New to all this!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MotherHen9892, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. MotherHen9892

    MotherHen9892 New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2017
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    Hi, my daughter is going to start raising some baby chicks. Our local ordinance will only allow for us to have three female chickens and the rest will go to a local farm. We are trying to get information about everything we need to do and buy to be ready for them including the coop, feed, heated water dish, etc. This is a bit of a project for us! We have a large lawn and Tru Green is due to come out soon for our first treatment. Should we skip the back where we'd let the chickens roam? Is there anything we can do to keep our lawn nice, green and weed free that would allow for healthy chickens and non-contaminated eggs? I see so much on here about Cockadoodle Doo brand of fertilizer but the website is a dead end and all of the threads/recommendations appear to be old. I am guessing they are no longer in business. Did they go out of business and what can we do/buy to keep the lawn nice and also healthy for roaming chickens? We have about .75 acre of property with a wide open grassy area in the backyard where they can roam but it is not fenced in. We have woods behind the grass and there are foxes and all kinds of other wildlife including snakes. This is in Central NJ.

    Any other advice for a first timer is appreciated! Thank you!!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    By all means, skip the Tru Green. I'm guessing that is a lawn service that applies herbicide/insecticide/fertilizer. You will need to find out what they have used in the past, and find out how persistent it is in the vegetation/soil. Once you find out what they have used, ask them for these answers. But don't take their answer as the "complete truth". Do your own research on the products that have been applied to your lawns. Most of us would rather give up our green grass than expose our chickens, and by extension ourselves to the chemicals that provide that "golf course green". It's very possible to have a green lawn without dosing it with poison. Your birds will add their own fertilizer to your lawn, and they will act as weed and insect control.
     
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you want to keep your lawn nice and green and pretty and manicured, keep the chickens off it.

    Okay, you may be alright with only 3 birds and that much lawn, but in all honesty chickens are designed to scratch for their food. They don't care about your lawn, they'll scratch it right up looking for bugs down in the soil. they'll scratch all your mulch out of the flower beds. They'll dig holes to get down in the soil to dust bathe.

    You mention a coop but not a run. Do you have a run, or plan to? Especially with your predator load, and mention of wanting a nice lawn, I think a nice large run area would be a good idea.
     
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Given the predators and the fact that the yard isn't fenced and that you want to keep a nice lawn, building a run is probably your best bet. I know a lot of folks like to free range but chickens do just fine in a run provided there's plenty of room and things for them to do. For just 3 chickens it doesn't have to be very large at all, at minimum you'd need a 30 sq ft run but you could just as easily do something like 10x10 that would give them a lot more space and still be easy to maintain. A good way to get bare bones for a run of that size is a chain-link dog kennel, you'll have to do a little extra work on it to make it more predator resistant, but it at least gives you a structure to work off of. They will completely tear up any landscaping within the run, but at least it contains the damage.

    I agree with lazy gardener, I would skip the fertilizing service in any areas near where you plan to put the chickens and if possible, I would not put the run or coop in areas that have been treated any time recently (though that might not be possible if you've had the entire lot treated). I don't fertilize my lawn at all and fertilize my garden beds with a combination of chicken poop and compost.
     
  5. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suggest skip fertilization and weed control at areas where your chicken will be, better yet they need a run/fence to contain them.

    I keep my front yard fertilized and weed free (weed control are mostly chemicals) but I skipped half of my property from being fertilized, weed control and mosquito control spray, since my vegetable garden and our chicken is on other half acre where they are contained.
    You can have both chicken and have great yard with proper management. Now if you must use weed control, there are some available derived from corn gluten, but pricier.
     

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