New member, new to chickens! (Delaware)

h2oAPBTs

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
14
16
34
I picked up 10 lovely Australorp pullets at TSC 3.5 weeks ago. I've been lurking here since. You guys have really filled your forum with plenty of useful information! I'm in the process of deciding on a coop design to build, as they are growing quickly!! I think I've nailed it down, until I find another design I like. :D

We're "battling" the presence of 3 household dogs, (terriers, of course!) and 5 kiddos of varying ages, plus varmints like foxes, 'yotes, black rat snakes, aerial predators, and coons! I plan to free range a few times a week, but we have to pen all the dogs up to do so, so that's a hassle and a half right there! I need a coop that can withstand the critters, and still provide enough room for them to be "cooped" up through the week.

Hi!!
 
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drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
139,530
279,477
2,027
Out to pasture
Welcome to BYC 3 terriers are enough to control without having to worry about 5 kiddos, varmints, etc. I would really forget about free ranging . Instead build your chickens a big enough run that is predator proofed from top to bottom and with a top, to keep out climber and raptors.

Otherwise, sooner or later someone lets the dogs loose while the chickens are out = no more chickens. Chickens can really survive being in a run. Give them things to do, like a big dust bathing spot. Some real tree branches to make a roost in the run. Things to play with, like balls, blocks of wood to climb, now and then dump a shovel full of dirt/weeds in the run and they will be happy.
 

h2oAPBTs

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
14
16
34
We're leaning towards a larger chicken tractor, at this point. Do folks often have both a tractor and a regular coop they rotate the birds through? We have a run-in shed now that was for goats from the previous property owners, that could easily be converted into a coop. I worry rotation would have a negative effect on egg production with all the moving. Also, 4 of our "pullets" appear to be roos, due to their larger peacombs, big feet, and gregarious nature, though I understand that's not 100% reliable. So, that leaves us with maybe 6-7 pullets to house... but of course I would love to add some Americaunas for some colorful eggs... lol
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,062
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
G’Day from down under h2oAPBTs :frow Welcome and Congratulations! :clap

I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

Including your general location on your profile will assist others. Location, climate, season etc can be important factors when members are responding to any questions you may have and vice versa.

BYC has Topic of the Week discussions which I have found to be a great resource, informative and sometimes entertaining; so definitely worth checking out. These two in particular may be of interest to you:
Topic of the Week - Keeping the Flock Safe from Predators
Topic of the Week - Dogs and chickens

If you would like to share Pictures and Stories of your flock or other critters, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out
 

Chasingcars

Songster
Sep 15, 2017
139
203
122
Derbyshire , England
It’s amazing how different the potential predators are here in rural England..virtually non existent compared to the trials youre facing :eek:
...one lazy bulldog who the chickens boss around..no foxes ( they’re all in the city) just the occasional rat hole spotted and dealt with..had a mink kill a few once...but blimey I feel I have it easy!
 

Joeschooks

Just clucking around
Feb 7, 2018
3,170
10,503
752
Hampshire, UK
My Coop
My Coop
Hello and :welcome
There certainly are plenty of friendly and helpful folks here. I hope you enjoy the site and find it a valuable resource. Good luck with your pullets.
It’s amazing how different the potential predators are here in rural England..virtually non existent compared to the trials youre facing :eek:
...one lazy bulldog who the chickens boss around..no foxes ( they’re all in the city) just the occasional rat hole spotted and dealt with..had a mink kill a few once...but blimey I feel I have it easy!
Yep, we have LOADS of foxes here. We're sort of on the outskirts of a small town in Hampshire :thumbsup Plenty of food for them around here (but my chickens are off the menu!)
 

Chasingcars

Songster
Sep 15, 2017
139
203
122
Derbyshire , England
Hello and :welcome
There certainly are plenty of friendly and helpful folks here. I hope you enjoy the site and find it a valuable resource. Good luck with your pullets.

Yep, we have LOADS of foxes here. We're sort of on the outskirts of a small town in Hampshire :thumbsup Plenty of food for them around here (but my chickens are off the menu!)

Gave my daughter two Orpington’s in Leicester...lasted 2 weeks in an omlet ‘Fox proof’ coop..you guessed it..fox got them! Here in the derbyshire country it’s pretty problem free ...locked up at night but free range openly all day :fl
 

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