• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Mike Barkley
  • Christopher Shepherd

Depressed Elderly Chicken Wishes to Retire as Indoor Pet Chicken

 
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So.
As the title states, I have this issue. I am presuming that while I may be judged and mocked, it will be i good fun. Henni, born 2016 , and the reigning queen of the coop, no longer wishes to be around other chickens. This past summer, King Coop-a (commonly known as Don Rico), died in battle protecting the Chickie kingdom from predator bird attack. While he ruled with an iron talon, he maintained a well-behaved 35 chicken flock to include 4 other roosters. *Flashback* I have never seen such fighting skills mixed with mercy. He would accept the challenge of any rooster with utter indifference. Before a blow would land he would fly up, and flawlessly body-slam his opponent. Nothing but blood curdling rooster screams from upstarts that realized they were pinned and Don Rico was free to peck out their eyes before dispatching them. He was F-ing magnificent. And Henni, was just as masterful at handling any hen, despite being one of the smallest of all the chickens. Now, without her king to strut the yard beside her, she waits at the coop door for me, and walks by my side as I feed the congregation. Her son or nephew, Rico Suave, is now King Coop-a. She's not at all amused with any kind of Oedipus Rex entanglements. She roosts alone.

She picks fights with magpies, which landed her with a batch of lice and wry neck. She was so regal and stoic that I only noticed it because she only looked up at me from one side. When I brought her into our home, she dropped her front and dissolved into a weak twisted hen. I panicked because a moment ago she was upright and proud as any day I see her. I washed her, dropper fed her multi-vitamin, honey and yogurt soaked mush. And she rested for days until one morning, she pecked me while I was setting food into her box. She has this special etiquette with feeding. I am to lay out the buffet of food, yet reserve one spoonful for her to inspect. No other flock member dares approach the feed (she croons warning signals). If she approves of the food, she'll dismissively sample it and then proceed to eat from the feed tray. If she doesn't, she pecks my hand (sternly, but not painfully), and waits for some other treat worthy of her station and palette. Sometimes you'll get a peck for serving too close to her face...peasants.

Anyhow, I knew she was better when I got that peck. Slowly, I took her out for walks, and she socialized with my little girls (to include some pecks when they were too boisterous around her. When she was inside and pooped, she would croon so I could cover it with fresh shavings/compost. She seemed to understand that she shouldn't relieve herself in the house and would only go in her box. I joked that she was trying to let me know that she would make an excellent house chicken. Or rather, that she approved of her new abode. But I don't like indoor pets... However, I am moved by her insistence to always walk by my side. She even tries to run through the door with me before I close coop. She paces the yard, she doesn't even seem to care that she could be taken by a hawk...even when Rico-Suave gives the warning call to take cover. She just walks the yard. Today she walked up to me and stared me in the eyes, crooned something I don't understand, stepped closer and insistenly stared at me.

I am torn over by beautiful Ayam Cemani Chicken Queen.
What should I do?
248368297_581271283129454_7448036220548514955_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 248368297_581271283129454_7448036220548514955_n.jpg]
249053077_1551097171902928_4788924595844621315_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 249053077_1551097171902928_4788924595844621315_n.jpg]
245896861_464058314906807_3895184307001504235_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 245896861_464058314906807_3895184307001504235_n.jpg]
246258206_354958513046431_821694687433126911_n.jpg
[Thumbnail for 246258206_354958513046431_821694687433126911_n.jpg]
 
master pollinator
Posts: 263
Location: East of England
121
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What a beautiful girl she is!
Tavonna, if you and your family are happy to let her live out the rest of her life as a house chicken, why not?
 
Posts: 28
Location: NE Washington, Zone 6a
7
2
forest garden fungi foraging trees fiber arts homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, she's gorgeous! I'm of the school of thought that while their wishes may not be as important to me as my own, they do have validity. So if it doesn't make you unhappy for her to be a house chicken, then I vote house chicken.
 
gardener
Posts: 503
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
328
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think it's beautiful that you've clearly developed such a close relationship with your chicken and are considering what she wants. Chickens are such special creatures and they deserve that kind of care! The look in her eye in that last picture is quite sad seeming.

