Brand New

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by gerberjc1, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. gerberjc1

    gerberjc1 New Egg

    Jan 1, 2015
    Hello Everyone I am brand new to chickens and have not had good luck so far. About 2 years ago I told my husband that I really wanted to get chickens his first reaction was no. We live in Temecula, CA and it is a planned community he thought that they would be too loud, smell and our neighbors would complain. Being as stubborn as I am I got the OK from all my neighbors (with promises of fresh eggs) and started the assault of reasoning with my husband. I gave him loads of information as to why we would benefit from the addition of chickens into our family. After a year of reasoning and at one point begging he gave in. So last spring we searched our a farm and purchased 6 little baby chicks. We also bought a small cage for them to spend the first few months in while we build a coop. We got home and although we lost one baby in the following weeks the rest were growing strong and so much fun to play with. We got our coop built in a few weeks and by the time it was done they were ready to go outside. The first few days were fine but I woke up Easter morning to find that every one of my girls were killed by our two dogs. They had somehow ripped a hole in the chicken wire fence and killed everyone. I was heart broken and I'm not ashamed to say I bawled my eye's out and at one point it could have been called wailing in agony. My amazing husband not only helped me inside but also cleaned up the mess that was my babies. After a few weeks of morning I was convinced that we would try again with some new reinforced fencing and new babies. This time We picked out 3 slightly old chickens and brought them home. I was very worried about leaving them outside so I spent the first two nights staring out the window to watch the dogs. 3 weeks went by and no issues. Just when I was getting comfortable and thinking all was going to be well the dogs strike again. This time they broke the lock and got the cleaning door open. Although I wasn't as heartbroken I still spent the day in tears. It has been almost a year and although I said I would never do it again I am thinking I would like to try chickens again in the spring. I would love any ideas or suggestions you might have to help me. And no I can't get rid of my dogs they are also members of my family.
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    I'm terribly sorry about all your losses!![​IMG] That is just so hard to go through![​IMG]

    Glad you joined our flock! Feel free to ask questions.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Oh I am terribly sorry!! [​IMG] The first thing you need to do is stop using chicken wire. It is flimsy and can be ripped apart very easily by everything. You need to build a sturdy coop and run. Built it as if YOU were going to live in there and you didn't want anything getting in. Hardware cloth can be gotten at most hardware stores.

    Stop by our coops pages to get some idea on how to build your coop and run. If you build a big enough run, your chickens can live in the run without needing to go out....

    Dogs and chickens will never mix. So you will need to lock up the dogs if your chickens are outside. Good luck with re establishing your flock again and I hope this new year brings you more good fortune!
  5. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!

  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC....and I, too, am sorry you've had such a tough time. I conur with what's been said - chicken wire works to keep chickens in, but nothing else out. Even pesky little mice can wreak havoc when they get in. Hardware cloth is the only way to go, and building a run where they can be outdoors without ranging free in reach of the dogs would be a big help. Mine get out into the yard to forage, but on those days when they can't they can go in and out of their coop into a roomy, airy run and they spend more time out there than they do inside.

    Some pictures of your setup would be very helpful so we can better advise you on how to predator proof (and as much as we love them, most dogs are chicken predators) so you can avoid such misery the next time you get chickens. We built our coop and run and used hardware cloth about 2 feet up the sides of the run as well as the coop, then folded it at the ground and ran it outward another two feet as an apron. Nothing can dig under that way. The hardware cloth we put down was anchored to the ground with landscape fabric staples - it was supposed to be temporary until we could get it covered with flat rock. But the grass grew right up through it and we can even mow over it, so we ditched the rock idea and we just let the hardware cloth do its job. Our dog, Molly, got overexcited the first day the chickens were put into the run and tried to dig underneath to get in. She broke and bloodied a toenail and gave up...she's never tried again. I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a totally predator proof setup. I feel strongly that the moment I think mine is predator proof I'll become complacent and then I'll have trouble. So make it as secure as possible, and then be diligent, watching for weak spots to develop or to catch a spot you may have missed.

    Again, if you can post some pictures of your coop/run, we will be better able to help. You can click on the "My Coop" link under my avatar to see the construction of our coop, and there are lots of other designs and great ideas under the "coops" tab at the top of this page. Good luck! Don't give up - the third time's the charm!
    1 person likes this.
  10. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 23, 2014
    Sorry for the loss of your babies. Glad you joined. I have 4 dogs and they don't like the chickens either. I have decided to put the coop and run in our front yard where the dogs are not allowed to go. Good luck.

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