Ooh la la - Tweedy from France!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TweedyChick, May 18, 2019.

  1. TweedyChick

    TweedyChick Chirping

    May 18, 2019
    Essonnes, France
    Hello world! After babysitting the next door neighbor's chickens, a new neighbor seems to have taken the notion of "free range" chickens a bit too literally. As far as we can tell, they have no coop or enclosure for what started out as 3 chickens, but is now only a sole survivor, Tweedy. (So named because she has stripey feathers that look like herringbone tweed.)

    Tweedy has staked out a nest in our donkey barn (on the side away from the donkeys, where we store the hay) and we've been enjoying fresh eggs for the last month or two. So last week my husband "popped the question" and suggested that we should set up our own coop and run and get our own chickens (possibly to provide poor Tweedy with some companionship in her wanderings and maybe take her in officially).

    So, the coop is on order and due to be shipped at the end of May. (Assembly said to take "only" 30 minutes - we'll see...) Meanwhile, we have proper chicken feed and water, plus "chicken treats" out for Tweedy - chopped up cheese rind, sunflower seeds, and chopped coconut.

    Found BYC when I noticed that the new neighbor's cat (a recent addition) was chowing down on the chicken feed. There is certainly no shortage of amusements around here! Anyhow, happy to join this community and I look forward to exchanging tips, tricks and advice with you all!
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Hope the appearance of their cat, won't be menacing Tweedy. For sure your new neighbors aren't likely to take better care of anything they acquire. Welcome to Backyard Chickens. I hope some responders that will pop up later will have some advice or suggestions for you.
  3. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Enabler

    Hello, and welcome! Glad that you joined! Good luck with your new coop and getting Tweedy some friend's! Chicken's will also steal the cat's food, too!
  4. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome and make the run as big as you can and as predator proof as you can, you can't overdo either of them.
  5. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    Hello TweedyChick.
    Welcome to BYC.
    If Tweedy is fine roaming around your place, why not let any new additions do the same and just build a good coop for the night time.
  6. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
  7. TweedyChick

    TweedyChick Chirping

    May 18, 2019
    Essonnes, France
    Oh, the cats and the chicken seem to do just fine with each other. Our two cats are wary of Tweedy - and she does chase them if they get too close.

    Have always put out leftover cat food for the neighborhood cats (some owned, some strays) but initially, it was the chickens that came running for it. Lately, though, the new neighbor kitty snarfs it down before turning to the chicken feeder.

    What I'm hoping to do with the run is to use the "movable fencing" stuff so I can let them out in various parts of the donkey yard to scratch in the donkey poop. (When Tweedy still had her companion, they used to just love scratching in the donkey poop! She isn't doing that so much since her companion went missing last weekend.)

    As far as predators are concerned, we have to wait until we get the coop set up (it's on legs, so up off the ground) and then find a secure location for it. I'd like to keep it up fairly close to the house - since that does seem to ward off the wilder beasts. We're taking this one step at a time - and I expect it may be at least a month or more before everything is set up and we can acquire our own chickens (just 2 or perhaps 3) so stay tuned for the latest developments.
  8. Bonjour! I have just exhausted my French! But welcome to BYC. If you check on the Where am I? Where are you? Forum you will probably find some BYCers from France too!

    What kind of predators do you have where you are? Foxes? Here (in North America) we seem to have endless numbers of them!
  9. TweedyChick

    TweedyChick Chirping

    May 18, 2019
    Essonnes, France
    Unfortunately, our yard isn't fenced/walled in like some of the other yards around here (i.e. next door neighbors). One of Tweedy's late companions got hit crossing the road. (It's a small road with limited traffic, but still...) The other one just kind of vanished as of last weekend with no trace of feathers or anything else. I suspect she may have been absorbed into one of several larger flocks a couple hundred meters down the road, but there's no way to tell at this point.

    There is also the little matter of our large veggie garden. We're thrilled to have chickens in it on the off season, but would prefer they stick to the donkey yard during the summer months when we're depending on the produce for ourselves! <g>

    But you're right - I am looking for a solution that gives them the greatest opportunity for running around during the day while still keeping them as safe from "accidents" as possible.
  10. TweedyChick

    TweedyChick Chirping

    May 18, 2019
    Essonnes, France
    I was noticing that we seem to have a somewhat more limited range of predators than back in the "Old Country" (I came from the US - but nearly 30 years ago now.) People talk about foxes, but we don't seem to have them in the immediate area (too built up perhaps). Last year we were invaded by a family of wild boar, who tore up the donkey yard rutting for food at night. The cats in the area keep the mouse population in check (and bring us occasional "gifts"). And there are moles in the fields around here - except that the donkeys stomping around in their field seems to divert them into the unoccupied fields down the road. There are hedgehogs, too, but I'm not sure they pose much of a risk to the chickens.

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