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Guard dog hens (Chicken Little) - Page 2

post #11 of 18

I have a lot of people that come get birds from me for the sole purpose of having some chickens for their kids. Sometimes they want a cock for their hens that they can trust to not turn mean. Especially people from countries that are more familiar with the type of birds I raise. Birds that are bred for production are seldom selected for temperament. Selecting for temperament can have a significant impact on the incidence of human aggression. But, yeah, don't turn your back on a barnyard variety rooster around small children.

NPIP Certified Oriental Games and Asil
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NPIP Certified Oriental Games and Asil
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post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by varidgerunner View Post

I have a lot of people that come get birds from me for the sole purpose of having some chickens for their kids. Sometimes they want a cock for their hens that they can trust to not turn mean. Especially people from countries that are more familiar with the type of birds I raise.

What breed do you raise?
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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post #13 of 18
Quote:
I have a lot of people that come get birds from me for the sole purpose of having some chickens for their kids. Sometimes they want a cock for their hens that they can trust to not turn mean. Especially people from countries that are more familiar with the type of birds I raise. Birds that are bred for production are seldom selected for temperament. Selecting for temperament can have a significant impact on the incidence of human aggression. But, yeah, don't turn your back on a barnyard variety rooster around small children. 

I have a buff orpington, but he's from a hatchery. He's fine with me, but around strangers, forget it. I wouldn't even try having children in because I just don't want to risk it. He's super sweet to me (probably just because I hand raised him), but takes his job VERY seriously.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
My little chicken bantam is missing :-( She was scared of her own shadow and the lowest in the pecking order but was starting to be less afraid of me. If i lose another one I'll have to keep them locked up. They are all looking so fat and happy now that they can free range all day and I have much less bug trouble. They must eat a ton of bugs during the day because this has been the warmest Nov I can recall and hardly any swarming from bean harvest etc..
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpeters3 View Post

My little chicken bantam is missing :-( She was scared of her own shadow and the lowest in the pecking order but was starting to be less afraid of me. If i lose another one I'll have to keep them locked up.

Well, it happened....her sister was taken by crows apparently. Now I'm down to 6 large hens but I'm going to keep them locked up for the winter. Come spring I may return to my youthful neighborhood pest control mode and buy a shotgun. I love nature but I firmly believe we don't need crows or mosquitos or Japanese beetles or box elder bugs or feral cats and dogs. I can't eliminate them all but I can get revenge on the crows or I might just give up the chickens since half the fun was watching them eat all my bugs. This is the first year I didn't see beetle and box elder swarms on my house and I believe it was due to the chickens foraging. How much would it cost to cover 1 acre with hardware cloth? Let's see, 208 x 208, posts every 20', maybe 15' high........maybe I could get bigger chickens that nothing could carry off......I'm really disappointed :-((
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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post #16 of 18

I have Daphne, the fearless Easter Egger!  She's been a watchdog since she was 5 weeks old, and she's always on the alert.  Of course, she's also known as the "flock complainer" - Daphne hates everything.  You can see photos of her on alert here:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-easter-eggers-of-oleo-acres

 

I don't know that you'll find a specific breed that is better at guarding than others.....I think like all things chicken there are so many variables in individual personalities that you might find a girl who can protect the flock in the most unexpected places.  Daphne out-guards every rooster we've ever had, so we simply don't have any roosters anymore.

 

As for kids, well, again so much depends on each bird's personality.  We have a rule here - no child is ever going to feel afraid to be outside when the chickens are out, and we will tolerate absolutely no threat to our grandkids. Period.  No exception.  My littlest granddaughter is 4 years old and has been in her wheelchair since she was 9 months old.  Her older sister has mild autism. Yet we can leave town and leave 9 year old Katie in total charge of the chickens for a week with not a single worry.  She does a beautiful job, and it's only because there is nothing out there for her to fear that she was so willing to learn.  4 year old Kendra, in her chair,  couldn't get away fast enough if a chicken turned on her, so every chicken we have must be trusted at all times.  Conversely, the kids have learned how to behave around the chickens so that they don't precipitate bad reactions from the birds, either.  Having chickens I can trust and kids I can trust around them is critical, and all the tips for raising my disabled granddaughters around the chickens applies just as well to kids without special needs.  The learning curve, while a little more intense, is basically the same.  They learn to behave around the chickens so the chickens behave around them.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/kids-with-disabilities-can-enjoy-chickens-too

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I don't have handicapped kids but my wife and mother in law are to a degree. the 2 year old is exuberant when he feeds them handfuls of corn. He likes to see them jump when he hits them with corn. We are working on that but It makes me happy to see how excited the kids are about feeding and bringing in the eggs. Its risky but I let each carry an egg to put in the tray in the kitchen. One of the alpha hens will eat out of my hand and the kids can get her to eat for them now too. My goal is to enlarge our experience and continue to free range but I'm staying with the large breeds hoping they will be able to defend themselves. We don't have feral dogs and cats now but I know how to deal with them. The cayotes etc typically won't come around in daylight or where people are so all I have to deal with are flying predators.
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Been a while, not much to say but an update on my flock... Had 8, lost 2 bantams in a week, then my favorite isa was taken, quit ranging and found another one dead and partially eaten in the coop. Picked up a new black hen culled from an egg farm and she has all her feathes now and looks good. I still have one with feathers missing. Injury from roosters may be to severe for them to grow back, time will tell. Going to get some chicks in the spring, clean up the back of the barn, and add a run hopefully. I think ranging is not possible anymore. Too many predators. Garage rebuild may have to wait another year...
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
Reply
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
Reply
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