new to backyard chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by urbanfarmer3, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. urbanfarmer3

    urbanfarmer3 Hatching

    Oct 23, 2014
    I'm not sure how to put these questions "out there", but here goes: Two weeks ago I received a Barred Rock/Americana mix chicken who recently started laying. She is the only chicken in my coop. She laid an egg the day she arrived and another one three days later. She hasn't laid since. She lives in a coop that is well ventilated and has a lot of natural light. We get her out into her peck-n-play as often as we can. I give her dried meal worms and kitchen compost as a treat and change in diet. She shows no interest in eating out of my hand. She seems shy and hid in the back of the coop until we rearranged the coop so she has no hiding place. She spends a lot of time in the nesting box, but I don't feel she is broody. She is eating, drinking, and pooping well. She squawks like we are torturing her when we take her from the coop to the peck-n-play, but she does quiet down. We clipped her one wing as she flew from the coop to the garage roof into a nearby tree and crash landed in the neighbor's window well.

    What I want from this chicken is: 1. lay eggs 2. not squawk when being handled 3. eat from my hand 4. be able to get her out of the coop without my husband's help Am I asking too much? Am I being too impatient?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Hi and welcome!

    It is quite common for stress from a move such as your bird experienced to disrupt egg production. The egg you got immediately after her arrival was already "in process" when the move occurred, so it was finished and laid but at that point her system did not start a new egg. It can take a bit for them to recover from a disruption like this and other factors such as her age, etc will play into whether or not she returns to lay through the winter or resumes in the spring.
    I did notice that you have only the one chicken. Chickens are flock animals by nature and really are not suited to being kept as lone animals - especially in an outdoor situation (mentioned as many people do keep "house chickens" and that situation would be more suited to a singleton). I would recommend adding at least one hen to your "flock of one". Being alone is a stressor for them just as moving is - so coupled together you can expect a longer wait for return to production. The fact that she is alone is also likely at the root of some of the "behavior" issues you are seeing.
    As you have only had this bird for two weeks and there are the above stressors to consider, yes, you are being somewhat impatient in expecting the end goals you have to be coming about just yet -- patience is key here. Once you make some changes to create a happier, safer feeling environment for her you will be in a better position to work with her on being more friendly to you.
    1 person likes this.
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    I'm not a poultry expert, but do know for sure they don't like being alone. One chicken is never going to be happy. You should think about getting a couple more?
    1 person likes this.

    DRGLENNON Songster

    Mar 24, 2014
    Homosassa Springs, FL
    My EE is not social at all. Not even with the other chickens. The friendliest I have is my Buff Orpington. They will eat out of your hand, snuggle or sit in your lap.
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on Ol Grey Mare's advice.

    Good luck!
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    X3 on Ol Grey Mare's advice.

    Good luck with your chickens!
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    You've received some good advice already!
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    It is common for newly moved birds to stop laying for a while. The stress of being rehomed can shut off the egg production.

    Since this bird is alone, she is going to be a bit shy. But you can win her over. Go sit with her every day, on her level, the ground or floor. Sit quietly and bring some goodies with you. Some mealworms, raisins, greens etc....and sprinkle them all around you. Hold them in your hand as well. All the while talking quietly to her telling her it is all ok and how sweet she is. Do this every day when ever you have the time or at least 20 mins a day. Eventually she will come around.

    But I do recommend you get her another chicken friend. Chickens are highly social creatures and need the companionship of another for good mental health. You might also make a house pet out of her. Lone chickens make great house pets. Lots of people here on BYC keep lone birds inside the house. Some wear diapers and others don't. Here is a nice thread on house chickens if you are interested...

    Good luck with your new bird! Give her time to adjust and also, keep a fake egg in the nest box so she knows where to lay. Oyster shell on the side with layer feed too.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Maybe you can find a hen companion for her that is of a nice sociable breed - who can model good behavior for her.
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I don't know what a peck n play looks like, if it is very confining maybe that is why she puts up such a fight. What type of environment did she come from? Were the other birds very frightened and flighty also. Some people just feed and clean up after their flock, and do nothing to help the birds trust them.

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