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Moving my Silkie inside for a couple years?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Scooter&Suzie, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I *know* that in the past I've read success stories of people keeping indoor chickens using diapers. However, I just can't find whatever websites those were again. I've also tried to do some looking up on past threads on here, however everything I hear is either from someone not using chicken diapers or from people who don't do it. I know of at least one person, chickenmom, on youtube, who does it. People have also had stories of an injured chicken that turned into an indoor pet and snuggled.

    The reason I'm actually considering this, is because in the winter it's very difficult to take care of the hens and their water is always freezing, multiple times a day, and the door freezes shut. I am awful with the cold, so spending 30+ minutes in the cold each morning is pretty miserable for me. Also, I was thinking of rehoming (aka giving them to someone who will turn them into chicken stew most likely :/ ) most of my hens. Some I've had for four years, and they are named, so it would be hard. But the hardest will be my little black Silkie hen, Pippin. I love this little girl with all my heart. However, in 2016 I'll be headed off to college, so I doubt I will be close enough to stay at home and take care of the ladies. So, I might rehome them all now. But Pippin... I want to hang on to her as long as possible. I've brought her inside before to snuggle, she's like a little cat. I know she'll hit off wonderfully with my one cat, Nataly. Nataly used to be friends with my rat and has always been good around the chickens. Keira, my other cat, will probably distance herself, but she won't hurt Pippin.

    During the summer and during good weather, I'll go outside with Pippin to enjoy the weather, but during the cold winter which she usually just stays huddled up in her coop anyway, I'll keep her inside with a diaper. I assume it will need to be changed every couple of hours? Also, I hate having her in the cold, even though her coop is insulated she lost a couple toe nails last winter, I'd feel much better with her being inside a heated environment. Howevever, when I go to college in a couple years, I'll have to rehome her, probably in a home where she will live outside with other chickens

    Will there be any disease problems with the cats and the chicken? Chicken and the humans? Will human and cat company be enough, or do chickens really need each other? She seems to distance herself as much as possible from the other chickens, she seems to be a bit of a loner. Although we do have some wonderful cuddling sessions together :)

    Oh, wow, I'm sorry, I talked a lot... I do that... But it'll mean a lot to me if you read or just scan it and give me your opinion on this possible adventure :)
     
  2. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While I have not kept house-chickens myself, it is becoming more common. I keep cats in my coop without issues so I don't think there will be any problem there (at least that I am aware of). Just keep her away from the litter box, they will eat cat poo [​IMG]

    You need to consider a few things first. Remember that chickens are flock animals, she might get quite lonely while you are at school.
    Is it an option to keep two?
    Where will she/they be kept? Needs to be large enought for them to move around. Draft-free.

    You can get diapers online for her to roam about, but any free roam areas will need to be chicken-proofed. Outlets, cords, plastics, small items, can mean death for a curious chicken.

    Maybe some others can offer some more advice.
    I do know that you can find a better home for your other hens. Put them on a buy/sell site and I am sure you can find a home that won't make them dinner.


    Here are some links I found that might help you get started!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/125038/chickens-as-house-pets-a-guide
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/125001/potty-training-chickens-how-to
     
  3. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems like you have a good plan. The idea with the chicks might work, but if you are home to offer her companionship she should be alright. I would defenitely try her with your cat for a few days first. I had a pet rat as a teen, he was potty trained and he and my cat had free roam of my room. He was a great compainion, I adored him!
    Give it a try and update! One day I might want a house chicken too LOL (my husband would just love that)!
     
  5. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I'll try her with my cat for a little as soon as I can :) Or as soon as I get an okay from my mom xD She'll love it as much as your husband ;) My mom just sometimes needs to see something will work, she's doesn't want a stinking chicken. Both my sister and I manged to get rats, I doubt house chickens are much worse, I just have to make my mom fall in love, which won't be very hard xD How can you say no to an adorable fuzzy chicken?
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    My friend has had various breeds as HOUSE chickens for the past 25 years or so. Mainly they have been silkies, one or two at a time. I have been to her house and honestly there is no odor at all. She now has 3 silkies and 2 seramas. They have pretty much free range of her house during the day. Watch tv with her later, and spend the night in crates. She refuses to try diapers and now I can understand that - with 5 chickens, she'd be doing it all day. But she wouldn't diaper them when she only had one.

    She just has her clean up gear handy and takes care of "it" whenever it happens and does a lot of laundry. When she had only one silkie ,it immediately attached itself to her peke-a-poo 30 lb. dog. The dog isn't thrilled but doesn't harm any . Now with the 5, one serama goes broody and chases the dog out of his bed. He's afraid to go back till she is non-broody. She never sits on eggs just sits on nothing. When my friend has visitors the chickens all hide behind the couch- pacing back and forth till they leave. They will even look out now and then to see if the strangers have gone. It is the cutest thing- I just look over the back of the couch and watch them.

    There is a very good thread on BYC called "People with house chickens." I think you would feel better if you read through the thread and maybe let your mom also. . Silkies don't even look like chickens - most people think they are some kind of strange little foo foo dog. The point is, you will see by all the storiesthat having chickens or one chicken in the house is getting very common. Seramas were bred in Malaysia to be house pet birds. Both silkies and seramas adapt well to confinement.

    Some people diaper their pets, some do not. If you just have one it really isn't much trouble to just wipe up after them. Some can even learn to hold "it" a while , especially over night and release it when put outside in the morning.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she's on my lap right now :) I introduced her to Nataly, Nataly was curious but timid. The other cat just looked at the silkie for a couple minutes and now is ignoring my chicken xD She just sits wherever I put her though :/ Is that because she is lonely? She has so much room and doesn't even move a step forwards. Maybe the diaper I made for her feels strange? If this becomes a permanent housing, I'll get her some better chicken diapers made by people who know what they are doing. My mom has given me so very very funny looks for having a chicken on my lap xD I reassured her that there would be no droppings and that I washed my silkies feet, so no dirty floors :)

    I just need to bring in some food and water for her. The practical solution would be to have her share her water with the cats and put her food next to the cat food, but I'm not sure if they cats will eat her food and she'll eat the cat food.

    Hopefully my mum gets comfortable with the chicken in the house and will allow her to stay :) My dad... He just got out of the car, so we'll see what he thinks when he gets in xD
     
  8. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She will eat the cat food (not sure on the nutritional issue for that), and my coop-cats will nibble at the grains occasionally. She will need time to adjust to start acting normal. With the new environment, and new 'thing' on her, it is no wonder she isn't vey active. Let her chill where she feels safe and give her some time!
     
  9. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I'll try to give it a try longer - Will it be bad for her if she's inside for a couple days then goes back outside?
     
  10. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Because she's been inside all day... And I think I should wait til morning to put her back out if I need to put her back outside. Still haven't totally convinced my mom... haven't *asked* the mom yet either
     

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