It seems like if she can get her social needs met by connecting with you (and that doesn't feel like too much to put on yourself), living in the house could be okay if that's what suits her. It'd require extra consideration to ensure she can still express natural behaviors, like scratching, foraging, dust bathing, etc. without trashing your house. I'd think maybe still give her some outdoor time while you're out there. Getting sunlight and fresh air is important for their health. That could be a bit more challenging during colder times of year, when the temperature difference between inside and outside could be stressful. I've had to bring chickens indoors at night, then out during the day at times and the vet did warn me that the transition happening frequently could increase risk for fungal infections.

I will mention one other thing to consider, which may not be relevant here, but just something to watch out for/think about. It sounds like she has bonded to you in a serious way. Given the loss of her king, I do wonder if she sees you as a rooster. Which could be fine, unless she expects you to perform all the duties a roo does...I have had a pet bird (parrot, not a chicken) decide I was her mate and it was very hard for both of us. She became very aggressive towards anyone trying to get near me and very demanding of attention, mostly by being ridiculously loud. Birds are such social creatures and I think it's important to figure out what role you would be stepping into if you were effectively her only flock member. None of this to say you shouldn't let her be a house chicken if that seems like what she wants. Just some things that might be worth considering. You know her best and what will work for both of you!
 
pollinator
Posts: 121
Location: Northern California
14
dog tiny house greening the desert
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have no advice, I just had to comment that you have a beautiful relationship with your chickens. I love my chickens also but I don't spend very much time with them and am mostly ignorant of those details of how they interact, prefer to eat, etc. This post warmed my heart.
 
Posts: 180
Location: East Tennessee
28
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I generally eat my old chickens, but I too have an old hen that will be here until she dies of old age. She survived a possum attack and now makes her way around the coop with only one of her eyes. I believe she has earned her retirement.
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you all for the comments. It's helpful and greatly appreciated to get feedback. I'm going to see if I can give her some version of the two worlds. And I am looking into getting another rooster to see if she will be interested in spending time in his company. The one comment about her possibly seeing me as a rooster was something I had not considered. She is rather open to me handling her, not a full crouch for being mounted, but not too far off either.

I'm not sure how I can handle winters with her being a house chicken. The cold change was also something I wasn't sure would work. So the comment about the fungal infections with repeated temperatures changes was good to receive. The winters here go down to -30C/-22F. I'm not keen on rendering her unable to strengthen herself against the cold. Perhaps chicken sweaters will be needed. Anyone have any experience with those?

I do care deeply for the animals I have on the farm. But with a reverence also for how nature deals with it (life and death). I appreciate how they help the farm and eventually feed my family. The chickens have lucked out, I only take eggs (unless one wishes to start a family). Their laying cycle is not tampered with, so they rest in winter with no light and feed treatment for egg production. Roosters and hens that don't behave are Jerk Chicken (I am far too amused with that recipe's double meaning). I let the fox and hawk take foolish chickens. Also helps me develop sharp seasoned roosters. And I am left with the cream of the crop. Then I let them choose their mates.

*Flashback* Why Rico Suave gets cull immunity. All roosters are kept for physical and mental hardiness. I usually get show roosters from the Norwegian breeders association. I had two Ayem Cemani flocks from a breeder who wished to try another breed. Don Rico's and Rico Suave's flocks. Don Rico got his name because of his Lordly and severe demeanor. Rico Suave got his name because of something special he did when we transported them to our farm. After a 3 hour ride, I open the back of the van. They were all afraid and moved to the very back of the crates, cowering in a stifling cluster. However, Rico Suave moved to the front of the hen bundle and spread out his massive wings to cover the hens from sight. And he looked at me, as frightened as the rest, but resolute in that I would have to go through him first. Now that was impressive and exemplary rooster behavior, and so so smooth. Thus the Suave part of his name.

Ok, I'll hush up about chickens now. Thanks again for the comments and feedback.
FB_IMG_1635317019158.jpg
Henni perched on my shoulder for a walk
Henni perched on my shoulder for a walk
 
Posts: 146
Location: Eddington, Maine
40
homeschooling kids trees chicken woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The ideas I might have on what to do with older chickens is probably not what you want to do, based on your question. I am, therefore, biased, like anyone else, but hear me out.

