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Author Topic: Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??  (Read 2576 times)

ruralliving

  • Joined May 2012
Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??
« on: March 22, 2014, 05:37:59 pm »
We've purchased some new chickens and one has been picked on terribly by our existing flock.  To the point she's been rather pecked and has been separated for her safety.  It looks like she'll have to be kept separately at least until she's back to full strength.


First question, we got 4 new chickens (and had 6 already) so should we take one other to keep her company?  Take all three others to keep her company?  Or would she be happier on her own?


Second question, she's in a surplus stable, hubby is knocking her up a nest box and a perch, she'll be let out free ranging (as all the others are) during the day once she's better, other than the obvious food/water/dust bath is there anything else we need to convert a stable for her?


Last question, does anyone else keep chickens in a converted stable?  At the risk of sounding daft, assuming the chickens are free ranging outside during the day and only locked in at night, how many chickens could we house in a 12'x12' stable?

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 07:12:24 am »
Hi Ruralliving. Depending on size of the birds you could perhaps overnight 70 in that stable. Big potential problem is red mite. How do you treat a stable? You need to make sure it is secure. Rats will squeeze in and predators can climb. I would opt for raised coops in the stable myself.


Space for the existing 6 is the problem. Adding 4 has reduced it so they are fighting to defend their territory. The injured one plus another needs to come out, although I would take all 4 out and start again. Don't introduce them together until they are fully healed and laying. This is always a difficult procedure which we avoid by having extra coops, so we rarely introduce new hens. When they have free ranged the same area you will find after a few months they will take better to being in one coop.

ruralliving

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 02:48:47 pm »
Thanks for the reply.  We took all 4 new ones out in the end and they are very happy in the stable.  Things have settled down and they are all sharing the same outside space without incident now.


The stable is completely secure, it's a proper horse stable so it has full height walls which are meshed at the very top with tiny mesh to keep rats out but keep ventilation.  We are shutting the top door at night, so there is no way a fox is going to get in.  The whole thing is sat on a massive concrete slab so there is no digging to be done either.


As for keeping it clean, surely the usual way of keeping stables clean regardless of occupancy would apply?  I use a pressure washer, a broom and a bucket of disinfectant (in this case we can use the red mite chicken disinfectant).  In the end we used a couple of enclosed cat litter trays for nesting boxes, so they are plastic and very easy to clean out.  We are going to see how it goes for a while, but if they all start getting on and I can keep it clean without red mite issues then we may well sell the coop and move all the chickens into stables as we have plenty of empty ones.


The picked on chicken in question has perked up very well, much happier chicken, which makes for much happier us!  Now if only the new girls would work out how to put themselves away at night and all would be perfect!

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 05:24:42 am »
If you keep a sharp eye out you may never get a red mite problem Ruralliving. One early warning method is a short length of drinking straw taped under the perches. The mite will hide in there and can be easily spotted. The other is to wipe under and at the ends of the perches with a tissue early morning. Red streaks on the paper indicate squashed mite. We were red mite free for two years, but they literally fall from the sky and it only takes one which can be a million in 4 weeks.

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 10:25:59 am »
I have mine in a stable. Now we only have 5 but did have up to 14 last year. I clean mine out twice a week. never had red mite. they have long perches and nesting boxes all of the ground. When we have young birds they go into an outdoor house and run so the other hens cannot pick on them. After a week when they have all met through the wire mesh I let the young ones out to free roam during the day. I find it only takes a few days after that before the young ones follow the rest into the stable and all is well. I also power wash floors and perches. Sprinkle mite powder before I put fresh straw on the floor.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Separated chicken, converted stable? Number of hens??
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 10:32:55 am »
A branch slung between two upturned plastic bottle ccrates does a good job as a perch in a stable or outhouse.  The crates can be hosed off and the branch burned if there's redmite.

 

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