New! And chicks on the way in July!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by beneaththetrees, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. beneaththetrees

    beneaththetrees New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 25, 2010
    Hi,

    We live in Coastal CA. In the brooder we have four female chicks: speckled sussex, 2 EE, and a Cuckoo Marans. In July we expect some BC Marans, Amerecuanas, and Aracuanas. [​IMG]

    Does anyone have experience with free ranging or pasture grazing chickens in a dry climate? Ours is Mediterranean type. Wet winters andva long dry spell with crisp, white-gold grasses. Oh yeah, and the predator thing. We're looking into keeping our babies safe during daytime foraging. (Coyote, bob cat, mountain lion, hawk--though we have enough canopy that hawks shouldn't be too problematic.) Do dogs help?

    Happy to be here and meet you!

    Penelope
     
  2. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
    12
    151
    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    I'm in a mediteranian climate. Likely a tad colder than yours, but we get little to no rain from June to September most years. My birds range during the day. Last summer they spent a lot of time laying in their dust-bath holes in the shade or under the old walnut tree. They ate more feed and we had to replenish their shallow water dishes daily, but they were fine. The important thing is shade and shelter to make them feel comfortable. Our yard has huge oaks which keeps the hawks from being a problem, but my chickens still like shorter shelters like this little tree. The WHOLE flock will gather under this little tree and it is hilarious!
    [​IMG]
    As for land-bound predators, dogs do help. Just make sure your dog is either trustworthy, or safely separated from your flock. My wonderful dog was 4 when we got our first chicks, which brooded in the living room in a big dog crate, and he decided he was friends with them. So much so that he chases raccoons when they go after our stupid hen who used to hide outside instead of sleeping in the coop. She owes him her life at least 5 times over. Not all dogs can be trusted to do that though. Many people recommend not feeding chicken to dogs who have access to birds. For my pup it was too late for that, so we kept giving it to him, and he kept eating it... till the day we proccessed a roo who was attacking the kids and my poor, traumatized dog walked in on me skinning it. From the day he learned where chicken comes from, he has entirely given up raw poultry of ANY kind. He would rather starve than eat a friend. (though once it's cooked, thats a different story!)
    If you don't yet have a dog, there are specific livestock gaurding types, though my dog is a lab/husky and I have heard of heroic and protective shepards, mystery mutts, and many other breeds which are just great individuals. A lot of it is in how you handle the dog. I raised mine to be friendly above all else. The protective nature emerges only when a friend is in danger. If those raccoons hadn't been trying to eat his chicken, he would have tried to be friends with them too!
     
  3. beneaththetrees

    beneaththetrees New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 25, 2010
    Tamra, what a lovely flock! I see green grass. Maybe I'll water a patch for them. Looking into native grasses for foraging, too. We definitely receive less rain--we're usually late October through March, though thia year the rain was late.

    I love your dog stories. Some dog you got! We'll be getting an English Cocker pup from a relative. Not a hunter, but not known for protection--we'll see.

    Thank you for the information and tips. Nice to meet you!

    Penelope
     
  4. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome Penelope...keep a good house for them to go up in at night..and to run into during the day if they do see a hawk. I live in Va., and we have those predators, minus the mt. lion..he is scary..
     
  5. cambriagardener

    cambriagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    We live along the central Ca coast. Same predators. I don't let my hens free range (wish I could). Poor things. I just couldn't bear to see them eaten by a predator. I've seen foxes looking at them in their run and, was that drool coming out of the mouths? Anyway, best of luck with you new flock and [​IMG].
     
  6. Chickaholic

    Chickaholic Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
    0
    119
    Apr 21, 2010
    Snohomish, Wa
    [​IMG] from Washington!!
     
  7. Chickaholic

    Chickaholic Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
    0
    119
    Apr 21, 2010
    Snohomish, Wa
    Quote:HOLY MACKEREL, That Rooster is B E A U TIFUL!!!!! Thanks for sharing this pic!!
     
  8. beneaththetrees

    beneaththetrees New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 25, 2010
    Quote:Wow! Your chicken coop is a beauty--and so cute! Your blog site on gardening is real nice too-- I got to poke around only a bit, but bookmarked it for future reference.

    Fox. I hadn't thought about them. Wonder if they inhabit the mountains?

    Racoons. Well, we lost 9 of our 10 starting chicks to a racoon invasion of our brooder. And the brooder was in the third bedroom of our house! A really horrible experience. I don't know how we slept through it. Dropped off the top of the roof and in through the open top of a double hung window. We never thought for a moment since that room is over a hill on stilts about 20 ft. up.

    Never underestimate an animal.

    So we've bucked up and ordered from a breeder. Here goes....

    BTW, I'm showing hubby a pic of your coop.

    Cheers!

    P.
     
  9. beneaththetrees

    beneaththetrees New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 25, 2010
    D'Angelo N Va. :

    Welcome Penelope...keep a good house for them to go up in at night..and to run into during the day if they do see a hawk. I live in Va., and we have those predators, minus the mt. lion..he is scary..

    Thanks! Have you had any hawk run-ins?

    We do have some good canopy--I'll keep shelter in mind as I set up the yard.

    P.​
     
  10. beneaththetrees

    beneaththetrees New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 25, 2010
    Quote:Chickaholic, I just figured out what the little yellow figure on the blue rectangle meant% LOL!

    Thanks for the welcome from the northland![​IMG]

    Yours in chickens,
    P.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by