I would caution you about going halfway with this. I don't think trying to have both worlds would be good. I think having her as an indoor pet is fine, and having her as a outdoor chicken as part of a flock is good, but somewhere in between I believe will make it harder on both you and her.

Because you clearly care about the chicken, I must ask you this question. Do you think being an indoor pet chicken is what is best for her? She wants to be around you, it seems, regardless of the potential for bodily harm, but I wonder if she only wants to be inside because of you. From your description she has bonded with you, and I wonder if you were outside, would the chicken care about being inside? In other words, is the desire to be an indoor pet based on her wanting to be with you, or is it based on her wanting to be indoors. I think it is important for chickens to be chickens, and I'm not sure that she would be able to express that chicken-ness while being indoors. Chickens are designed to scratch and peck and be a part of a flock. I worry that either she would lose that ability or you would work yourself crazy trying to meet all the needs.

I do not mean any disrespect nor do I mean to make anyone angry when I ask this question, but I feel it is important to look at both sides. Do you think bringing her inside is best for her or is it best for you? My opinion (which you can ignore) is that it would be best for her to be outside with her flock and that if you bring her inside, it is more for you than for her. I don't think either way of doing it is wrong, I just want to ask the question and get people thinking. Good luck.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2686
Location: 4b
747
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I vote inside chicken, and I want you to know that just reading this made me happy.
 
pollinator
Posts: 835
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
297
kids dog home care duck rabbit urban books building writing ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any chance you could split the difference between house and outside?  Could she have a small outdoor enclosure on a porch or next to some windows so that she has the closeness with you, without actually being inside OR something like a "doggie/cat door" that would allow her to come in and out at will (this deals with the pooping) that allowed her access to the indoors and/or her private, protected, run?  Perhaps this could be the chicken rehab unit; she would care for the sick or injured with moral support whilst you tended their ills?
 
master gardener
Posts: 5441
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
2096
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a friend who had a house chicken until her apartment manager found out and insisted she go. Emma would sing along with the phone ringing and with various music on the television. She had a cat crate for when she needed to be locked up, and a diaper made out of an old sock which she *never* messed because she knew how to tell her person when she needed the crate. She might not have had the same experiences as a chicken outdoors, but she had a very good life. I do suspect that if you take your chicken in, she will be in for the winter or need a coat, but there are lots of patterns for things like that on the web. I suspect that she will easily adapt to outings in the spring when the weather warms up. At that time, if you're prepared to have more than one flock and get her a new rooster, you may manage to re-integrate her.

We have one shelter where we tend to put our "retirement" chickens. They still lay, but not regularly, but they're fairly protected. One day a big old rooster that I rescued from another farm for a friend, marched into that shelter and decided it was home! He was too old to be arguing with the other young rooster and he made that clear. One of the hens is particularly  attached to him. We doubt he'll make it through the winter, but unless/until he appears in distress, he can keep company with the girls in there. It's in chicken mentality to chase off a chicken that is injured or sick as they are a magnet for wild predators.  Possibly at some level, this is what Henni is trying to tell you - she's not up to fighting for her spot any more. To me, forcing her to do so would be cruel. Leaving her alone is equally cruel for chickens. That sort of leaves her being part of your family, or you trying to create her a new, smaller family if you have the time or infrastructure to do so.
 
pollinator
Posts: 360
100
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What a wonderful and well written story. I was rapt.
I have never had chickens, but have been around animals my whole life, both inside and outside animals. My vote would be to follow her lead and let her be with you. Get her a sweater for the cold weather, allow her to join in the flock feedings with you, etc., thereby giving her some time to be with the others and be a chicken for a while (or longer, if she so chooses). Her crooning something, then looking at you intently -- it sounds like she was trying to convey an important message. My vote would be to follow her lead.
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Matt,
No offense taken. I personally do not like indoor pets, even if they are house broken. If that weren't the case, she would probably be a house chicken by now. I'm just going all softy because she my fabulous old chicken. As for your questions posed for her desires, I know she doesn't care at all about mingling with the flock. She is among them, but doesn't socialize, and she perches away from them at night. When I work in the coop she stays at my feet the whole time. When I let her out, she pleases herself with whatever catches her attention and runs around with the kids. By indoor chicken, I wouldn't mean to keep her indoors live a caged bird. She'd be free to go in and out with us. I'm in the yard and field often, so expressing her behavior wouldn't be hindered. That's what I was meaning by finding something in between. I was considering putting her to bed in the coop (no night poopping welcomed in the house), and letting her out with me while I'm in the yard, back in the coop when I'm away sort of thing.

