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Need a one week quick fix for a flock problem

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gabbychickens, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Gabbychickens

    Gabbychickens Chirping

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    Jul 26, 2014
    Michigan
    I'm new to the chicken game and need a one week solution to a problem. We got six chickens 4 months ago and then two chickens 2 months ago. One of the two, Amelia, is a scissor beak chicken. We had a 25' x 50' dog pen that wasn't being used so we built an 8' x 8' coop with a 10' run inside the pen. All the chickens share a coop, but I still have a flock of 6 and a flock of 2. The 2 have to stay inside the coop in the morning till I let the 6 out of the run to free range. Then the 2 can eat and go wander.

    We live on 5 acres of woods and thought we had the chickens well protected with the coop, run, and 6' fence around it all. Until this morning I didn't think a hawk could take a full sized chicken, I thought they were too big. I lost my Cordelia to a hawk this morning. The plan now is to put a poultry net over the 25' x 50'pen and not let them free range anymore.

    So, finally, my problem. Until I can get the netting up the chickens will be confined to the coop and run. Amelia has to eat a watery mash because she can't pick up her food. If I leave all 7 to the run the big chickens not only won't let the 2 out to eat, but it would be hard to get in and out to give Amelia her mash twice a day without the others getting out. I have a small run that I can put the 2 in for the week with a tiny coop where they lived the first 2 weeks we had them. If I put them in there though it will stress them out and I'm afraid we will lose the progress we've made and my big girls won't let them back in after the net is up.

    Any ideas, information, thoughts, all welcome.
     

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    St. Louis, MO
    As long as the ventilation is good, I don't think they'll be any more stressed than they would be getting picked on by the bigger birds.

    It's also better to wait till the birds are like sizes before integrating them.

    Even small acipiter hawks like kestrels can kill a chicken. If they don't carry it off, they'll just eat it were they kill it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  3. Gabbychickens

    Gabbychickens Chirping

    53
    6
    71
    Jul 26, 2014
    Michigan
    We didn't know and were told we could put them together after 2 weeks. I'm glad you said that so next time I will know to use the small run until they are the same size.

    Thank you. I was thinking it was better to seperate them for the week, but then I kept thinking about how stressed my 2 younger ones get with change. I will put them in the small run. I'm so sad about this. They would come to my front door to beg for food and it always made me laugh. I know they will still have a huge area, but I love having them run around with the kids and hang out on the porch. Its not worth the price though. I'm just sick over Cordelia.

    We are guessing hawk since they are all over the woods here. All we actually found was a giant pile of her feathers.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Whomever told you it was OK to put pullets half the size with adult hens knows very little about chickens. Don't trust anything they tell you again. My guess is that they worked at a feed store.

    Chickens, being flock animals, view any outsiders as a threat to the flock and baby chicks are extremely vulnerable. Perhaps if they were free ranging together it may work but otherwise - not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014

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