Getting started

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by carolynjl, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. carolynjl

    carolynjl Hatching

    Jul 21, 2011
    Didn't know where to post this, but I'm just in the planning stages at this point. Is it better to start with baby chicks than with grown birds? If so, why? I have 3 cats and a toy dog that thinks she's a great dane.LOL I thought grown chickens would set them straight, but worry about starting out with babies. I plan to let mine free range after 6-8 weeks - would that be wise with the cats and the dog?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

  2. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

    Mar 29, 2010
    Lakeview, OR
    I like getting them from chicks just because you get to know them better. And chicks are SO cute. I don't let any dogs or cats near my chickens no matter how old. i just don't risk it
  3. msbee

    msbee Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    We have a beagle that we trained with the baby chicks. We kept them in the bathtub because it was too cold to be outside yet and invited him to see them with us. We would hold them firmly and let them smell them. He would lay down and roll over expecting a "treat"!

    But we kept training him and told him "NO! MOMMY's!" Then I would hug them and love them to show him they were mine. We would also praise him and give him affection when he would just smell or stay still when we put them close to his face.

    He constantly pined for them and we keep training him as they grew. We always kept them separate in a fenced area and under supervision.

    And then, one day, they were big and they PECKED HIM IN THE NOSE whenever he tried to smell them! He never bothered them after that.

    That was our first flock. We have a new flock of 11 week olds now, and he doesn't bother them a bit. We are in between run styles right now, and he was even able to dig under the temporary fence and get in with them. All he wanted was their yummy kitchen scraps. The cute/wonderful thing was that Anastasia, one of our older girls who ranges freely through the yard, stood outside the run squawking her head off to let me know Sherlock was being naughty!

    We have 2 cats that don't bother them either. One couldn't care less and pays no attention whatsoever. The other cat is a mouser and defender. She was out tonight chasing off the feral cat from next door when we went out to close up the coop. She often hangs out in the coop with them waiting for mice to pop out. We've had chickens for 2 years and she's never harmed any of them.
  4. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Songster

    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    Hi and [​IMG] I like starting with chicks. It is a lot more work because you have to brood them and watch for problems as they grow up but they are also a lot of fun. They will probably need to be a little bit older than 6-8 weeks before they free range for more than short periods of time. I do have both a cat and a dog that do well with my chickens. They were at least 10 weeks old before they met the cat and were protected before then. They are now 17 weeks and older and they take great pride in escorting her out of their area. Our English Bulldog doesn't seem to care about them at all. She goes with my husband a lot and the only time she pays attention to the chickens is when he is out there. The first few times they were together (again, once the chickens were older) my husband just watched and corrected her every time she locked onto them visually. Now the chickens free range and she sleeps on the grass nearby so it can be done if the dog has the right temperament. Again, all of this has to be done under your supervision. Good luck with your chicks, whatever you decide! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by