Matt McSpadden wrote:The ideas I might have on what to do with older chickens is probably not what you want to do, based on your question. I am, therefore, biased, like anyone else, but hear me out.

I would caution you about going halfway with this. I don't think trying to have both worlds would be good. I think having her as an indoor pet is fine, and having her as a outdoor chicken as part of a flock is good, but somewhere in between I believe will make it harder on both you and her.

Because you clearly care about the chicken, I must ask you this question. Do you think being an indoor pet chicken is what is best for her? She wants to be around you, it seems, regardless of the potential for bodily harm, but I wonder if she only wants to be inside because of you. From your description she has bonded with you, and I wonder if you were outside, would the chicken care about being inside? In other words, is the desire to be an indoor pet based on her wanting to be with you, or is it based on her wanting to be indoors. I think it is important for chickens to be chickens, and I'm not sure that she would be able to express that chicken-ness while being indoors. Chickens are designed to scratch and peck and be a part of a flock. I worry that either she would lose that ability or you would work yourself crazy trying to meet all the needs.

I do not mean any disrespect nor do I mean to make anyone angry when I ask this question, but I feel it is important to look at both sides. Do you think bringing her inside is best for her or is it best for you? My opinion (which you can ignore) is that it would be best for her to be outside with her flock and that if you bring her inside, it is more for you than for her. I don't think either way of doing it is wrong, I just want to ask the question and get people thinking. Good luck.

 
Posts: 25
9
rabbit urban bee
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please write a book about your chickens. I miss my friendly flock and I believe it is raining inside after having read all this. Only you can decide what is best for your girl but I second getting her a small court of weaker/older birds to keep her company. She may be needing a retirement home of sorts away from the young ones.
 
master steward
Posts: 6462
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1910
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to see your lovely lady being able to get back to loving being outside.

If she were my girl, I would try taking her outside whenever I was outside.  I imagine you already do this.

Then I would go inside my house for a just few minutes. Leaving her outside.  Though I would be back out so she doesn't miss me.

Every day I would leave her out a few more minutes.

I would try increasing the time I was inside to 15 minutes and if that works try for 30 minutes, etc.

Slowly try to get the girl loving being outside and knowing the person she loves will be back.

And maybe the new rooster will help.

I hope this might work for you.
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Update on Queen Henní,
Last night I when to close the coop and turn out the light. Henní usually perches alone right in front of the door. Today, another hen was perched next to her, Hennígul, (golden feather afro-topped Icelandic chicken I adopted). She's also a bit of a Diva. Henní still is a loner, but perhaps these two will become good flock mates. Henní seems to be enjoying special trips outside the hen house with the kids and me. And she's glued to my ankle when I work in the coop. I hope the new coop grows on her.

I'm taking more great advice from you all, thank immensely for it. I'm redesigning the property to include a chicken leisure garden. And renovating the coop so the elderly and mother-hens with a clutch have a different and individual places to roost if the like. I wonder if chickens experience the same positive burst of life when in the presence of chicks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1872
Location: RRV of da Nort
383
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just in case this didn't come up before, but if you decide to let her or others in her tea party stay in the house, you could try a chicken/poultry diaper!  The one in the video here (I hope this can be viewed internationally) is one version (  
 ) and the one below in the advertisement fits over the tail feathers.  The big tom turkey below lives indoors with a diaper on at 'Happily Ever Esther', a sanctuary near Toronto, Canada. ( https://www.happilyeveresther.ca/ )  Maybe some extra ideas?

