|02-18-2014 10:12 AM|
Chicken Tractors are pretty neat and really simple to build on your own if you're into DIY.
Hmm, I should video my Buff chicken(she's named Blondie). She's something else. She thinks she's a dog. She runs up to us and then squats down to let us pet her. We've got four acres of land and if she sees us, she'll come from nearly all the way across the property. She doesn't mind our heelers either. If we give them one of her raw eggs, she just about runs them off of it.
|02-17-2014 06:13 PM|
oh yeah, I am paranoid of snakes, my chicken area isn't called Fort Pox for nothing
Right now I am down to 11 chickens (rehomed some roosters),,have some more coming in spring, I'm chicken addicted
Anyhow, I don't free range mine, tho I may try it this spring, some have said, let them out a couple hours before dark, so they can get some free ranging in, but be able to lock them in at nite.
As for my dogs protecting the chicks? Well my aussie would most likely pounce/kill them Masi my gsd, is fine with my chickens, I have no idea if she would "protect" them.
I've raised mine in the house (and that brinsea heater you have? I LOVE MINE!!!) so the dogs/cats interacted with them when they were little. Masi's easy going nature just transferred to them outside, the aussie , not so much
Definitely use hardware cloth EVERYWHERE you can. I havent had a snake in mine, and don't see that happeneing the way I have my set up.
Here's my photobook link
Diane Stevens's (Jynx2007) Library | Photobucket
Feel free to check out my pics, there's also a sub album on the left you'll see 'chickens & coop" tho all my pics aren't in that album.
My first barn, got smashed in storm sandy, my husband and bil, rebuilt . My barn is 12 x 20, the chickens have around half that inside, outside run is 12 x 22.
Having a rooster is a good alarm, I raise mine from day olds, so my roosters were always very easy to handle, some can get real nasty
Have fun, love my chicken project
|02-17-2014 02:43 PM|
|02-17-2014 12:54 PM|
|02-17-2014 12:43 PM|
And I started thinking more about all the different types of predators we actually do have here in rural east Texas, and between all the dogs who are Not behind fences in this neighborhood (which apparently now doubles over the weekends), and as mentioned, coyotes, etc., well, I just can't do it.
Will be keeping the girls under lock and key, and a sturdy chicken tractor will have to serve for when they are in the yard. Kind of a "supervised" range compromise.
Oh, and yes! The every day is Easter...well, I thought about that as well, and I really don't think I want to be traipsing through the wooded lot every day hunting eggs, because, frankly, I'm afraid that what I will find in the nest instead is a cottonmouth snake. EEK.
|02-17-2014 11:45 AM|
The dog will figure out what is expected with the chickens.
I've had chickens my whole life, and I'd expect them to love the wooded area, mainly because of the foraging, but also because of the protection from hawks.
We start our chickens out in a coop, with a wire cage and eventually just leave the door open during the nice rainfree days, but they always return to the coop when the sun goes down.
If you are going for 24/7 free range, I think it will be the chicken's decision on whether they stay in the woods or the fenced in yard, unless you put a shelter in either spot so they know they have a refuge at night.
Another plus to the coop, is it centralizes the egg lays. Otherwise it'll be Easter every day.
Our chickens are lots of fun and we haven't had any trouble with the dogs(heelers, and so far my gsd pup) eating any. The only thing I have trouble with keeping the dogs from scrounging the chicken droppings. Our heelers have found out that when they scare the chickens, they magically leave behind a gooey pile of (according to the heelers) tasty treat.
|02-17-2014 11:16 AM|
My Luka protected the chickens. She was raised with them. There's always a learning curve; even she "played" a couple to death when she was a pup. But I worked with her, tapping into her prey drive, and did obedience with a ball reward right next to the chicken coop. Eventually she learned to ignore them and just focused on her ball. Eventually, I could let the chickens free-range and she was bombproof with them. I could throw her ball through a flock of chickens and she would just run right through them to get her ball. I even had a turkey hen that took to Luka, following her around and "preening" her. She was also very gentle with baby chicks.
Now my current dog was not raised with chickens, and she will leave them alone if I'm right there, but will kill them if they sneak into her yard while I'm not looking. We're working on it. The other day I caught her with a hen in her mouth; I screamed "OUT!!" At the top of my lungs, she dropped the hen and came right to me. So we're making progress.
|02-17-2014 10:57 AM|
|Galathiel||I live in East Texas. I would expect that chickens not in a coop are not going to survive. Not only hawks, but coyotes and foxes (and cats!) abound. I also had a chicken attacked by a snake when it was sunning on the door jamb of its coop (I used to let them roam the back yard and put them up each evening, but still lost some to predation).|
|02-17-2014 12:58 AM|
Yes that is an opossum. Oddly he didn't mess with the chickens. Where we used to live we had ducks everywhere, so most of my dogs have been around them. The ducks came right up to the door and would come within 5 ft of the dogs when they were out. The pic I attached is a small group in front of the house, we had about 30 of them at a time everyday, all year long.
|02-16-2014 11:49 PM|
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