random new owner

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by newctychic, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. newctychic

    newctychic New Egg

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    Hi my name is Crystal. We came home one day and there was a young chicken in our yard. Nobody claimed it and animal control didn't care. I am a total animal lover and didn't want it to get eaten by strays. So we made a makeshift shelter in the dog run under the deck. I am a city girl and have absolutely no idea what to do with chickens. I sent pics to people that do know and they said it was a rooster. We went and bought five sexed chics to be his family because I read they are very social animals. The chics are about 3 weeks old and half way feathered. We got a fun surprise this morning! Our rooster laid an egg! So now we have six hens and no rooster. We have no idea what we're doing. Thank god for this site! We refer to it often. Now I worry that the older hen is going to hurt the babies and not sure what to watch for when we put the dog crate down by her to start introduction. Please help we are so lost and want to do right by these girls. We love the little ones and they are so funny with their little attitudes. We would hate for something to happen to them because we did the wrong thing. Do we have to have a rooster for them to lay eggs? There is one down the street crowing all the time is that why she laid one?
     
  2. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome accidental chicken momma. You will get some great info here. The bare basics are that chickens are good foragers and pretty easy to care for so long as you keep them safe from predators, fresh water (add a little apple cider vinegar to their water because it will be good for the chickens and bad for algea)

    Have fun - take a lot of photos and enjoy the experience!

    Caroline
     
  3. newctychic

    newctychic New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Thank you so much for the warm welcome. Should I worry about the older one hurting the little ones or will she take to them like a mommy? She is obviously pretty young herself. I know she has to be lonely she has been in the pen all alone for about 3 weeks.[​IMG]
     
  4. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC from West TN !!!

    As you have already discovered you do not need a rooster for a hen to lay eggs. The rooster is only needed to have fertile eggs.. With your older hen she may take to the little ones well to have company. Put them in a pen next to her and let them get aquainted for a couple of days. Then you can let them out together while keeping and eye on them. I have also given an area to the little ones to retreat to if they are being picked on. One that the hen can not get into.

    Good Luck and Have Fun.
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Your little hen does look young, but if she's laying she's mature. Long term I think it would be better to have coop for them and a run, unless you have a safe backyard where they can roam and no plans of having a garden lol. Chickens love gardening and they are especially good at pruning, digging, scratching and eating all the plants you don't want them to. There are some coop designs here to give you some inspiration:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

    Introducing new chicks to an existing flock can get interesting, but I think with her being by herself so long she'd only be too happy for the company. That being said, I would still suggest waiting until the little ones are more or less the same size as her before letting them mingle. Judging by the pic you posted of her that shouldn't take very long! She looks tiny.

    To get a rooster or not is up to you. Hens do not need a rooster around to lay and the only part a rooster plays in the egg laying process is fertilising them, really. So if you'd like one of your girls to hatch some chicks for you somewhere down the line it would be handy to have a rooster around. I personally keep a rooster because I enjoy having them around, I like their crowing and the ones I've had did a good job looking after the flock, raising the alarm when there's a predator around and even attacking predators at more than one occasion!

    You didn't mention feeding etc, but if your little pullet is laying eggs now she will need some layer feed or oystershell on the side to help her get the calcium necessary for egg shell production. The chicks on the other hand should not eat this until they are mature.

    Enjoy the site!
     
  6. TBeiter

    TBeiter Out Of The Brooder

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm new myself, even though i've had chickens for 3 years... For feed, if you have a tractor supply by you they sell feed. For protection from preditors, you can build or buy a coop, chickens naturally like to roost at night, so put a roost in their coop, nesting boxes, and make sure they have a roof! if there are red tailed hawks by you they will easily pick off the hens, and the roof protects them from the elements. I suggest letting them free range and feeding them scraps from your table, it makes them happier and the eggs taste better! and for disease, because unfortunately it happens to all of us, the chicken health handbook by gail damrow is a great book, and of course, BYC!

    Good luck, Tessa
     
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    My Coop
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  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG]You have gotten good information from Sumi andMehjr10, that will get you off to a good start. You might also read up at The Learning Center. Your hen may have laid a fertile egg especially if she escaped from the place with the crowing rooster. I believe the rooster's "deposit" can fertilize her eggs to come for a week or two more in the future. If she wants to try hatching them - let her.
     
  9. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
     
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us!
     

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