Hello from The Netherlands

Gerritses

In the Brooder
Aug 11, 2020
9
46
28
Halle, Nederlands
🇳🇱 Hello from the Netherlands! 🇳🇱

Although not currently chicken owners, we hopefully will be in about 2 weeks time.

We are just in the process of moving to the country and fulfilling a dream I've had since I was about 14 year old. We have bought a small homestead and have about 7 acres of land and dreams of becoming as self sufficient as possible. The first animals we will be getting are 3 or 4 chickens (for my birthday.... best present ever!!) and we've decided to go to Barneveld to get Barnevelders (seemed silly not to when we live in NL).

We are a family of 3 - me (mum - originally from the UK) who will be doing the day to day running of things at home, dad (Dutch) who works in finance and our 4 year old son (British/Dutch) who is ridiculously excited about helping to gather our first eggs.

Gerrits Family2.jpg


I have a few questions and would love to pick you knowledgeable peoples' brains about. I've already read front to back, Storeys Guide to Keeping Chickens and done a lot of internet research as well.
1. Everything I've read about Barnevelders seem to make them really good first time chickens, does anyone have experience with this breed?
2. We will be creating a very generous outdoor run with electric poultry netting (long term we may have a permanent run but we aren't putting permanent fencing in during the first few years until we are certain of where everybody will live). The run will be about 100m2 so plenty of space but what else should we be thinking of putting in there? We will ensure there are at least a few spots of shade with water.
3. We are considering converting a small old stable into the coop which would then be a generous size and also offer space if we wanted to increase the size of our flock. If we did this though we would have to transport them from the coop to the run each morning and evening - is this madness or a feasible solution?
4. If we do transport them each day to the run, I'm assuming we would also need a 'day coop' in the run with nest boxes to encourage egg laying. Could we get away with a smaller day coop as they won't be sleeping in there? Or maybe even just some makeshift nest boxes?
5. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. With the dogs I will be doing a lot of training to ensure the chooks will be safe... are the cats likely to go after the chickens or are they generally too big? I'm hoping even if they do the electric fence should be enough of a deterrent.

I'm ridiculously excited for the new adventure in our lives and we have dreams of also having ducks, meat chickens and potentially geese or turkeys too - but one step at a time.
 

KarynVA

Chirping
May 29, 2020
90
206
60
Hello and welcome! My spouse is from the Netherlands and I have visited there a few times; I love it there. Also, I got 3 or 4 chickens for my birthday, too! (Started out with 4 but one sadly died a couple of days after we got the baby chicks).

Your homestead sounds wonderful. Enjoy the forums!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
22,546
169,337
1,592
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
I've never had Barnevelders but really want some!
Converting an old building into your coop is a great idea! I did that myself and LOVE it.
Transporting back and forth to the run is madness (sorry)! Can you attach your poultry netting to the new coop?
The dogs will need LOTS of training. Once the chickens are full size, the chickens will easily run off the cats if they are brave enough to take on a flock of chickens.
 

KarynVA

Chirping
May 29, 2020
90
206
60
Regarding your question about cats; we have 3 cats that are outdoor cats and often kill chipmunks etc. We kept the baby chicks out of their sight, but once the chickens got to be around 8 weeks old, we gradually exposed the cats to them under our watchful supervision. We have found that all 3 of our cats are intrigued and very interested in the chickens but have never attempted to pounce on them or otherwise harm them.

In fact, after having been around the chickens for several weeks now, the cats seem almost protective over them. It's sweet.
 

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