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New to chickens! Help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dfgaulden, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. dfgaulden

    dfgaulden New Egg

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    I am an Ag teacher who just had a Welsummer rooster given to my class. This can be a great learning experience for my kids, but I need help/tips/ advice in knowing how to take care of it properly indoors. Any advice and tips would be appreciated, from what to feed it and how often to if I should let it roam around the shop or let students pet him.
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes, you can let him roam around, if you don't mind cleaning up after him, because I personally have never heard of a housebroken chicken. They do make diapers for them. How old is he, and what kind of temperament does he have? These are things to consider before letting the kids pet him. Ideally, he should have a pen where he can move around, and get used to the classroom situation, before he ever goes out running around. or has to deal with petting. And a big pen is best, he needs room to move around, scratch, stretch, flap his wings, even fly or perch. Chickens are social creatures and two are better, but if you can't do two right now, do consider getting him a friend at some point down the road. He also needs a place to dust bathe, using top soil mixed with a little sand in a box like a litter box works ok. When I say let him get used to the classroom situation, I mean several weeks. Kids (even older students) can be intimidating and it will be a daunting situation for a chicken, honestly, but that's not to say it can't be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. Once or twice a day for feeding is ok, probably in a classroom situation once is fine. There are several commercial chicken feeds on the market, and we use Purina Flock Raiser mixed with corn or a little scratch grain, but there are other types of commercial feed. He should have some chicken feed, not just corn. There are all kinds of treats available for chickens, commercial and table scraps, but you can read up on a lot of this stuff in other forums on this site. He also needs grit, for proper digestion.

    Actually, if I were you, I'd make a coop and run for him at home, and just bring him to the classroom a couple of days a week, and then take him home with me again at the end of the school day. . Or, if you don't have the facilities to do that, maybe one of your students, or someone else you know, does. That way, he'd have a chance to be outside, and in a more natural environment. And he'd get used to being handled faster too. They ride fine in a pet carrier. Obviously, on weekends and Holidays, and long breaks, him staying in the classroom alone might be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    x2 on everything. Especially the getting him a friend and the outside time. Chickens are flock birds and are extremely social. They thrive in the company of others. People do keep chickens indoors, but I firmly believe they are happiest outside foraging and scratching around, doing what a chicken is supposed to be doing. I also think learning about animals firsthand in an Ag classroom is a very good and maybe somewhat rare opportunity. However, I think the bring him in a couple of days, take him home plan is a great idea. Also keep in mind that roos tend to be a little more skittish and unstable, especially when they're young. Think moody teenagers with raging hormones. Still, that doesn't mean he won't be a treat to have around. Just make sure that you don't have a nasty roo that will flog anything that comes near. You wouldn't want any injured children that you or the school may be liable for.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  5. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello :frow and welcome to BYC!
     
  6. 7littlegirls

    7littlegirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HELLO [​IMG]and welcome to BYC
     
  7. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    You've received some excellent pointers from previous posters. The only other things I can think to add are:
    * Check out the articles in the Learning Center to help you get off to a good start
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
    * Be prepared for crowing! They don't reserve that special song just for daybreak, they can (and do) crow just about any time of day. They make no-crow collars but I've read mixed reviews on those. You might want to read up on them if noise will be an issue for the classroom setting.

    Good luck to you, thanks for joining us.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  9. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
     

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