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Old 02-28-2014, 08:27 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 23,333,449 times
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since its just one hen (though I would keep an eye on craigslist for a hen buddy as they are social creatures)

a good CHEAP setup for a couple of hens would be a dog house, plastic or wood is fine, stuf with straw and put it in a chainlink dog kennel for security (and to meet your town ordinances about confining) theyd have to spend a few days in the kennel/pen so they know where "home" is but once they do you can let them out to roam around your yard during the day and take a handful of feed to them each night to get them home and lock them in the pen for safety.

another option if hubby is handy is a chicken tractor, again for 2-3 hens you don't need much room,
some are super simple like this oe made with mesh cloth pvc and a tarp (with something this light you wouldn't need the wheels either. unfortunately this would NOT be predator safe and id only use it inside an already fenced in yard)



some are super fancy
like


but something in between would be perfect


id use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire (dogs and raccoons can tear right through chicken wire. the idea with a tractor is that they are in a safe enclosed area that can be moved to a fresh patch of grass for bug hunting and fresh shoot eating each day, and in the mean time they gently fertilize and areate that spot.

if doing a tractore id go with a 8x2 or 4x4 for 2 hens or 8x4 for up to 4, the general rule of thumb for tractor space is 6sqft per hen.
if building a little coop and run, the general rule of thumb is 2sqft per bird IN the house and 4qft o space per bird outside (those are minimums, bigger is better!)

and yes during laying season a hen can provide an egg a day....some breeds lay less, but even light layers tend to lay at least 4 eggs a week during the rproduction years, laying season tends to be most prolific early spring through late fall with a taper off (some even stop completely) for winter. laying is based on day length.

ust be warned, keeping chickens can be thoroughly addictive.
I have a little flock of bantam cochins right now (after thinning down) they free range in the back yard and sleep under my deck and are quite happy and love sitting out watching them.

as another warning, if you get hoked on fres pasture raised eggs...store bought eggs taste yucky!
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,751 posts, read 6,947,706 times
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A bed, nesting boxes are pretty cheap, but an old milk crate works. I found these plastic laundry basket like things that stacked, but has one side 'missing', it worked really well with some bedding. I think you can find straw bedding in amounts for rabbits, so no need to buy a whole bale. Place it about 2-3 feet up. When it gets to be sleepy time for Mabel, put her in it.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:39 AM
 
35,103 posts, read 45,902,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Okay, well I already said I'm not a farm girl. That is clearly a fact. My husband came home and my rooster was back in the garage. Only thing is that he clearly has more of a farming background than I do and told me that my rooter's actually a hen. I'll say one thing for her... She's big! She seems to have found herself a comfortable place to settle in and I put a couple of kinds of food down for her. My husband is fine with me keeping her, so I probably will until I can find a place for her where I'll be sure she'll be cared for and not eaten. I'm naming her Mabel, and I intend to keep her safe until I can find her a better, more permanent home.

I called my very good friend/neighbor last night and told her about your "rooster" she got a good chuckle from your post. She is a farm girl from conception on and has raised many roosters and chickens throughout her 60+ years. She wanted me to thank you for the chuckle and for keeping Mabel safe and secure.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,681 posts, read 25,572,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
I called my very good friend/neighbor last night and told her about your "rooster" she got a good chuckle from your post. She is a farm girl from conception on and has raised many roosters and chickens throughout her 60+ years. She wanted me to thank you for the chuckle and for keeping Mabel safe and secure.
Tell her I said, "You're welcome," and "I'm going to do my best to give Mabel a good home."

This morning, my husband, Matt, and I went out to the garage where she'd spent the night. He put on a pair of heavy work gloves and walked right up to her. I expected to hear a lot of back-talk from her and to see a few feathers fly, but he just picked her up and carried her out to the backyard. When he set her down on the lawn, I expected her to either fly or try to run away. She just looked at us and wandered over to the flower beds where she's been exploring ever since. It appears as if she's finding a few things to eat in among all of last summer's now-dead plants. I've got a commitment that will take me away from home all afternoon, but I know that by the time I get back this evening, Mabel will have some real chicken feed and some sort of a coop (or at least a place where she can safely and comfortably roost).

I called Wheeler Farm and they said they couldn't take her. If I could find her original owner, I'd be happy to return her, but I'm at a loss as to figure out how to do so. She has obviously been around people a lot because she really isn't afraid of us. I'm such an animal lover that I am actually looking forward to this totally new experience!

