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Help with new ex-batts

(10 Posts)
justacountrygirl Mon 10-Feb-14 11:18:18

I'm new on here, and new to chicken keeping, so need all your help!

Got 8 ex-battery hens on Saturday and so far so good - except they won't leave their henhouse to peck about in the run. Can't say I blame them - it has hardly stopped raining since they arrived and the run is all muddy.

I have hung a feeder in the hen house and put grit and water in there so they don't starve. Thought I might put the the feeder etc. outside, but every time I do it starts to pour.

Does it matter? If they're happy enough in there should I just leave them be for now?

desertmum Mon 10-Feb-14 18:26:26

I got ex-battery hens a few weeks ago - they went outside quite quickly but we did already have one other chicken for them to follow. Try scattering some food on the floor outside and see if that encourages them out. I have a run each side of the hen house and they like one end better than the other as it's less muddy and has plants they can forage in. I love my chickens - they are awesome!

pattilou Mon 10-Feb-14 19:43:10

I finally got them outside today - lifted a few out and the rest followed. Getting them back in again at bed time was an adventure, though smile

pattilou Mon 10-Feb-14 19:57:44

Ooh, weird. This is an old username that has just been magically resurrected by my PC despite it not having been recognised earlier. I am the OP as well. Currently, it seems, going by two names.

desertmum Tue 11-Feb-14 19:13:12

mine didn't understand they had to go inside at night either at first. Now they are usually all in when I go out to sort them out. In fact, glad I read this as it's reminded me the chickens haven't been locked up yet. Best go and do it now!

justacountrygirl Wed 12-Feb-14 11:10:53

I don't think they'll be venturing outside today - howling gale and pouring rain. Sigh. Chicken house will be disgusting!

Sadly, one died in the night. She wasn't right when we got her and the others picked on her relentlessly. Apparently they can tell if one is poorly and tend to round on them.

desertmum Wed 12-Feb-14 18:29:19

oh no - that's sad sad - my chicken run has about three inches of mud mixed with chicken poo and smells really bad - their house isn't too bad - I use wood shavings so it all clumps up and is easy to clean up the poo. I am waiting for some decent weather so I can scrape the top layer of mud/chicken poo out of the run.

justacountrygirl Wed 12-Feb-14 18:48:55

There's no end to the glamour, is there? ;)

desertmum Sun 23-Feb-14 07:13:05

It is pretty smelly in my chicken run just now and my boots are constantly covered in chicken shit - but I love being able to say 'I'm just to collect the eggs''

Pixel Mon 24-Feb-14 00:18:22

I keep an old pair of crocs just for going into the chicken run. They are disgusting and will end up in the bin but at least I'm not ruining decent shoes or treading anything horrid into the house!

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