New to BYC ... and to raising chickens. Ontario Canada

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Marco and Mary, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Hi all ... Never in my life did I think I would write these words ... "what an awesome chicken website"!

    My wife Mary and I purchased a derelict farm on the Welland River in the Niagara region of Ontario Canada. We spent two years clearing the land and then three years building what I think (hope) is our dream home on top of our barn/garage. And now ... chickens! We along with our two kids 4 & 7 are super excited. I'm working on a rolling coop design that can be moved around our property. We are planning on starting with 20 'day old' chicks this spring.

    Our farm is 76 acres, and we rent the land to a commercial farmer who's primary crop is construction grade soy beans. Our homestead is around 4 acres and we would love to have our chickens roam free. My concerns are a) the vegetable garden and b) the 'Roundup Read' soy bean crop. On the South side of our homestead we have a half acre garden which is divided in half by a utility road flanked by asparagus plants ... so two 1/4 acre rectangular garden plots with a grass strip (roadway) down the centre. In the past the garden has proven to be a little too large with simply too much produce and maintenance. My rough plan is to use panel fencing and two gates to alternate activity in the garden areas. Garden on one side and chicken run on the other (with coop inside) ... alternating each year to allow the ground to go follow and the chickens to have some variety. This is the reason for the rolling coop design ... as well as being able to move the coop from the open field garden area to the sheltered side of the barn in the coldest months. (where we also have power).

    So our first of a million questions ... is 34" hog fence any kind of border for chicken run? I could step up to 50" cattle panel ... but its $60-$70 (+ 13% tax) in our area ... and I haven't sourced any used panel yet. We need to cover 1/4 acre. I like the panels because I can easily move them and the metal posts each year. The fencing would not be for predators ... just to control the free range area and keep the chickens out of the GMO crop and (soon to be efficient) vegetable garden.

    Also ... considering our run would be the location of the previous year's garden ... is there something you would suggest seeding on that plot in the spring that would benefit the chickens and the ground ... nutrient wise? I could run the mower in there occasionally ...might need to invest in a couple goats as well! :) Just trying to get my head wrapped around a good plan for the spring...

    Thank in advance BYC ... looking forward to where this takes us!

    Warm regards,
    Marco & Mary
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Marco and Mary, welcome to BYC. Yep you are entering the magical world of poultry addiction. Have fun in your new ventures, and congratulations on your new home.
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome Marco & Mary

    Glad you could join us here! It sounds like you have some fantastic plans for the future and lots of room to be able to do this. For your fencing I would pop the coop and run section of the forum. Here is the link ~
    Members there should be able to help you with your plans for keeping the a somewhat confined.
    Good luck with your new chicken adventures, I'm sure you will enjoy it very much. Chickens are something the whole family can get involved in.

    Enjoy BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Nice to meet you Marco and Mary, glad you joined the Backyard chickens flock. Your plans are too ambitious for my slow mind. In re: Roundup, would that work its way into your ground water? I am assuming you have a well . I don't know what to tell you about fencing, Some chicken breeds are great flyers and others don't fly much at all; usually the heavy breeds & silkies, who really can't fly.

    You may want to post on "Canadians, check-in-here thread." You also might like " Jest another day in Pear A Dice.," started by Tara who lives in Alberta. She has quite a collection of ducks, geese, swans, Llamas, sheep, chickens, chickens, and more chickens. Tara has a large spread and seems to have figured out how to have veg gardens, etc. etc. despite all the animals. I'm sure she could give you the best advice - .
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi Marco and Mary and [​IMG] - glad to have you join us.

    All the best
  8. Thanks drumstick diva. I've heard the new roundup dissipates quite quickly and absorbs quickly into the plants it's sprayed onto (including the soy crop). We try to avoid the fields after they have been sprayed for a few days. We do not have a well ... We are on cistern with city delivered water.

    Thanks for the info about flying and fencing ... I guess I won't know until I try it. I'm just wondering with 1/4 acre of the birds will be satisfied with their area and not tempted to see if the grass is indeed greener on the other side. Again ... I would likely just need to try it ... Just a lot of money to lay out for an experiment. If chickens hated soy beans and I lost the occasional tomato I would just let them free range. That would still be our first choice.

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