New Chicky Momma


5 Years
May 23, 2015
Hello from Nebraska!

I just spent a successful overnight with my 5 new chicks I purchased for laying purposes. 2 Rhode Island Reds, a Wyandotte, an Australorp and an Ameracuna, which I am VERY excited to see the eggs from that one! Everyone made it through the night, though my Welsh Terrier kept waking me up periodically because of the 5 new 'squeaky toys' in the kitchen which she cannot have. This may be a challenge to teach her they are her friends to protect, not eat! If any one has suggestions, I'm open to them!

Though I helped raise chickens for butchering when I was young, that was 30+ years ago (Yipes!) and I was a helper, not a director. So I'm learning the ropes for myself this time. Reading some very helpful forums here has been incredibly helpful in answering some questions, though where do you all keep your brooders until the 5 - 8 weeks when you put them in the coop? My brooder is currently a 15 gallon galvanized tub which is working wonderfully, but has to be kept high so the pup doesn't get them.

I'm feeding them the medicated crumbles from Manna Pro. When I wean them from this can I start mixing in my Non-GMO, organic feed, or do I just switch from one to the other?

I also purchased the fine shavings for their bedding which I was told people like because you can sift out the droppings and re-use what's left. Though the shavings are too big for a screen - any ideas on doing this?

Thanks for your thoughts, I'm excited to be part of the chicken group! :)


Book Em Danno25

5 Years
Aug 12, 2014

Chicken Girl1

Queen of the Coop
6 Years
Mar 3, 2015
Hello and Welcome to BYC!
It sounds like your off to a good start!
Here is a helpful article that tells you how to introduce you chickens with your dog: [Article] Introducing Your Dog To Chickens- Tips & Tricks. I normally put my brooder in the basement in a little area I've been using for 3 years, you could also use your garage. When switching feed I would mix the feeds for 2-3 days then give it to them straight. And as for the fine shavings idea I have never heard of it so I wouldn't be the one telling you what to do :). I just used shavings and change it when it needed it. Good luck raising your little peepers!

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
You really need a wire cover for your brooder. The chicks will be trying out their flying skills, if they fly out they will either die from the fall or your dog will get them. The best advice I can give you re: dogs and chickens is NEVER let them meet. Dogs think of them as squeaky toys and grab and shake them. When they stop squeaking(dead) they grab the next one and repeat. Dog has fun - chicken is DEAD. You never hear of a chicken killing a dog.

I haven't seen a Welsh terrier since long ago dog show days , they are a beautiful breed, but 100% terrier. I'm sure your would be good at driving off small predators but, not a good chicken sitter

Welcome to Backyard chickens.

shawn vuillemot

May 22, 2015
I'm a newbie..proud momma of 12 3 day old chicks. 8 golden comets and 4 buff brahmas. I've fallen instantly in love. They are currently in my garage in a big cardboard box brooder. Quite happy with their food and home made waterer using poultry nipples. I was worried but they seem to like pecking at it and receiving water in return. I have an old corn crib which was converted into a coop 30 yrs ago (that's also the last time it was used) so I have some fixing up to do in the next 6 weeks. They seem to be doing well. I want 12 more I've been looking thru this site for quite some time now and proud to be a part of BYC!! :)


5 Years
May 23, 2015
Thank you all so very much for your welcome, encouragement and great advice, it is greatly appreciated! I'm learning so much already. :)

@Chicken Girl1 Thanks so much for the article on dogs and chickens. I haven't read in its entirety yet, but hoping it will help as both the dog and the birds are staying but definitely will be kept apart. I like your suggestions on brooder placement.- I do like having them in the house so they are close. My garage isn't attached or insulated so if I were going that route I would likely just put them in the coop in their brooder with a tight wire cover over the top to keep them in and any predators out - as I think garter snakes eat chicks too and I know I have those around the yard and garden. Also appreciate your input on the food. I like the idea of slowing introducing them as well.

@drumstick diva You know terriers well. :) This is my greatest fear with having both dog and bird is losing one of my chicks to the 'rodent chaser'. I would love to think of her as being a protector, but reality (without insane training - which she has not had) says otherwise I believe. Maybe if she was a different breed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the advice about putting a cover over their brooder. They are beginning to test their little wings already so the wire cover will happen today.

@shawn vuillemot I'm already in love with mine too! :) They are so fun to watch and hold. I also have some fixing up to do since the garden shed was also a chicken coop many many years ago. My house was built in 1927 and I'm guessing that is about the era the chicken coop was also built. It has been a garden shed for quite some time and the little chicken doors need some love as the wood siding wants to bend instead of the old hinges which have plenty of coats of paint on them. Good luck with your babies and your coop! I'm glad to be a part BYC!

All the best to all of you!

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC, TJ! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Congrats on your flock! Those are some great breeds you have picked out. And once they reach the appropriate age, they will be laying eggs for you like there is no tomorrow! LOL Our learning center is packed full of helpful info on raising chickens. Feel free to check it out

Good luck training your dogs! Be very cautious in all you do! Definitely check out the link provided by ChickenGirl1.

I kept my brooder in my room! LOL I spoil my chickens. The garage, basement or shed are all other great places to keep them just as long as they are safe and warm. And it's best not to switch their feed suddenly. You should mix it for about a month until they are used to it.

Good luck and welcome to the community.

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