ChickenNappies.JPG
[Thumbnail for ChickenNappies.JPG]
Cornelius.JPG
[Thumbnail for Cornelius.JPG]
 
gardener
Posts: 489
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
196
hugelkultur kids forest garden trees cooking woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have no thoughts regarding chickens as house pets. Or at least I didn't until I read your thread.

I mostly just want to reply to tell you that I want to read your book. Do you have one?

I love the way you write.
 
John Weiland
pollinator
Posts: 1872
Location: RRV of da Nort
383
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken wrote:......I do care deeply for the animals I have on the farm. But with a reverence also for how nature deals with it (life and death). I appreciate how they help the farm and eventually feed my family. The chickens have lucked out, I only take eggs (unless one wishes to start a family). Their laying cycle is not tampered with, so they rest in winter with no light and feed treatment for egg production. Roosters and hens that don't behave are Jerk Chicken (I am far too amused with that recipe's double meaning). I let the fox and hawk take foolish chickens. Also helps me develop sharp seasoned roosters. And I am left with the cream of the crop. Then I let them choose their mates.



This sums up very well how chickens exist on our property also.  It's pretty 'free-ranging'.....we eat some eggs, rarely any birds these days, and some eggs get taken by predators while others may go to hatch.  Some roaming bands (Roo or more + hens) decide it's worth the exploratory novelty to wander beyond the fence and then aerial and land-bound predators have easy pickings.  Some of the older roos keep to themselves, but some of the younger roos challenge my wife for food she's mixing up for other animals....and they too join the "Jerk Chicken" community.  Livestock dogs keep most predators outside of the fenceline, so everyone gets to eat at some point and there is a waxing and waning of the flock accordingly.  With regard to cold, they are in various out-buildings, some more well-heated than others.  Colder mid-winter nights, a few per year typically, are around -35C but more often hang around -20C.
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John, you wonderful lovely you!

I'll have to check these out.

Thank you.

John Weiland wrote:Just in case this didn't come up before, but if you decide to let her or others in her tea party stay in the house, you could try a chicken/poultry diaper!  The one in the video here (I hope this can be viewed internationally) is one version ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6IRVAiP_w4 ) and the one below in the advertisement fits over the tail feathers.  The big tom turkey below lives indoors with a diaper on at 'Happily Ever Esther', a sanctuary near Toronto, Canada. ( https://www.happilyeveresther.ca/ )  Maybe some extra ideas?

 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My partner has joked that if I wrote a history/tevenovela about my chickens, I could probably create an additional income stream for people who enjoy chicken soap operas. Perhaps I'll start adding their stories here as threads😁
.
Thank you for the compliment.  

L. Johnson wrote:I have no thoughts regarding chickens as house pets. Or at least I didn't until I read your thread.

I mostly just want to reply to tell you that I want to read your book. Do you have one?

I love the way you write.

 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Something that has warmed my heart these past two nights. Hennígull, an adopted hen and a former Queen at her previous farm, is roosting with Henní now.
I'm going to see how they get on before I start buying chicken nappies😶. I'll make a special roost for them. Henní prefers 2" rounded square roost bars, but Hennígull prefers round 2"...why do I even know that🤣.
20211031_190256.jpg
Hennígull roosting with Henní
Hennígull roosting with Henní
 
master gardener
Posts: 3368
1428
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken wrote: I'll make a special roost for them. Henní prefers 2" rounded square roost bars, but Hennígull prefers round 2"...why do I even know that🤣.



You know that, because you're an AWESOME chicken mama!! The final proof is in the first sentence I quoted! I've truly enjoyed reading all your posts! Your care and concern for your birds warms my heart, as much as these girls warm yours. My husband and I have seriously enjoyed this whole thread, your writing, and especially you love of your birds!
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Carla (and husband),

Thank you for the message. I'm generally convinced that I'll be received as The Crazy Chicken Lady. However, this group has an abundance of accepting farmy folk.

Carla Burke wrote: You know that, because you're an AWESOME chicken mama!! The final proof is in the first sentence I quoted! I've truly enjoyed reading all your posts! Your care and concern for your birds warms my heart, as much as these girls warm yours. My husband and I have seriously enjoyed this whole thread, your writing, and especially you love of your birds!

