Need some advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rachelt93, May 4, 2009.

  1. Rachelt93

    Rachelt93 New Egg

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    May 4, 2009
    Hi all,
    first, not sure if this is in the right section and apologise profusley if it isn't.
    The thing is, i'm looking to get a couple of hens from a battery rescue charity, and there are a few things i'm worried about. These would be my first chickens, and I want to get things right. I do have some experience with sorting out mites and injured birds (dad used to breed canaries, budgies and cockatils) and used to help injured wild pidgeons etc, I know its different but its the same sort of thing when you have to look out for stuff like red mites or are helping set a broken wing (although of course i'd see a vet if they were sick or ill). I am reading up lots, but want some advice from more experiences chicken keepers.
    Firstly, the housing, I was thinking a small garden shed (mabye 5ft by 4ft), converted to have nest boxes and perches, with a run that comes out from the back on one side and runs forward, sticking out about a further 6 foot from the front of the house and 3 foot from the side, and has the chicken wire covering the top and joined to the roof of the house. I'm also thinking of having a colapsable run that can be added on or set up elsewhere so they can get some extra exercise. And also I was thinking of having a little bathtub of sorts with chinchilla sand or suchlike so they can enjoy a dust bath. How does this all sound? Any other suggestions?
    Next the problem of my cat. If I let the chickens loose in my back garden is it likely my cat will go for them, or local cats? If it is i'll probally expand the run to make up for this, but i've heard cats nd chickens can co exist peacefully.
    Also I was wondering about getting them used to not being in a tiny cage. I realise that it will be a shock to the system, and I was wondering if you have any advice on this.
    And one last thing, how many would you say is the minumum. I was thinking of getting two, but am not sure if I should make it three or four. What would you say?
    Any other advice on anything you might have would be gratefully recieved. I want to give some hens a good home for the rest of their lives, and any help with this would be wonderful.
    Sorry for asking so many questions, and again is this thread is in the wrong place.
    Thanks
    Rachel
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  2. Rusty's Ranch

    Rusty's Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
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    I'm not exactly experienced, but I would be concerned about the cats. Our two chickens are kept in a large secure run most of the day and come out to play when I'm out to supervise. The cats in the neighborhood will try to pounce on them right in front of me! I would suggest you have a large secure area for them (including a roof).

    As far as the number of chickens - we got 2 because we learned that one would be lonely. We're thinking we should have gotten at least 3. The 2 are so connected to each other that we worry what would happen to the remaining chicken if we lost one of them.

    Regarding your coop - it sounds fine to me, but you should post your question on the coop/run board where the coop experts are. You'll probably get a lot of feedback over there.

    Best wishes - glad to have you with us [​IMG]
     
  3. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    Firstly, the housing, I was thinking a small garden shed (mabye 5ft by 4ft),

    Each hen needs at least 4sqft. (inside), and that would give you 20sqft. that is room for 5 chickens. Also they need 10sqft. outside (less if free-ranging most of the time)
    also I was thinking of having a little bathtub of sorts with chinchilla sand or suchlike so they can enjoy a dust bath. How does this all sound? Any other suggestions?

    You can but they will most likely just dig a hole and use it.
    Next the problem of my cat. If I let the chickens loose in my back garden is it likely my cat will go for them, or local cats?

    Mine do fine but, I would not have a cat around chicks only full grown birds
    I was thinking of getting two, but am not sure if I should make it three or four. What would you say?

    I'd get 3 or 4 or more [​IMG]
    Any other advice on anything you might have would be gratefully received. I want to give some hens a good home for the rest of their lives, and any help with this would be wonderful.

    Just keep reading all you can get a hold of that will get you started, also don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Also [​IMG]
     
  4. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Lexington KY
    Unless you have some huge killer cat, the chickens will be fine... I have never had any of our cats take down a full grown chicken, but have seen on take down a full grown wild rabbit so they could do it if they are hungry enough...

    I would not worry about the nest boxes...battery chickens are used to laying eggs where they are standing and if you get them to use a nest box it will be amazing. They probably will not do much of anything for a while except stand around and eat...that is what they are used to doing.
     
  5. Rachelt93

    Rachelt93 New Egg

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    May 4, 2009
    Quote:Lol, my cat is huge, but not really killer. He just likes to think hes tough. He's only caught 2 birds in the 4 months i've had him, and they were both old and one was injured.

    Yeah, I just want to give them another comfy place in case they decide to lay in comfort. I know ex bats don't do much at first and tend to let the eggs drop as they walk, also heard for a while you often have to lift them into shelter in bad weather.

    Anyway, decided to go with four, with a 6ft x 5ft converted shed house, and seeking advice on the coop presantly. Thanks for the advice and help, i'm gonna go read up some more, and start looking for a nice shed. Plus pick out what colours to paint it [​IMG] and flowers for the little window boxes etc. These are gonna be in a luxury palace if I can manage it [​IMG]
     

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