So oppinions and advice on a young hen who WANTS to be a house chicken

bkreugar

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2008
524
2
151
Asheboro NC
So this was my 3rd year with chickens and my WORST ever for babies. I have been getting some of the more exotic breeds and seem to love the bantams. I have a flock of 22 chickens and 2 roos. This year I got 18 chicks and only !5! made it. No not some exotic sickness, I just got the most pervasive predators.

My chicks I got in July so they were in an oustide brooder and something started taking them from the brooder, one a nite. THEN I got smart and raised the brooder from the ground. eventually it was time to put the survivors IN the coop with the adults. THEN I lost half growns from the coop. I covered holes I added wire I redid my security. I was down to 6 from 18 babies.

this little buff cochin was best buds with a white cochin, One night I asked my son to lock them up. He forgot to put the brick on the back door of the coop, so there would be no play or crack. I let them out next morning and white cochin is missing and buff is very bereft. They all free range during the day. SO I ask son did he SEE white cochin last nite. Yes he assures me. I go out sick at heart and look closely. I open up the back and sure enough there is the white cochin head ripped off and drained of blood. I have a WEASEL!!!

But here is my issue. SInce then the little buff cochin is adament about not wanting to go IN the coop. Next nite as dusk, I go to lock em up and she is at my feet on front porch peeping. I take pity on her and let her spend the nite inside in my hen hospital. Next nite I go to lock up and she hops IN TO my house.Next nite, she is perched ON the windowsill next to door on porch and I take her in.

So she clearly wants to be in or close to us. I am torn between, let her become a house chicken (her name is HC short for house chicken) and forcing her back in the coop. She hangs with a porcelin d'uccle during the day, but roosts on porch by herself at dusk. SO what do you think Do I continue to let her come in or force her to coop?

The only reason I struggle, if I can't get home by dark I really worry for her safety roosting on my window sill. I clearly have plenty of predators.

The local older chicken people say NOW the predators KNOW I have dinner available, so it is open season on my guys. Next year I will go back to brooding in april inside. July outside was aweful, this was a terrible year for my chicks.
 

buildingmyark

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2010
564
2
133
Louisiana
Quote:
Is EVERTHING a joke to you?


bkreugar, I think that's sweet that your chicken wants to be a house chicken. But remember, you're the parent that knows best! If you know that she may be in danger by waiting for you to get home to let her inside then you may have to use some tough love for her sake and safety.
 

Rozzie

Songster
9 Years
Jul 14, 2010
3,577
23
181
Do you have a garage? If you are REALLY worried about the young 'uns you could house them for the nights in a wooden rabbit hutch type coop in the garage. You'd need to take precautions not to stink up the garage, though.
 

bkreugar

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2008
524
2
151
Asheboro NC
No garage, sadly. I have a carport but that would be no more protection.

Joe bryant, yea I have NEVER allowed my children in to my marital bed barring major fever when they were very little. So I can see your logic, but my heart feels pity for this hen because she's lonely.

So everyone seems to think I should retrain her to the coop.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
31,880
17,898
867
Heck no! I'd have me a house hen in a heart beat! I saw a program where this artist had a few polish hens in the house. They were crate trained like a dog. She'd open the door and they'd go in. Really neat to see. Imprinted on her-she took them on forages in the back yard. She'd toss them treats to find in the grass, let them sunbath, take a dirt bath, and put them in the crate when they were done.
 

redhen

Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
35,106
196
458
Western MA
Its a tough call..
If shes not a big hassle inside at night..then i'd let her in..
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But then again... what if a predator gets her if you cant be home at dusk?
 

bkreugar

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2008
524
2
151
Asheboro NC
redhen THAT is totally my concern. my ONLY concern, against just letting her come in every nite. She is tiny, she sleeps in a small rubbermaid tote lined with paper towels and a sheet over it. NO big deal to change the paper towels. She is very small like the size if a very feathered fist and she is 4 months old. Like I said she does have a buddy during the day, but come dusk, to the front door/porch. windowsill she comes. DD just came in from checking horses and brought her to me. She had been sitting on doorstep ...WAITING.

Sadly I know I am encouraging this behavior, she has also moved up to enjoy snuggling in jackets and being petted. UGH!!! I am just going to be CRUSHED, if something happens to her because ~I~ couldnt make it home in time!! I have never had a chicken SOOO interested in people.
 

Organics North

Songster
10 Years
Dec 30, 2009
1,849
40
194
Wisconsin Northwoods
Honestly all things about the house hen aside... It sounds like you have major problems with your coop... I would concentrate all efforts on making your coop predator proof.. Pay attention to details! Come on your chickens count on you! Make sure your coop is predator proof.
For the sake of your chickens please fix your coop so it is fort Knox.. Hardware cloth, electric fence invest they are your babies..

IMO your pet will be better off and more happy and safe with the rest of the folk in a well secured coop..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seal that coop up...
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Mine live in the woods with coyotes, coons, bears, fox, ermine, fisher, mink, weasel , opposum, bobcat, eagle, osprey and I am sure I am missing some of the predators...............................Point is I never lost a chicken IN the coop! Please secure your coop and run..

ON
 

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