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Help, chicks are on the way

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LlanoLonghorn, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. LlanoLonghorn

    LlanoLonghorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2009
    Llano, Texas
    Hello Forum, I’m new here as well as new to raising chickens so I need lots of advice. First I have ordered my peeps and keets for a late March delivery. The chickens are a hatchery variety Pullet mix (12 total) plus one Rooster. The Guineas are Pearl (12 Total.) The chickens are for Eggs and Entertainment and the Guineas are for Pest Control as well as Entertainment.
    My questions are as follows.
    1. Can I raise the Guineas and Chickens together?
    2. I would like to free range the Guineas can I still keep them in the same coop together?
    3. My Neighbor has a flock of Guineas and his coop is about ¼ mile away, will the two flocks’ merge into one?
    4. Will a mix breed flock like I have ordered be without any special problems? Or should I have ordered only one breed?
    5. What breed Rooster should I ask for?
    6. Last but not least how do I train my Ausi-Shep-Blu-Heeler Mix Dog to guard and not eat the chickens?
    Thanks ever so much for any help.
    Ed S.
     
  2. monathequeen

    monathequeen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
    Burlington KS
    Hi,

    The Rooster breed dosn't matter.......having only one is smart for keeping the fighting to a minimum..He will enjoy his "ladys" without compitition.

    You can mix any breed together. The biggest problem would be to many Roosters.
    Guineas will be fine with the others.
    Watch out for the Guineas flying away. They like to roost in trees and are not protected from predators.
    They will not wander off to the neighbors farm.
    Warning:

    Unless you train the dog right at the beginning to not eat the chickens, you will have a hard time keeping him away from them. There are only a handfull of dogs who do well with chickens and I don't know which breed is recommended. I don't own a dog for that reason.

    They love to kill chickens and my friend who has a Lab, lost 34 chickens in a day after the kids left the dog in the coop accidently.
    It was a bloody mess to clean up and she was devastated.......
    I wouldn't let the dog near the chickens as a rule.
    He will make a good watch dog keeping racoons away but only "OUTSIDE" the coop.
    Good Luck and Happy New Year.

    When you let the chickens free range, keep the dog chained up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  3. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know anything about guinneas, but I do have a chicken guarding dog who never saw a chicken till he was 3 1/2.
    Fisrt I would have to ask how your dog is with other animals. Does it chase cats? bully other dogs? Or does it try to get wild birds to play with it and attempt to comfort crying children?
    My pup is in the latter catagory. He puts himself in the middle of any fights (human, feline, canine, and now chicken) and tries to break it up. He has tried desperatly to befriend a wild gopher that popped up while we were camping. He loves everyone!
    I was worried for the chickens because he likes to chase and plays a little rough. At 85+ lbs he was raised by a cat so he doesnt know his own size and strength.
    When My peeps arrived last march, I set up the brooder (a dog crate big enough for my dog with a light and a heater) in the living room. The dog had constant access to it. He would sit in front of it and whine at the peeps. When we would take them out and let him sniff them, all he did was occasionally slurp (in a friendly way)
    When at last they moved outside, he tried to get to them (we kept them penned so they got used to 'home' and because we wanted them to be bigger before free ranging) and again, I worried.
    But when we let the chickens loose, we watched the interaction. As far as the chickens were concerned, the dog and the kids were the same threat level. They would shy away, but not run. So he had nothing to chase. No problem.
    Loki loves his chickens so much he boldly runs out a 3 AM to chase off raccoons by himself (when he had previously been afraid of the dark) all to protect his friends.
    So really, I didn't train him, I just socialized as well as I could, and let his nature guide him. He is a sweet boy who wants to make everyone happy, and would never dream of eating a living thing.
    Since he found out where chicken comes from he has even given up raw poultry. He used to love skin and fat and gristle, giblets, and anything else that fell on the floor. But now that he knows where it comes from, he won't touch it. Just a sniff, and then he looks at you with big, sad eyes like he is asking "what happened to the bird? where is the rest of it? why did it have to die?!" And he won't eat it. No matter how long you leave it there. Put it in his food dish, he won't eat his food either.
    So anyway, I guess my point is if you have a gentle dog, no training neccessary. I would trust my dog with anything big enough he can tell it is alive (he eats bugs, but I bet he wouldn't if he knew). But some dogs I would not trust at all unsupervised.
    I am sure others here can help more with training tips- sorry I don't have anything more useful to add.
    Good luck!
     
