My first chicken!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FirstTimeClucky, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. FirstTimeClucky

    FirstTimeClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2017
    Hi, I just adopted my first chicken and I have loads of questions. I live in Toronto Canada where I know chickens aren't legal. My hen came from another "stealth" chicken keeper in the Toronto area. This hen has a bad leg and the former owner (who's also a novice) was afraid she would give some disease to the rest of the flock. The former owner was about to cull her when I convinced her to give her to me. I will ask my questions in the appropriate areas of this forum.

    I'm one of those people who gives off a chemical that attracts unwanted or lost pets. I'm known in my apartment building as The Bird Lady. I'm sort of like the crazy cat lady on the Simpsons except with birds. I have a Parisian Frill canary who I found being pecked at by a bunch of starlings on my 16th floor balcony. When I first saw him I thought he was a ball of fluff, then I saw the blood. He's been with me almost 2 years now. I also have a huge flight cage with six budgies, I call it Budgopolis. They were left behind by a former tenant in my building, flying loose around a filthy apartment. The super came to my door asking me to round them up of course. I used a big fish tank net to catch them. Then there's my Indian Fantail pigeon. I found her stuffed in a small box outside, being tormented by a group of children. She now has the run of my bedroom during the day (I cover everything with tarps while she's out). I trained her to fly into her cage on command. I posted her pic on a fantail club page and they told me she's show quality and a rare colour, so I recently found her a mate. I also have two pairs of button quail, they lay eggs which I boil and feed back to the birds. For some reason they freak out when they see my hen, even across the room.

    Now about my hen. She's a copper maran pullet. I think she's beautiful with her copper/gold neck feathers and glossy black feathers with a green sheen. I've built a pen for her in the bedroom and I'm using a thick layer of pine shavings as bedding. I scoop her poop out of the bedding several times a day. Her wings are clipped (I didn't do it!) so she can't fly. I put a box into her pen with some shredded paper, thinking she might feel safer in there, but so far no evidence she's used it. She's pretty quiet except when I enter the room or when I'm close to her, then she makes a soft "bawwwwwwk" sound. She doesn't move around much and spends much of the time roosting or lying on her side on the floor. She lies next to her food dish, occasionally getting up to drink. She hops on one leg to get around. I haven't named her yet. I'm still working out if I'll be able to keep her permanently. Currently my plan is to keep her in my bedroom to see if she gets better (I've set her up in a corner where it would be easy to hide her if the landlord comes snooping) but I'm worried it might not be a viable solution in the long term. I know some people keep chickens indoors and put chicken pants on them, and even take them out on leashes for walks. I have a pet stroller, so if her leg heals, once the weather warms up I could take her to local parks. I'm already planning to build an outdoor cage on my balcony for my pigeons to get sunlight, I could do the same for my hen.
    biophiliac likes this.
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under FirstTimeClucky [​IMG] Welcome!

    I recommend checking out the 'People With House Chickens' thread:

    If you are also looking for some assistance with her leg issue, the guys n' gals on the ER Forum might be able to help:

    Good luck to you and your girl.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I too agree about the "people with house chickens," thread. Often times they do so for birds that have been bullied, or some disability- and they generally thrive. People like you are a true blessing in the world. Thank you for joining us at Backyard chickens [​IMG]
    biophiliac and FirstTimeClucky like this.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, FirstTimeClucky, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our flock! Thank you for taking care of those birds - you are a nice person to do that! And think you for joining BYC!! Best wishes! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  6. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Thanks for joining us!
  7. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Overrun With Chickens

    Honestly it does not seem fair to make a chicken live in an apartment, without a flock of chickens.

  8. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there, and welcome to the big, happy BYC family! I am so glad you joined us, please make yourself at home. I hope you will enjoy it here as much as I have! :frow

    1 person likes this.
  9. FirstTimeClucky

    FirstTimeClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2017
    If this hen that I have were healthy and able to walk normally, I would agree with you. Currently the only thing I'm "making" her do is have a chance at a life. Her previous owner was going to cull her. In her current state she would do poorly among other chickens, because she can barely walk. She also can't scratch as other chickens do. She doesn't try to walk much and when she does, she won't put weight on one foot. She would get picked apart in a flock, and have very little access to food or water because it's hard for her to walk to the feeders, especially in a big pen.

    I don't know if she will get better or not. If she gets completely better and is able to handle being with a flock of other chickens, she would need more space than I can provide and I'd have no problem finding a farmer or backyard keeper to take her. She is a fairly large bird, and when I was considering chickens as pets, I was leaning more towards bantam breeds like a silkie that don't require as much space. I'm already looking into getting a second chicken to keep her company, because the previous owner kept her on her own for three weeks without improvement before she gave the hen to me. I'm taking her to my avian vet very soon and hopefully she (the vet) can give me a better idea what's wrong and the prognosis. I already spoke with my vet over the phone, and given the length of time that has passed already, it doesn't look like she will ever regain full use of her leg.

    If she doesn't get better, and is in no pain, she will have a different life but I'll do my best to make it a good one. She'll be comfortable, have a good diet, will have at least one chicken companion, they will get time to run around the apartment and I will take them out in good weather to nearby parks to eat grass and peck for bugs and do other things chickens do.
    biophiliac and Teila like this.

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