1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Mother Of Merle

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TreeBonker, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. TreeBonker

    TreeBonker New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Feb 21, 2016
    Hello there! I finally got myself signed up for this forum, as I was checking this site all of the time for varied chicken advice.

    I started with 6 Sex Links hens from the tractor supply about 5 years ago just to rid my yard of dandeiions and ticks without chemicals. I have since fallen in love with raising chickens and am about to raise my third brood of chicks come March. I only have one lonely Australorp hen, ever since a fox got into our yard through a broken fence slat and slaughtered our other Australorp, our Orpington, and our 5 year old Sex Links still from the original brood. Merle is the last one, and she is very lonely. I am planning on getting 4 chicks: 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 I still haven't decided on.

    My problem: Merle was taught by an Americana early on that jumping our fence was okay. I was really miffed, considering the Sex Links NEVER left the yard and could be trusted to be free-range. I got complaints by neighbors and everything. Merle still wanders the neighborhood, but since she's only one, it doesn't seem to bother anyone. She doesn't even roost in the coop, she roosts on the window air conditioning unit in my husbands workshop(which actually saved her life from the fox!). I do not want to teach these new chicks bad lessons. I could make a bigger coop and just keep them in a run (including Merle), but I have always let my girls free-range.

    Any suggestions as to how to keep the new ones homebodys and get Merle to be in on the effort?

    Thanks and happy to be here!

    Sarah
     
  2. Bailey1204

    Bailey1204 Chillin' With My Peeps

    105
    18
    71
    Aug 25, 2014
    Wisconsin
    Keep the chicks in their coop/run all the time until they are adults so they know what 'home' is. Then, encourage them to sleep/roost in the coop by moving them at dusk if they start to sleep other places. Reward them with treats every time they come in the coop and keep a special supply of treats in the coop at night to get them in the coop at night. Because chickens don't see well at night, luring them into the coop will keep them from leaving unless they're some sort of super natural chicken freak. (LOL Just kidding)
    Hope I helped,
    Bailey1204
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

    84,499
    3,755
    628
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  4. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

    22,956
    3,127
    456
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC. You may wish to consider clipping the flight feathers on one of Merle's wings to stop her flying around?

    All the best
    CT
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    77,200
    5,441
    686
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    The best way to keep chickens from wandering is an enclosed run with some type of cover. The chickens will stay put and predators will be kept out.
     
  6. TreeBonker

    TreeBonker New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Feb 21, 2016
    Thank You!
     
  7. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft! Premium Member

    Hello!
    [​IMG]
    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by