She was lured in by the peeps

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DentedVW, May 30, 2012.

  1. DentedVW

    DentedVW In the Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    My wife came back from the farm store with more than a bag of dog food the other day, she picked up another chicken to add to our established chicken family. We inherited six chickens, seemingly RIR's, with a house we are renting here in Utah, and they were last spring's chicks, we moved in to the house in November so they were already grown and laying eggs regularly. All made it through the winter, and are happy and healthy. I like having chickens, it's far more rewarding than the finches we had when we were dating, they largely just beeped and pooped. Cute, but limited enjoyment. The hens on the other hand are utilitarian, make pleasant noises, and of course make wonderful eggs. They de-thatch the back yard and gladly eat some of our leftovers. Grapes seem to be the food of the gods to them.

    But my wife has been talking about some kind of chicken that lays green or blue eggs, or some such. And when she was at the IFA getting some dog food, apparently there was an overstuffed crate of the poor things peeping at her, telling her to bring some home. I relented on the phone, and agreed to one. It arrived missing some feathers already, but my wife said it was the best looking of the bunch. She doesn't remember what breed it is, but was sure it was one of the ones that lays odd colored eggs.

    To be frank, six chickens was about one or two too many as it was, because they make so many eggs we give a lot of them away. But, since we aren't sure who really gets to keep the chickens when our lease is up, I thought it couldn't hurt. We might end up needing to get all new chickens anyway, because we know we like them and will continue keeping some. There is room, and they were sad... right? Right. It made my wife happy, and my daughter was naturally delighted. So far, it's been pecked a bit and harried around, but it survived a night and a day so far. I put a cardboard box in the coop for it to hide in, in case things get rough, but it seems to be find roosting with the others at night anyway.

    Tonight we let her out of the chicken run, into the backyard to do what chickens do, and she poked around for a bit, but returned to me, looked up at me funny, and then flew onto my arm, and finally seemed happy. She made happy little chirps, which was new to us, as she has mostly only made a lot of distressed noises since coming home with my wife. I held her for about twenty minutes, but it was getting late, and the other hens went to roost in their house, and so I opened it up and put the new chick onto a roosting bar. She was reluctant to leave my warm arm, but did settle in after a moment.

    Our trouble is that we are leaving for a week starting this weekend, and while we are going to have someone check on them, make sure they have water and are fairing well, I am a bit nervous about the new chick. What are we in for? Do you think the new chick will make it through a week? Clearly it's not a big investment monetarily, but emotionally, it could be. My daughter already named it "Ski" owing partly to the skis we use on part of the chicken run's wall near the door, to protect us from the sharp points of chicken wire.

    Should we segregate the new chick while we are gone? The run is large enough I could put the old metal dog crate in there, and it's big enough to accommodate our spare water dispenser, the box and bowl of chick feed and leave enough room for a chick to move about. Definitely more room than the wee thing had before it came home to us.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Congrats on your new bird. I commend your wife for only picking up one. Clearly she's almost got chicken math under control.

    How old it the new addition (is she fully feathered?)?
     
  3. DentedVW

    DentedVW In the Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    She was fully feathered, today she was pecked to death by the six Rhode Island Reds. :(
    Last night she chirped happily on my arm and started to fall asleep, tonight she was laid to rest in the garden.
    Upon returning home, my wife couldn't find her, I only had to follow the green backed flies to the shallow dirt grave the cruel RIR's put her in.
    We are heartbroken.
    A bottle of wine was consumed.
    Still, we gave the chickens the snow peas we weren't going to finish before they went bad. Le sigh. Life continues.
     
  4. Sgtfirstwife

    Sgtfirstwife Chirping

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    Stedman
    I am so sorry for your loss. I have five EE, so I know what wonderful birds they are. I do know that any time I have a new chick or chicken I always keep it segregated from my regular birds. For the health of my flock, as well as the birds safety. Once it is large enough I put it into regular population. Then I watch it carefully. I hope in the future you will have another EE., they are great birds.
     
  5. ChickiesInUtah

    ChickiesInUtah Chirping

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    May 14, 2012
    Northern Utah
    Hello again, Utah friend! [​IMG] I'm the woman in Heber.

    Have you posted on Craigslist or KSL? I'm headed to Twin Falls this weekend, so speeding through your area but not really stopping on my way up. [​IMG] On Sunday I could stop by on my way home. If you want sitting/feeding help on Sunday send me a PM and we could chat. I know we don't know each other so that might be weird to you, I dunno. Just throwing it out there.
     
  6. DentedVW

    DentedVW In the Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    Heh! Hello again!
    Probably they will still be doing fine by then, thanks for the generous offer though. Wave as you drive through Bountiful. :)
    I was going to ask a friend to check in on the birds a couple times this week. They generally are fine while we are gone, they have a large run that is safe from rain, the worst of the sun, and predators. Only major concerns this time of year are keeping water in there.
    Perhaps another time we could talk turkey (well, chicken really).
    Can someone tell me what an EE is?
    I am familiar with Electrical Engineering, but it's largely unrelated to the chickens. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  7. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    An EE is "Easter Egger" - common mixed breed chicken, most people mistakenly call them "Ameracaunas." The Ameraucana is much rarer. EEs are great colored egg layers and they have the muffs and beards that true Ameraucanas have.....

    I'm sorry about your little one....
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    EE, or easter eggers are mutts. But they do have great green eggs!

    A word of experience, it is very difficult to introduce a single new bird to a flock. Flocks have order established, and they are quite territorial, and do not like strange chickens. They won't be nice, and get along, they will attack. However, if the birds are similar ages or sizes, and you have a couple of new birds, you can introduce them, by sticking them in together at night, in the dark. It is best to introduce at least a pair of birds, 3 or 4 is better. A single bird is easier for the flock to recognize as the newby, and all will pick on the one bird.

    It is not a good idea to introduce a smaller younger bird into a flock. What happened to you and that chick is not mean RIR, just normal chicken behavior. Full grown chickens will try and kill chicks that are not their own. Chick can be raised in a flock, by a broody hen. She will defend them against the other hens. However, even then it is risky, and many a chick has been lost due to a not real good broody hen, or a couple of hens get a chick cornered.

    MrsK
     

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