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New to raising chickens.... Need help/advice!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Luclin999, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Luclin999

    Luclin999 In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    A few days ago this bird showed up in our yard...


    My wife and I felt sorry for it and gave it a bowl of water and some bread crumbs (which I have since learned is not the best thing for chickens) and it now seems to have adopted our back yard as it's new home. Every morning it is out scratching for food and every night it roosts in one of our bushes, about five feet off of the ground.

    Since it doesn't seem to want to leave, I went out today to a feed store and picked up a 25# bag of chicken feed and as the weather is turning colder (even here in Houston it can get into the 20's & 30's in January) I guess I should build it some sort of shelter.

    Any advice on the "do's and don'ts" about what we should be doing? I'd hate to make a mistake and accidentally do something which might hurt the bird.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  2. chutewoman

    chutewoman In the Brooder

    Dec 28, 2008
    Mid- Missouri
    Wow a stray chicken! Have you checked with any neighbors to see if it may be one of theirs? Yes I would build it shelter if I was going to keep it ,you can research this site for ideas. There are different feeds for chickens, she should probably be on layers crumbles. You can supplement with fancy scratch grains(whole and cracked grains), they eat veggies, cat food and table scraps also. She will need a place to get water from 24 hrs a day. Chickens also need oyster shell for calcium and grit to digest food. (grit is just fine crushed rock, you may have some already in your yard) If you do decide to keep her research this site very carefully. It has a bunch of info you will need!
  3. Luclin999

    Luclin999 In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    The neighbors don't know where she came from either.

    Hopefully I can build something that she will like to stay in.
  4. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    Guess you could put a sign out in your yard--Please drop off all chickens here. Before long you would have a free flock and free eggs.[​IMG]

    She a really pretty bird. Maybe she fell off of a chicken truck or out of someone's truck?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  5. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    You could just us a dog house for one hen. Put some pine shavings or straw inside for her. Maybe a wooden perch for her to climb up on to sleep. You might want to put in in on the perch and close her in a few nights until she gets the idea.
    Does she let you hold her ? She is really pretty.

    Be VERY careful as chickens are so addicting !!!!!! Started with 4 in March and now have 17 !!!!!! Wanting more !!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You can feed her dried bread,yogurt,any veggies or greens you have or apples and bananas. If you do she will never go away. My girls love hot oatmeal !!!!
    Put a little cider vinegar in her water to help prevent worms.

    Good luck and like I said be carfull. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Watch out for neighbors dogs as they might attack her
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2009
  6. andehens

    andehens Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Scenic Sierra Nevadas

    Lucky you having a nice hen like that just walk into your yard!
    You're in the right place for learning how to take care of her and keep her safe! I see you have already gotten some excellant advice!
  7. Barry

    Barry Songster

    Welcome to the world of chickens! This hen must belong to someone, but if you can not find that person, you now have a pet chicken.
    You can build a sheltered roost area, but will she use it? You did not say if you can catch her, she will have to be taught that it is a good place to roost.
    Previous posts give feed info that is too fancy for the situation, if you are not expecting an egg a day then do not worry about supplements.
    It is nice to hear that she has found a good home.
  8. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I was thinking it would be cool if you could build a shelter around the bush she perches in! She is definitely in danger of getting eaten if she stays where she's been perching. If you could catch her, you could put her in your house until you get something built. It's easiest to catch a chicken at night after they've gone to roost. And the best way to endear her to you is to give her yummy treats like grapes, scratch, hard-boiled egg, cooked rice, etc. etc.She is really, really pretty and looks like she may not even be laying yet as her comb doesn't look very red in the picture. Have fun! Chickens are the best!!!
  9. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    you are so lucky to have a cutie like that pick you to be it's new owner! maybe you could post "i found a chicken in houston" in another section-someone maybe already has a post that says-i lost a chicken in houston!! I just lost a chicken today and i would be thrilled if i saw that post for my area!!
  10. Don't bother trying to make a coop for one bird. Make one for at least ten, lol. Trust me. I just intended on four. I now have eleven. Go to the Coop design section you'll find lots of ideas there. and lemme get the link to pics of members coops... https://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html look through the differnt varieties there. you'll surely find something you'd like there.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009

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