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Clueless with chickens8

Inherited chickens and clueless

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Hi, I was hoping for a LOT of advise

We have just brought our house and inherited some chickens! We know absolutely nothing about chickens and feeling a bit lost as to what I need to do to ensure they are happy hens

We arent living at the house until next week so have gone up there to lock the hen house at night and let them out in the morning but with sun coming up very early they are locked in their little house for a good few hours until I can get up to them

Their hen house (apologies i don't know correct terminology) is full of poo thick hard and looks like not been cleaned in a long time (although where they lay has fresh straw or hay or something i think - doesnt smell) the bottom of the hen house is metal grates so should i be putting bedding down or is it meant to be bare? There's nothing at the moment

The previous owners had filled the feeder thing with pellets so I havent done anything with that and they gave fresh water before they left (2 days) what do I need to do? How often should food water be changed? Topped up?

We are working still and trying to clean house pack etc ready to move over weekend so haven't got time to clean the coop etc until weekend

I have given them some sweetcorn this morning as a treat and let them out to roam the garden today for a couple of hours

Basically back to basics please - I've ordered a treat thing to peck at and some powder for when we have cleaned their house out

There's a couple of hens with bald patches too which I presume is from the other hens picking on them? 

As you can see very much in need of advise as I don't want to have unhappy hens

Obviously will be easier once we are moved in and have a little more time 


Many thanks 

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Water is top priority and it must be available everywhere except inside the house (coop); the feed needs to be layers pellets. Are you collecting eggs?

Cleaning them out can wait until you are there, but perching on wire will invite foot problems so you need to modify the coop to give them perches when you can. We can advise on feather loss later, if it persists.

Would have been so much more helpful if @DanTheChickenMan gave you some advice up front instead of pointing you at Facebook. 

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How are you getting on @Clueless with chickens8

As Beantree said, make sure they have water at all times except in the house (don’t worry too much about them being shut in their house for a little while in the mornings - remember that in the winter they wouldn’t be up until later anyway). That said if they’re in there for too long this could contribute to a bit of feather pecking between them.

As long as their layers pellets stay dry, you don’t need to change them, just make sure they’re kept topped up. Mine have fairly small drinkers so I never have to tip the water out and replace it because they tend to empty each drinker over a couple of days and need it totally refilling, if yours have bigger drinkers I would replace with fresh water every few days.

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