  4. LlanoLonghorn

    LlanoLonghorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2009
    Llano, Texas
    Thanks for the fast reply.
    My dog is just a pup at 8 months old and about 60 pounds but of all the dogs we have had he is by far the most energetic and alert. He and our two cats, same age as him, are best buddies but he still thinks his job is to chase them up trees. As soon as the chase is over the cats come down and stand next to or under him in a very calm manner. He plays rough with both the cats and our other 13yr old dog, but I don’t think he would ever hurt any of them. I just hope he has enough sense to not harm our chickens. I think he will be afraid of the Guineas when they get their voice. If any one sees this post that has had a similar experience please reply.
    Thanks Ed S.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    If he chases cats because they run, then he will chase chickens. My elderly dachshund - aged 11 - had never seen a chicken in his life until I got the baby chicks (and kept 'em safe in the bathroom "nursery" brooder). He doesn't chase cats; he lives with four cats, and doesn't even chase strays. Just barks at 'em. He DOES run AT my landlady's sheep, but if they stand there, he just barks. If they run, he'll get up a bit of steam and gallop for 10 or 15 feet, yapping.

    However, he has chased down and killed three of my pullets when they got out of the run.

    I strongly suggest very close supervision until you are absolutely sure your dog won't harm your chickens. I now know I can never let my guard down with my beloved old dog. (Okay, I don't love him very much right after he's killed a chicken, but it's not HIS fault....)
     
  6. LlanoLonghorn

    LlanoLonghorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2009
    Llano, Texas
    Thanks for the advice "gryeyes"
    Looks like I will have a project this spring trying to help all of Gods Mammals Just Get Along, as Rodney King would say.

    Ed S.
     
  7. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Paris, TN
    You have a great dog mix. Those mixes are supposed to be very smart and very trainable. Most heelers make great livestock dogs when properly trained. Don't know what it would take to train one, but they are very smart, territorial, and will guard if taught to. The mixed chicken breeds should be great. I love "the variety assortment, " but DH does not. Just about any breed makes a great roo if he doesn't become mean. I had guineas last year, but they got into the road and well, you can imagine! They also roamed all over the neighborhood, but the neighbors loved them because they eat massive quantities of ticks and people around here hate ticks. I even had one guy ask me if he could "borrow" them for his yard. [​IMG] One of my females had 25 of her own babies but the foxes got most of them. I wish I had a great big pen for them. I just love watching them and listening to them "talk". Good luck and have fun. [​IMG]
     
  8. LlanoLonghorn

    LlanoLonghorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2009
    Llano, Texas
    ETA for flock is Tuesday the 23rd of March.
    My 12(mix) + 1 Rou plus my neighbor is away on a week vacation and I will be caring for his 6 RR's
    Wish me Luck since this will be my first time with chicks.
    Here are some pictures of the brooder. It is a 90 qt plastic storage box with an 100w red heat lamp adjusted for 95 deg at floor level.
    I will have 19 total chicks in there, is that too many for this area? (29 x 12 = 348sq in)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. monathequeen

    monathequeen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
    Burlington KS
    Hi, 19 chicks are fine for that amount of space for now !! However, they grow fast and you will need to provide more space in about three weeks.
    I just find a big old cardboard box about 4 ft. long, three feet wide if possible and keepthem in there until you move them outside. Once outside, have a protected enclosure for them to sleep in. I forgot , do you have other chickens ?
    If so, you know not to put them all together until the chicks are atleast 4-5 months old.

    The feeders and waterer you have in the plastic container are ok but you must know that baby chicks eat and drink constantly....there will be a big mess to keep up with every day. With 19 chicks, there will be some fighting with who gets to eat and drink....you may need to add a one more feeder and one more waterer which is going to decrease the amount of space inside...
    The container you have now may need to be only temporary. The babys will cuddle up to sleep and for the most part thats all they do. When they get bigger, they will need more room to play, stretch and get away from eachother if needed. I hope this helps. Good Luck, Ray
     
  10. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    You should be able to train your dog, first off, YOU must be the pack leader, the alpha dog, or whatever other term you wanna call it.

    Ceasar Milan has some good techniques, alot of his show is on DVD, so you could watch a few episodes to pick up some tips (or pick up his book)

    But basically, if you are the pack leader, then the other critters are part of the pack. This includes the cats, BTW Letting him chase them is setting a bad example for the coming chicks I think.

    I'm not an expert, but I have a Spitz mix that we rescued. (Running down the road here) I started with the rabbits, and later when I added chickens, guinea pigs, quail and ducks I just made sure she understood they were also part of my pack. (I have a three week old rabbit litter in the house, and chicks in the basement, and she won't touch either) What I did when they were small was hold them in my hands, and put them up to her for a sniff, then I would say "MINE". Repeat for other critters. I even trained the cat, although I am not sure how I did that... [​IMG]

    The hardest one to train her to "Leave it" was the ducks, because they just run sooo funny its like she can't stand it! I do wish I could teach her to herd, sure would make catching stuff easier, but she won't.

    Oddly enough, she won't chase our cat, or any escapee bunnies, but you get the neighbors cat or a wild bunny? She goes tearing off after that. She also alerts to predators (Good Girl) but I can't get her to "Hold" anything until I run back to the house for a gun.

    I think excellent Livestock Guard Dogs are 75% training, 25% breeding, LOL

    I dunno how she would have done with the Guineas, mine escaped from their pen at two months old and took off! [​IMG]
     

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