Long time reader, joined today (NC)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by photehepson, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. photehepson

    photehepson Hatching

    Jan 23, 2015
    This forum has been very helpful to me over the last few years as I've muddled my way through chicken ownership. Thanks!

    We have a few completely free range geese, ducks, chickens of various breeds, and 3 narragansett turkeys. The hardest bit about owning chickens in my experience is keeping them safe from predators. After heavy attrition in the first couple of years, we finally have a system that works for us.

    The waterfowl, being full grown and of sufficient numbers (about 10) do a fine job of watching out for themselves by the pond at night.

    For the chickens, we built perches around the dog pen, attached directly to the fence, about 4 feet up. The chickens roost there at night, and no predator would dare get that close to our dog. The only predator that still gets a chicken now and then is a hawk, but I've made peace with that.

    A few upside down rubbermaid bins with holes cut in the front have served wonderfully for nesting boxes. Since chickens like to find new places to lay, we've placed several around the property to attract any hen that's trying to find a new spot.

    We live on a few acres, but wandering is still a bit of a problem. To keep our birds from wandering too far, we've had to give up on keeping semi-wild breeds of duck like muscovy since they lead the other waterfowl away to other ponds. I also set up a deer feeder to dispense grain throughout the day to keep the birds circling back to main part of the property. This has worked well.

    Another problem I've had to solve is keeping birds out of the garden. We have a "kitchen garden" near the house. This is small enough that we could completely surround the perimeter with deer netting. The larger acre garden is through the woods so chickens normally dont wander that far, but i've found that if a rooster discovers the garden, they'll keep going back and leading others. Culling is the only reasonable solution I've found for that problem.

    My favorite breeds are wyandottes, barred rocks, americanas, and sultan (i think) bantams. The bantams are wonderful parents and raise all our new brood.

    I guess one weird thing about us is we typically have four or five roosters at a time out of a flock of 20 or 30. I never thought this would work but they have a few acres to spread out on during the day and fights are extremely rare. We like to have several breeds and mixes, so we hate to take a rooster out of the genepool unless we have to.
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to BYC, sounds like your system works well for you- that's all that matters. Would love to see your arrangement of dog pen in the middle and roosts around it. Do you live in a mild climate?
  3. photehepson

    photehepson Hatching

    Jan 23, 2015
    Yes. NC is a really forgiving climate for chickens. Never gets too cold, and with a creek, pond, and shade trees they never get dehydrated or too hot during the summer. Every now and then we'll get a little frostbite on a comb, but nothing permanent.
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined us!

    It sounds like you have a nice flock!
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined.

    You seem to have a lovely, varied flock! Wyandottes are my favorite breed as well.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to our flock. A lot of us were lurkers before joining. :eek:) Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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

    I love your avatar!
  10. 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!!


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