 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Weiland wrote:
This sums up very well how chickens exist on our property also.



Aaaaw. It's nice to hear how you are keeping chickens. I hope I can keep all the creatures here in such a way that they are welcome to live free or feel free to leave (and all that implies). So long as their release doesn't affect wildlife, like rabbits and quail would. I'm wondering if I can do with a goose or a ram to help with predators inside the property 🤔.  I depend on providing food for the animals from the farm, and a dog would mean I would need to increase rabbit and quail production just to keep them fed. Not something I want to take on just yet. Perhaps a terrier would do well in the future. We only have weasel, fox, cat, dog, and badger as ground predators. The roosters are responsible for alerting the flock (and me) to aerial predators.
 
pollinator
Posts: 374
Location: SE Indiana
200
dog fish trees writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Tavonna Nira, I also enjoy your writing and how you name your chickens.



 
pollinator
Posts: 382
Location: Virginia
142
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken wrote:I'm generally convinced that I'll be received as The Crazy Chicken Lady.



If it makes you feel better, I’ll admit to having a Crazy Chicken Lady magnet added to my car without my knowledge. 😝  (Thanks Sis!) only drove for a week before my husband noticed while he was driving…

I have so much enjoyed your writing and the pictures.  Thank you for sharing!
 
Jane Mulberry
master pollinator
Posts: 263
Location: East of England
121
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tavonna, start a Patreon! A chicken update every week. A few You Tube videos. You'd soon end up with a useful income stream, I'm thinking. Love your chicken tales!
 
Heather Sharpe
gardener
Posts: 503
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
328
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So happy to hear Henni has found a new chicken friend!

Just going to join the others gently nudging you to write and share more about your chickens! Hearing about how you relate with them is heartwarming and makes me happy. I sometimes feel like a crazy chicken lady or worry others will think that of me (I may or may not have gotten a baby monitor so I could know if they were okay out in the coop at night...). What you've shared here makes me feel more normal and less alone. It reminds me that one of the best ways to love someone is to listen to them, something you clearly do superbly for your flock. When I remember that, it's easier to stop judging myself as a crazy chicken lady. So thank you for all that!
 
Posts: 50
Location: Mid Atlantic mountains, USA, 5a, clay, harvest plentiful outdoor veges year round with a few tricks
12
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So enjoyed your storytelling!  Our chickens are my husband's, but he calls me the "chicken whisperer" when they are sick, as I have a special affinity for animals.  

My major concern about keeping your hen indoors is the very real danger of human gastro illnesses (such as salmonella) and potentially fatal infections that are possible according to a Finnish study, amongst others. You can, of course, become ill from just raising your own outdoor chickens if you aren't careful about using separate shoes and handwashing, but bringing fowl into your home is really upping the ante. No matter that she is pooping outdoors or might wear a diaper, chicken fecal matter is coming into the house via her bottom and your possibly washing the diaper indoors.

Before we got our chickens, we bought farm eggs from a lovely neighbor down the road. She adored her chickens and let them into her house to snuggle with her when she was sitting on her sofa. She was just so incredibly happy and comforted by hanging out with them. It was all very cute and heartwarming and everyone called her Momma Hen. Then she got very ill and lost a ton of weight and hair. It took her 6 months to find a specialist who figured out what was going on. Sadly, she had to suddenly give all her chickens away when he diagnosed a serious, but rare, sinus infection apparently caused by dried chicken fecal matter dust. The chickens, of course, were happy as clams to be indoor with her and would set about cleaning and preening themselves on the sofa. She kept very clean chickens and a clean hen house but apparently you can never clean their bottoms enough or clean out all the fecal matter dust embedded in their feathers.

I  was convinced in the beginning it was a misdiagnosis and that she was dying of cancer they just hadn't found yet.  Really thought it was all hogwash until we could clearly see she was dramatically healthier in three week's time after her house was cleaned from top to bottom and she stayed away from anyone else's chickens.

