New potential chicken owner, need feedback.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by LogansMom, May 26, 2008.

  1. LogansMom

    LogansMom New Egg

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    May 25, 2008
    Hi all,
    My husband and I are originally from the big city in Florida, lived there our entire lives, transplanted to East Tennessee 3 years ago, and what a culture shock it was in the beginning! We're just now starting to get comfortable with country life, and thinking about getting some chickens and maybe a duck. I've been reading alot about it but I still have few questions and I thought you folks would be able to help. Please bear with my ignorance as I truly am still a "city girl", as my co-workers call me.

    *We have 2 puppies and 2 adult cats, how do I keep them from making popcorn chicken snacks out of them?

    *What breed would be the best for egg-laying and to keep as friendly pets (that will not willingly become popcorn chicken snacks to my cats and dogs)?

    *When you have "free-range" chickens and you let them out of the coop in the day, how do you get them back into it at night, or do they go in willingly?

    *Do I have to do anything special to keep them warm in the winter?

    *Can they eat produce scraps and if so, do I need to supplement it with anything (I'm a produce manager so I have tons of these at my disposal)

    *If I get a duck, do they get along with chickens and if so, could they live in the coop together?

    Anything else you folks think I should know would be so greatly appreciated.
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    See my answers below.... I'm sure others will chime in here too!

    *We have 2 puppies and 2 adult cats, how do I keep them from making popcorn chicken snacks out of them?

    The cats won't mess with adult chickens, generally, but will the young chicks. Keep them separated until the chicks grow up to around 4 months old or so. Puppies are another issue all together - it really depends widely on the breed and temperment of the dog, but remember dogs are predators, chickens = prey, so you may not be able to trust your dogs 100%. Again, separate areas are your best bet, especially utnil they get full grown.

    *What breed would be the best for egg-laying and to keep as friendly pets (that will not willingly become popcorn chicken snacks to my cats and dogs)?

    I like my dominques for egg laying and sweet temperment. They are also pretty birds too, and large bodied so not a target for cats, at least.

    *When you have "free-range" chickens and you let them out of the coop in the day, how do you get them back into it at night, or do they go in willingly?

    Once they know where the coop is (you keep them up for a few days to a week) they will put themselves up at night. Keep in mind though, that if you really let them free range, you will more than likely have some losses - EVERYTHING wants to eat a chicken. If it isn't your own dogs, it will be a stray dog, coyote, skunk, racoon, snake, possum, fox, hawk, etc.

    *Do I have to do anything special to keep them warm in the winter?

    Depends on your area, but if you have a good tight coop with no drafts they will probably do fine over the winter once they are fully grown.

    *Can they eat produce scraps and if so, do I need to supplement it with anything (I'm a produce manager so I have tons of these at my disposal)

    They will love produce scraps, but i'd also recommend having the correct feed for the age of chicksn available also free-feed. Definately you will want to raise the chicks on chick starter for the extra protein.

    *If I get a duck, do they get along with chickens and if so, could they live in the coop together?

    Not having ducks, I'll pass on this other than to say that ducks and chicks have pretty different housing needs and habits. Not to mention that ducks are way messier than chickens.

    Anything else you folks think I should know would be so greatly appreciated.

    Build your coop 2x bigger than you think you need....and welcome to the addiction! Post back any other questions and you'll find a wealth of information here at BYC too. Check out the link for 'information center' at the very tippy top of the page for lots of basic info on raising chicks.
     
  3. chickmomma30

    chickmomma30 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Odessa MO
    *We have 2 puppies and 2 adult cats, how do I keep them from making popcorn chicken snacks out of them?

    one the dogs and cats will eat large chickens. The one thing is when you get the chicks it is best to let the animals know from the begining that they are not food. If they do by chance get ahold of them and popcorn is made then you will need to get rid of that animal. because as like any other reason once they get the taste of the blood they will want more. I do not know how many cats and dogs i had to get rid because of this.

    *What breed would be the best for egg-laying and to keep as friendly pets (that will not willingly become popcorn chicken snacks to my cats and dogs)?
    ok i have found that Rhode Island Reds are very good brown egg layers and are fairly friendly. Barred Plymoth rocks are very friendly i have one hen i raised form a chick and she loves to roast on my shoulder.

    *When you have "free-range" chickens and you let them out of the coop in the day, how do you get them back into it at night, or do they go in willingly?

    You will need to train them to begin with then after a while they will go in at dusk on their own

    *Do I have to do anything special to keep them warm in the winter?

    Heat lamp is what i have used for years in the area they love to lay.

    *Can they eat produce scraps and if so, do I need to supplement it with anything (I'm a produce manager so I have tons of these at my disposal)
    they can eat just about any produce and it is nice to give them craked corn.

    *If I get a duck, do they get along with chickens and if so, could they live in the coop together?
    We ahve hard ducks and chickens in the same coop together and really had no problems

    Anything else you folks think I should know would be so greatly appreciated.
     
  4. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Welcome!

    *We have 2 puppies and 2 adult cats, how do I keep them from making popcorn chicken snacks out of them?
    The cats will leave them alone once they are older, but the puppies are a different story. They should be in a predator proof coop and run.

    *What breed would be the best for egg-laying and to keep as friendly pets (that will not willingly become popcorn chicken snacks to my cats and dogs)?
    None of them willingly become food! [​IMG] People have all sorts of opinions about which birds you should keep, but it seems like the forum favorites are Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Orpingtons and Cochins. All are good layers and nice pets.

    *When you have "free-range" chickens and you let them out of the coop in the day, how do you get them back into it at night, or do they go in willingly?
    The term free range is used in different ways. For them to truly be free range, they'd be out all of the time and would probably end up becoming "popcorn chicken". They do learn to willingly go back to the coop at night once they know that's their home. Usually you have to lock them in it for a week or so to get them used to being in there.
    A coop with a nice run is what a lot of people have. They are in the sunshine, they have dirt to scratch in, etc. but they are not out in the open for everyone to eat.

    *Do I have to do anything special to keep them warm in the winter?
    No, just a draft free coop.

    *Can they eat produce scraps and if so, do I need to supplement it with anything (I'm a produce manager so I have tons of these at my disposal).
    Yes! They love fresh veggies and fruit. They always need to have free feed grower (when they are young) and lay mash (when they are laying age) but you can always give them veggies and fruit as a treat.

    *If I get a duck, do they get along with chickens and if so, could they live in the coop together?
    No, probably not. They do have different housing needs.
     

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