Thank you all for your suggestions. And please don't stop now. I'm going to need your continued help.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:45 AM
 
35,103 posts, read 45,902,104 times
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I think you are doing great so far and I am happy to see you are happy with the new experience.
The only thing I can suggest in regards to finding where she came from is to check the lost and found ads in the newspaper.
I would not put a "found a chicken" ad in because anyone can answer that and make Mabel supper but I doubt too many put in lost chicken ads unless they have actually lost a chicken.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:32 PM
 
2,288 posts, read 2,917,765 times
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If I had a rooster/chicken, and he/she wandered off, I'd sure hope they ended up at your house. What a sweet, funny attitude you have plus a caring heart. I'm so glad she found you. You remind me of that commercial about eye glasses, where the woman calls a raccoon in because she thinks its her cat. I love the end where it shows them both asleep in bed. Condolences on losing your doggy.

Please keep us updated about Mabel.
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,857 posts, read 61,425,177 times
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Katz, you have a very kind heart! Good luck with Mabel.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:38 PM
 
Location: so cal
1,110 posts, read 2,230,958 times
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Be aware that if you are letting Mabel sleep in the garage, chickens are pooping machines.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:20 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 9,465,422 times
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Originally Posted by dober1 View Post
Be aware that if you are letting Mabel sleep in the garage, chickens are pooping machines.
Meh....not so much, really. At least not for one little hen, especially if she has one spot she sleeps at at night and then spends the rest of her time outside.

Pretty easy to clean up after one or two hens.

If she is allowed free access to the garage, then yes, Katzpur may find poop on her car and on her barbecue and on her camping gear, and whatever else she may have in the garage, but if Mabel is limited as to where she can go for the night, then the poop will all be concentrated in one spot and will be pretty easy to clean up.

My computer/internet seems to be working a little better today, so I will post a couple of the links I wanted to post yesterday but couldn't.

This is probably your most basic setup, suitable for nighttime protection but not necessarily something you would want to leave one or two hens in for very long:

ChickenWARE Heavy-Duty Chick-N-Hutch, 2-4 Chicken Capacity - Tractor Supply Co.

You can go a little more elaborate (and expensive) with something that provides a bit of an outside run if she (they) need to be confined):

Precision Pet Products Hen House Chicken Coop, 2-4 Chickens - Tractor Supply Co.

I think that second one is super cute.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,681 posts, read 25,572,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breeinmo. View Post
If I had a rooster/chicken, and he/she wandered off, I'd sure hope they ended up at your house. What a sweet, funny attitude you have plus a caring heart. I'm so glad she found you. You remind me of that commercial about eye glasses, where the woman calls a raccoon in because she thinks its her cat. I love the end where it shows them both asleep in bed. Condolences on losing your doggy.

Please keep us updated about Mabel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Katz, you have a very kind heart! Good luck with Mabel.
Update on Mabel: Matt (my hubby) went out and bought some chicken feed and some straw and said he'd figure out something for a chicken coop. She really went down on the feed. She spent all morning checking out the yard and deck. I was gone all afternoon but when I got home at 5:30, she was still on the deck, just walking around. Anyway, Matt ran into a friend (Ben) this afternoon and mentioned our dilemma to him. The friend said he knew someone (Johanna) a couple of blocks from my place who has chickens. Well, I know Johanna, though not well. I called her, thinking that for sure I'd found Mabel's mama. Nope. Johanna's chickens were all accounted for. Johanna said she was aware of a house about a block from her where she has not seen, but has heard chickens. So, Matt and I drove over to this house, which belongs to a guy I'd never met, named Jeff. I knocked on Jeff's door and said, "Do you own chickens and are you missing any of them?" This time I was positive I had found Mabel's daddy. Wrong again. Jeff checked and none of his chickens were missing. He wanted to take a look at Mabel, though, so we drove him back to our place to show her to him. (By the way, she's a Rhode Island Red.)

Guess what? No Mabel. We looked all over the yard, but we couldn't find her. It's possible that she may have found a good hiding place, but throughout most of the day, she didn't appear to be even thinking about hiding. Or, I suppose she could have flown over the fence or up into a tree. Anyway, I am so upset and worried. I mean she was around for about 28 or so hours, and then within a half hour period, she just disappears. She may be trying to find her way home, but can't. Johanna and Jeff both said that a single hen would not do well, and would probably actually die after not too long. Johanna actually said she'd be happy to take Mabel and if she turns up tomorrow, I'd getting her over to Johanna's right away. So everybody keep your fingers crossed that she hasn't disappeared for good.
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