Here's a link that explains some of the dangers of human and chicken cohabitation. You'll find tons of similar articles and studies online as the topic became a media favorite when tons of people around the world bought their own hens for eggs and pets when covid started.

www.agweek.com/business/agriculture/3941211-backyard-farmers-beware-your-chickens-can-make-you-sick



 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes Molly! So many yes's! I don't like animals indoors for this very reason. My mom has that issue with chickens (poop dust in the lungs). And as much as I love animals, we aren't meant to cohabitate without some serious consequences. I am far too busy to be washing chickens. Everyone I know laughs at me because I have a saying that I picked up growing up in the south (USA),  "That's how you get worms." I've owned indoor pets, but that was when I was single and/or not a parent. Now I cannot conceive of being able to maintain an indoor pet. All kinds of no...but
I would have, if that's what Henní ultimately needed...not gonna lie.

Molly Gordon wrote:So enjoyed your storytelling!  Our chickens are my husband's, but he calls me the "chicken whisperer" when they are sick, as I have a special affinity for animals.  

My major concern about keeping your hen indoors is the very real danger of human gastro illnesses (such as salmonella) and potentially fatal infections that are possible according to a Finnish study, amongst others. You can, of course, become ill from just raising your own outdoor chickens if you aren't careful about using separate shoes and handwashing, but bringing fowl into your home is really upping the ante. No matter that she is pooping outdoors or might wear a diaper, chicken fecal matter is coming into the house via her bottom and your possibly washing the diaper indoors.

Before we got our chickens, we bought farm eggs from a lovely neighbor down the road. She adored her chickens and let them into her house to snuggle with her when she was sitting on her sofa. She was just so incredibly happy and comforted by hanging out with them. It was all very cute and heartwarming and everyone called her Momma Hen. Then she got very ill and lost a ton of weight and hair. It took her 6 months to find a specialist who figured out what was going on. Sadly, she had to suddenly give all her chickens away when he diagnosed a serious, but rare, sinus infection apparently caused by dried chicken fecal matter dust. The chickens, of course, were happy as clams to be indoor with her and would set about cleaning and preening themselves on the sofa. She kept very clean chickens and a clean hen house but apparently you can never clean their bottoms enough or clean out all the fecal matter dust embedded in their feathers.

I  was convinced in the beginning it was a misdiagnosis and that she was dying of cancer they just hadn't found yet.  Really thought it was all hogwash until we could clearly see she was dramatically healthier in three week's time after her house was cleaned from top to bottom and she stayed away from anyone else's chickens.

Here's a link that explains some of the dangers of human and chicken cohabitation. You'll find tons of similar articles and studies online as the topic became a media favorite when tons of people around the world bought their own hens for eggs and pets when covid started.

www.agweek.com/business/agriculture/3941211-backyard-farmers-beware-your-chickens-can-make-you-sick



 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Heather Sharpe wrote: I sometimes feel like a crazy chicken lady or worry others will think that of me (I may or may not have gotten a baby monitor so I could know if they were okay out in the coop at night...)



I love this. I have literally had this thought when a friend of ours was showing us their deluxe baby monitor system that had a long range so the always knew how the baby was doing.

You want to talk about worry. There have been a considerable amount of nights that I have in sheer panic and adrenaline lept from my bed at 0200hrs. Donning nothing but rubber boots, a headlamp, and a pajama shirt(no underwear, yes, full Donald Duck), beweapened with a kitchen knife, I've flown out of the house like a bat outta hell at the sound of my chickens' alarm cries. I swear that not even the threat of a bear would have stopped me from going full psycho. I was 100% THIS IS SPARTA!!!
Only to have my chickens look at me like, wtf is wrong with you?

Omg. There was a night that I thought the coop was on fire...same reaction, just a fire extinguisher instead of a knife. And once again, chickens looking at me like I done lost my dayum mind.
 
Lorinne Anderson
pollinator
Posts: 835
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
297
kids dog home care duck rabbit urban books building writing ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As someone who specializes in dealing with problem wildlife (say...raccoons and chicken coops!) I regularly recommend using baby monitors! So much simpler than a fancy security/camera system.   Nowadays many even have video!

So, no, no one here is being a "crazy chicken" person, in my opinion; you simply highly value the safety of all those who depend on you - AND rightly so!
 
