New Member from GA and trying to get the chicken process rolling!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by birdsforbrowns, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. birdsforbrowns

    birdsforbrowns Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
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    I've finally convinced my husband to convert our large dog house (which the dog never uses) into a coop, by raising it up, adding some user-friendly doors on one side and a nesting box on the other. We'll also provide a large run for our small flock (4 hens) to hang out in when they aren't free ranging. Here are some concerns some of you may be able to help me with:

    1) after doing research, I've decided to go with 4 different breeds (one each) Black Australorp, Plymouth Barred Rock, an Easter Egger and a Buff Orphington. I'm a little hesitant about the Buff, as I've heard good and bad reviews from owners, but the larger issue is getting these little ladies! Local feed stores have a requirement of at least 6 OR they just let you pick from the 3 or so breeds they have on hand. I'd like to get day-old chicks, as I'd like to socialize them to us and our 2 younger boys. I want good pets as well as good layers!!! Minimum order requirment and availability is also an issue with the hatcheries (I've check with Meyer for April).

    2) A good way to teach a german shepherd mix not to eat the girls??? He is extremely jealous of us giving affection to our cat, and chases the cat away every chance he gets (though they play together when they think we aren't looking). I've heard to give them a "whack" if they go after the chicks at all and they'll get the message...maybe socializing him early like we are doing the boys would help rather than a whack???

    I'm so excited, maybe I'm over-thinking this?
     
  2. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello and welcome from Ohio....so glad you joined BYC
    Sounds like a neat idea for a coop :)
    I used to have a whole flock of buff orpingtons and I loved every single one of them. They are very friendly and lay beautiful big brown eggs.
    As for the dog I dont have experience with that but there are multiple threads on here dealing with exactly what you are asking. I use the search bar at the top of the page continuously. Hope that helps and best of luck remodeling your doghouse/coop and finding your perfect little girls. Have fun
     
  3. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    I too live in Ga ( savannah) and I have a German Shepard as well. He loves to chase anything that runs and he's very gentle n well behaved but we decided to just make a large long run along the back fence. We have 6 hens but only 3 outside right now cuz our other 3 are very young. We keep our hens inside the run/ coop at all times n buy bugs to supplement protein and keep them from being too bored. Good luck!
     
  5. thasista

    thasista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Hi from KY! when we teach our pups not to chase chickens, a BB gun is involved.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, birdsforbrowns, and [​IMG]! Happy you joined our community! I have two Buffs...cleverly named "Buffy" and "Marilyn" (Monroe). They are great birds - docile and friendly and good layers. Biggest problem is their broodiness. Overall I am happy with them.
    I have two dogs - the lab in my avatar, and a golden retriever. Both have a well developed hunting and retrieving instinct and are VERY curious about baby chicks. I intro them slowly, let the dogs sniff and lick them and then put them back in their brooder. Seems like a couple of days and the dogs lose all interest and accept them as members of the family. In fact, they even serve as protectors! When the chickens start to squawking, the dogs know something is up and charge outside to confront whatever is harassing 'their" chickens.
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    A good solid run will help considerably in keeping your birds safe, not just from your dog but from other animals as well.
     
  8. JONNDAWN

    JONNDAWN New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Hi We have a Great Dane. All I can say is socialize them. We bring the Dane in into the coup to check for eggs. At first the chickens didn't like it and we were very cautious but now no-one seems to care and even we they have flown the coup our dane doesn't seem to care. But it took us over a year of socializing them to eachother.
     
  9. birdsforbrowns

    birdsforbrowns Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Georgia
    Thank you all for your advice...I will try the Buff (if I can find one) which leads to my next question..... Is it a problem to hit more than one feed store to get my chicks? I have read that getting them from different hatcheries (since I don't know which ones the various feed stores/farm supply places use) can lead to illness in the flock? That way I can hopefully get the combination of breeds that I want?!

    I will also try socializing the chicks within their first week with our sweet shepherd boy so that he accepts them as family and use negative reinforcement if any aggression/chasing comes in to play once they get into the coop/run. I can also crate him when the girls are free-ranging. I'll post pics as we move along in our process...hoping to begin renovations on the doghouse/coop this weekend and get the babies into their brooder in two weeks! [​IMG]
     
  10. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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