Chickens and livestock?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by marvun22, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going back down the livestock trail. I'm getting cows, sheep, pigs, and horses later on. My grazing area is rented out for a couple more years, so they'll be in my corrals for a couple of years, which is right outside my barn. So that brings up the question. How do cows, pigs, and sheep do with chickens.
     
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    All fine. BUT if your cows come into calf make sure the hens can not go in. The cows will kill them. My friends had about 6 killed during calving time and one got its legs crushed too but she is still alive (i think). Just make sure they kind of gradually meet each other. Meeting each other outside is best as there is room for the hens to escape if it goes bad. But I'm pretty sure they will be fine :)
     
  3. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I'll try to keep the chickens out of the corrals during that time. The way its set up, I'll have my barn, which is in the center. I have corrals to the north, east, and south. The birds will still be able to go outside during that period.
     
  4. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Just as long as they can't get in the pens really. Your cows could react differently but its still too high of a risk to let them go in in my opinion. Hope everything goes well, I hope to see you post some pics when you get them all!
     
  5. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chickens of course would be able to get in the cow corral, but I hope to keep my cows out of the barn as much as possible.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I have raised thousands of chicks in a cow pasture usually after hatching them elsewhere. I have never had a cow harm a single hen and can't remember a chick getting stepped on by a cow. I can tell you this for a fact, cows grazing and pooping around your chickens will save you money on baby chicken feed, especially if you have your chicks under the care of a hen.

    Another benefit is that you will never again need to drag the pasture to break up the zones of repugnance that develop around the cow patties or to break them into smaller pieces so that they will decompose quicker. Mother hens learn quickly to come running every time a cow raises her tail to make a deposit in the 'night soil bank.' Chickens big and little readily wade hip deep into the steaming green goodness that is a cow pie and with mother's help spread it far and wide in search of undigested goodies. You might say that this is a poor man's way of fermenting chicken feed without having to go to the trouble of actually doing it.

    As far as chickens and horses living together is concerned, there is no better flooring or litter for a covered or indoor chicken pen that shredded dry horse biscuits spread over a bed of washed sand. Goats, sheep, and swine however will eat every morsel of chicken feed that they find laying on the ground and swine will sometimes eat chickens if for no other reason than boredom.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  7. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh yeah, keeping sheep away from the feed is so annoying because once they have found it then they are always back. When we have sheep in the hens field they trash the hens pen looking for their food. They broke 4 of my feeders and water feeders this year!
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    It appears my experience is similar to chickengeorgeto's. Ours were kept on numerous "walks" at many different barnyards, some ours but many belonged to others. Birds were games but similar enough for purpose of this thread. Most "walks" supported livestock in various configurations / combinations that provided lots of feeding opportunities for the chickens. Habitat as provided by nongrazed areas was also important but will not be addressed here. Risks of trampling was not zero but most of that occurred at night and was not a major source of loss. A horse rolling over in stall occasionally took out a hen and/or some chicks. Occasionally a hog would eat chicks or even a hen. Hatchling chicks falling from loft into manger were sometimes sucked to death by a cow. Best arrangement involved a walk-in manger area where we fed livestock from and where hens with chicks could move freely and roost on ground with minimal risk. This was also area dogs slept especially during cold weather. Biggest concerns will be in dealing with predators that will chase chickens between livestock legs. Some folks are also not keen on chickens crapping on hay but I do not recall any real issues of palatability or health impacts on the livestock. The chickens also helped keep rodents populations down by competing successfully with later for spilt grain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  9. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    My friend used to keep their hay in like massive piles and the hens would go up and find a gap and start sitting on eggs inside it (whether it was its own of other hens I don't know) and then hatched them out. It was such a challenge getting them all down!
     
  10. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info everybody. I'm getting lots of other livestock info down at BYH. I don't know how some the older generations made it without some of these great resources.
     

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