Posts: 136
Location: southern oregon
24
forest garden fungi foraging trees food preservation cooking building solar woodworking wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy,

Tavonna, as already stated, "Love your writting".

"May the Forest be with you,
Tavonna Nira"

Love your tagline.

peace,rc
 
Molly Gordon
Posts: 50
Location: Mid Atlantic mountains, USA, 5a, clay, harvest plentiful outdoor veges year round with a few tricks
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken wrote:Yes Molly! So many yes's! I don't like animals indoors for this very reason.


Ohhhhh.

So it was more about the story telling than the dilemma?!  Well, story tell us more and entertain us!

 
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am so happy to hear I am not the only one going through this situation. My old mother hen, Dede, has done the same. After 6 years of laying eggs and producing chicks, she has now decided she doesn’t want to live with those noisy cockerels and young buff hens anymore. She has moved into my kitchen, quite uninvited, made her roost beside the dogs bed and get first choice in kitchen scraps.
She is free to leave at any time, the door is always open. If I am working or reading outside she will join me, and if I am on the computer at the kitchen table she will sit under my chair. The dog seems not to be bothered about sleeping next to her and the cats just look on in distain ( no difference there...).
I am happy to have her around and that after all these years of service she has provided me with, I am happy she feels content to spend her last moments with me.
We are blessed to have this wonderful time with our family what ever shape they inhabit  
 
Posts: 2
2
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm glad there's someone else out there who goes through these situations. <3 I, too, love my little ladies and have never eaten any "when they get old". I just lost my last "old generation hen" this spring. She was nine years old. It's sad when you can tell they are on their way out. You notice that change in their energy and that slow peace and calm come over them. I lost a favorite silky last summer... and the last few days I would just hold her and talk to her...and was sad to find her dead a day or two later. This pattern happens all to often. You just know...and then you're so thankful that you took those last couple pictures, or snuck them those mealworms away from the others, etc. I have a few right now that I'll probably actually bawl when they go. If she wants to spend her last days a house chicken...if she really does, then why not? If her energy level is down and you know she won't be scared, if the weather is cold or bothersome, if she's just needing that extra attention... Why would it ever be wrong to love someone that's asking/needing it, no matter the species. Heck, if it was a dog it would SURE be acceptable. Love that little lady and spoil her rotten!
 
Posts: 7
1
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You have an incredible writing gift!! Loved your post and even read it to hubby who enjoyed it.

To the point, no one has mentioned that your little lady may be mourning. Animals of all sorts mourn the loss of a friend and companion. I've watched my girls mourn the loss of a rooster who was a real gentleman. I, too, mourned his loss but for different reasons. He wasn't in the "jerk" category and he was part Brahma, which I wanted to introduce into my flock via hatched chicks.

It took them a couple of weeks, but they eventually got over it. The new rooster had longer to wait for their acceptance, but they did eventually accept him and his role. I see that as a part of life regardless of the species. If my hubby died, I would mourn terribly and I seriously doubt I would accept another "rooster", ever.

If she has made a new friend in the coop, let her be more with her friend. Like mentioned by many others, there are too many lung issues that can be caused by the dander to let her be in the house permanently.

My position is probably more harsh than others because my chickens are for food (eggs and meat). They are well cared for and treated with respect, just not pets.  I have 2 cats and 1 dog that are pets.

I've had a couple hens who hung out near me and talked while doing chores but I still see them as chickens, and they still act like chickens around me. None of mine are as old as yours so I don't know if that makes a difference.

Just my 2 cents worth. God bless you for being so concerned about your hens!
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

catherine stallybrass wrote:
I am happy to have her around and that after all these years of service she has provided me with, I am happy she feels content to spend her last moments with me.
We are blessed to have this wonderful time with our family what ever shape they inhabit  



Aaaw. This gave me all.the feels🥰
 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
Posts: 39
Location: Norway
38
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Final update.

Henní will get remain with the flock unless she seeks me out again.
Her son (or nephew), Rico Suave, the reigning King Coop-a, is perching with her, along with his queen, Odette. And sometimes their daughter, Mistress Waffles will perch with Henní. She's less of a loner now.
20211112_204350.jpg
The Royal Family
The Royal Family
 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic