We are about to get our first chicken I don't know much about it actually as it is the last left from 3, friends of ours are sadly splitting up so we have agreed to take the chicken that's left As far as I remember she is an ex battery chicken What do I need to know / do to make her move here as stress free as possible? My only experience of chickens was at my great aunts farm when I was little I'm a bit concerned that as an older chicken the stress of the move or our exuberant dogs might finish her off I've always wanted chickens but it's all happened a bit sooner than anticipated!
You'll need to get more to keep her company, chickens hate being on their own, 3 is a good number to start with. Its worth adding some poultry spice to their food (layers pellets) while they settle, and apple cider vinegar in the water is supposed to help with stress and keep them healthy - mine get this every day one week in four. Feed a little crushed maize from your hand to get them used to you so you can get her used to being checked over. Grit in their food too, and a bit of mixed corn before bed. Worming every 6mths. Make her house nice and cosy for the winter, mine have warm porridge on cold morning (just oats soaked in hot water, with the poultry spice and grit) but they are spoilt! If you've got over a week before you home her I'd paint the house with creosote - horrible stuff to use but the only way to keep red mite at bay, but hens can't go in a creosoted house for at least a week due to fumes, and don't get it on yourself, it burns, but red mites are horrible! Have fun, we've had ours 4 yrs now, love having chickens!
We're getting her with her house and run (eglu) so I don't think I'll need the creosote
would she accept a new chicken straight away? Despite always wanting chickens it would seem I need to learn more about them!
poultry spice, crushed maize and grit??? is there a good online site where i can learn all this stuff? or a book? is all this stuff available in pet shops or will I have to go to a specialist chicken shop? Quite like the sound of that, maybe I should open one