BYC makes, and they even have a leash loop so you can take your chicken with you places! [​IMG] I am crazy about this little girl, and she absolutely loves people and she loves to be wherever I am. One of the reasons I would also like to keep her in the house is predators. I have lost my favorite chickens to predators before, and I would hate to lose this sweet girl.

    (if anyone is wondering why I have to hand feed her, it's a very long story, but there is a link in my signature that explains why Sunni is disabled.)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Any house chicken owners out there?? ;)
     
  3. carrieb62

    carrieb62 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a house chicken owner!!! I have a small bantam rooster named BeeBee. BeeBee became a house rooster because he was the only egg to hatch out of over 2 dozen eggs that were in the incubator.

    1). If your home all time I don't think she would get "lonely" - my BeeBee who is now 1 year & 4 months old loves being both indoors & outdoors. He's had the same indoor cage since he was a baby, (2). He goes there every night. it's a parrot cage I found for $3 at a yard sale - although I'm sure your girl will need something a little bigger! He has his own private cage outside for during the day where he can sit and chat with the rest of the other hens & roosters. I've tried putting a hen in with him but he gets mad like "how dare you?" I'm not sure if its because he's so spoiled now or what. He enjoys the company of my dog Cowboy, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, they go from antagonizing each other and roughhousing - and when it's time for a treat like bread BeeBee will share his bread with Cowboy!

    3). I don't know about this one, I'm sorry I don't own a cat.

    4). I had some trouble with BeeBee on keeping him off counters & tables. I did all the scolding & reprimanding I could and he just would not listen. One day I was playing with Cowboy who insanely loves chasing the little red dot from those laser light toys... and much to my surprise BeeBee hated that thing! One day I caught him on the table and shined the light on the table and he flewww right off and hasn't been on the table since! I thought it was just BeeBee that hated the light, so one night I tested it out just as my chickens were going to roost in their coops - as soon as the light hit the back wall of the coop they cleared outta the coop in a hurry.

    5). And no you're not crazy - sometimes there are special circumstances & special needs the chickens have that requires them to be a chicken with indoor house privileges!!!

    And we almost lost BeeBee to a predator one night - a coyote! If you look at BeeBee's toes in the picture you'll notice a couple are missing...
    [​IMG]
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    So far I haven't had an official house chicken, just chickens in home infirmary. But you surely are not alone in considering an indoor chicken. There is a very popular thread on the subject that you should check out:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/299187/people-with-house-chickens

    Your Sunni is very cute. I'm sorry about her tongue accident.

    She probably wouldn't get too lonely if you are around a lot. But you might want to think about how you would handle various circumstances, like what would you do if you had to be away from the house for several days, could you get a pet sitter for a chicken at short notice?

    I have dog kennel cages for the chicken infirmary that I line with card board on the bottom and at least a couple of inches up the sided to keep in the bedding. Of course the chicken usually finds a way to scratch some of the bedding out of the kennel, but the mess would be a lot worse if I didn't have something along the sides.

    I don't think cats are a really big risk to an Orpington, but you would have to see how you the cats react to Sunni and supervise them.

    Chickens are probably easier to train than cats (which isn't saying much). It's funny about Bee Bee above and his reaction to the laser pointer. One of my hens chased around the red dot. I was thinking of training tools that are recommended for cats like the spray gun/bottle or maybe shaking a can of pennies to scare the hen off the counter.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chicken diapers, like kids' diapers, are not meant to be left unchanged all day. I highly recommend you get the inserts, and maybe three of them, so you can put a fresh one in the diaper without having to launder it until night time.

    Have a roosting place where your chicken can roost / sleep unencumbered by the diaper, where the night poop can fall into litter or at least over some cover which can be easily cleaned. Mine are not caged, even at night, but they do have their specific perching spots where they settle at night.

    My cat does not bother the house chickens (don't ask, but there is more than one, here), although she will occasionally stalk them just for fun. My dog, however, is insanely jealous and refuses to let any chicken on the sofa, so occasionally there is a bark-fest when Punkin wants to get closer to me and jumps to the back of the sofa.

    My first house chicken was a White Crested Black Polish rooster who had special needs. I won't go into all the details, but he thrived in the house and probably lived longer than he might have otherwise. Nothing like a large fowl, not bantam, rooster crowing you awake in the morning from the living room!
     
  6. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    I know not to leave the diapers unchanged, but thank you. :D How often do you change them?

    I would be able to keep Sunni in a dog crate or an old dog igloo that I have at night, and build a perch in that. I would worry about the house cats antagonizing her when she's sleeping if she wasnt in a cage or crate. We have lots of newspapers, so we could use those for the nighttime poopies. ;)

    The only cat I worry about of mine is our slinky skinny stinker kitty. He can be quite mischievous, but he usually learns what he can and can't do after a few soaks with the squirt bottle.

    Thank you so much for answering all of my questions everyone! :)
     
  7. carrieb62

    carrieb62 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was really disappointed he wouldn't chase it LOL
     
  8. Myrth

    Myrth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cannot advise about house chickens, but I have had several other species of birds in my home. Rather than diapers, why not try to house train?


    I have house trained birds. First I train them to step up onto my arm or a t-perch on command, and down onto a perch on command. To house train I put the bird down on its potty perch (with litter underneath) and give it a command. When it poops, praise and give it the up command. I have had good success with this with a number of species. You do need to have them return to their perch every 30 minutes or so.


    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  9. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you Myrth! Once she gets used to the house (if she becomes a house chicken) and knows her way around, I will try to potty train her. :)
     
  10. birdldy9

    birdldy9 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have found my people!!!! I have 8 other birds inside and a friend has to move and is placing all of her hobby farm critters with friends. I plan to potty train the chicken. I am still reading away and don't yet know enough to know what to ask.
     

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