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New to raising chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by riacz, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. riacz

    riacz New Egg

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    Jan 17, 2016
    Hi everyone,
    I am new to all of this,, and I already have a million questions, so thank you in advance for any help you can give me, and please bear with me for my long-winded post. My name is Maria, and I live in Michigan, where it's really cold right now. About two months ago, a beautiful little Welsummer hen just showed up in my yard out of nowhere. I live in the middle of a neighborhood, and no one around here raises chickens. I knew absolutely nothing about raising chickens, so I have spent a lot of time on this forum, learning as much I can about how to care for her. She has been sleeping in the tree next to my house. I built her a nice little coop, but she still sleeps in the tree. My son and I caught her one day and put her in her coop and closed her in for the night and when we opened it up in the morning, she had no desire to get out until later in the day. Next day she let me pick her right up and put her in there, and she never came out the whole next day, although I opened the door for her. I thought she was getting the hang of using her coop, and she seemed pretty happy in there, but now she's back in her tree, and it's freezing out today, and it will be colder overnight. I know she'll be ok for the night because she has been out on colder nights than this, but I hate the thought of her spending the winter outside, especially when she has a nice little coop right there. So this is the first of many questions that I have, and hopefully it's ok that I'm asking it in my introduction. I will post my other questions in the appropriate forums. Thanks again for any help you can give me.
     
  2. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined the flock! If you have any questions feel free to ask. Not entirely sure how you can fix this. Only thing I can think of is put a feed pan in the coop. She just needs to learn that her coop is a safe place.
     
  3. MarcyR1011

    MarcyR1011 Out Of The Brooder

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    I also live in Michigan and I would be worried about frostbite with how low the temps are right now. I'd put her back in the coop at night and open the door during the day so she can go out if she wants. If she doesn't come out that's ok. She will adjust once she gets used to it! Hope this helps! Enjoy your new baby!
     
  4. maddog3355

    maddog3355 Out Of The Brooder

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    I would keep her locked up for a couple weeks to get used to the coup. She won't last long roosting in trees. Owls and raccons will finally get her.
     
  5. riacz

    riacz New Egg

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    Jan 17, 2016
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I have bought the materials to build a pen around the coop, but I just haven't been able to do it yet. As I said, I was not at all prepared to raise a chicken. I think she will be more likely to go in her coop if she's confined to the pen, rather than having the run of the yard. I do want to let her have the run of the yard during the day, once the weather gets better, but I'd like to keep a little better tabs on her for now until she knows her coop.
     
  6. MarcyR1011

    MarcyR1011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good luck!!! Wish you the best!!! Maybe get her a friend or two this spring! ;)
     
  7. riacz

    riacz New Egg

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    Jan 17, 2016
    Thank you! I had made arrangements with a friend from work to buy one of her neighbor's chickens this week, so mine could have a friend, but as I posted in another thread, my neighbors down the street had a stray chicken show up at their house last night! No idea where these chickens are coming from but I'm guessing they're coming from the same place. I am now on a mission to catch this other chicken so I can bring her here to live. She is currently living in a big pine tree, but I am hoping to change that soon. I attempted to catch her with a chicken hook today, and I put padding on the end of it so I wouldn't hurt her, but I was still afraid to use it. I ended up patting her on the head with it while she ate the food I put out for her. Not exactly the way I envisioned handling it, but I will try again.
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    You deserve an A for effort. It is common procedure to lock chicken(s) in a coop (with food and water of course) for a few days- so they imprint on the coop being their home.
    After that when they go out they will return at dusk to their home.
     
  9. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft! Premium Member

    Hello!
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    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
     
  10. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC. You obviously have a lot of compassion for your feathered friend and seem to be doing all you can. I'm sure all will be fine very soon so keep up your good work :thumbsup

    Ct
     

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