Newbie in California Foothills

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dannodamanno, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. dannodamanno

    dannodamanno Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 11, 2011
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    Hello to all. My name is Dan and my wife and I just bought a 160acre ranch this year. needless to say I love breakfast and have been dying to get some chickens. I have done my homework inside and out and have a few major snags preventing me from pulling the trigger. Our local feed store sells hens just hitting the laying stage for $10 a pop. I was going to go ahead and purchase 6 of the gals when I kept recieving warning of predators and how I will fail from past owner and neighbors. Granted my neighbors are not exactly neighbors but that is why we bought the place. Either way I already know the coyotes are on the ridge as I have been warned now by two neighbors. We have all forms of hawks and I have been told they will kill my girls if the foxes/coyotes/racoons....... you name it, doesn't get them first. My only shred of hope is one neighbor down the road has several chickens on there organic farm and they seem to be very positive. They allow free range and it seems to work. So my first thought was get a rooster to help protect the girls. Place doesn't sell roosters only hens. People are always giving roosters away I thought! Should be easy..... Now I have to quarentine?!?!?!? What the heck should I do here. I have the coup... I have the feed.... I have the water and feeder.. the laying boxes... I just dont know what to do next aside from buy them and pray i dont come out ot them eaten, or diseased due to the diferent locations I recieve the birds. I have also looked into Guinea hens as well as buying a protector dog ( big furry guy, starts with a P.., but felt it would be cruel see as we have been at 100+ degrees for a bit now and that is a normal summer here). I don't even have a chicken yet and i am already stressed out and just want to have a go at this without watching them all die in one way or another. Also, any tips on introducing the two dumb family dogs to chickens so that they don't kill them would be great. And lastly they will be let out into a 20acre pasture with a river passing and three horses living there during the day. Feel free to offer any and all advice. I just want to be good at this and not have to explain to my daughter why we cant have chickens in the chicken coup. Thanks in advance and I am hoping for a long run on this forum.

    Dan
     
  2. epignosisjs

    epignosisjs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off: [​IMG] and congratulations! Wow, 160 acres, that's awsome!
    Second (if you haven't already): check the "Predators and Pests" forum, and the "Where am I, Where are you?" Forum. You can find other BYCers near you at the second one. Perhaps you can find you a roo there.
    Third: Great Pyrenese can be shaved to help them with the heat.
    Good luck, and God bless!
     
  3. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

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    A big Texas-sized [​IMG]

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  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Welcome to BYC. Build your coop and pen like Ft Knox. Why pay $60 for 6 hens? You can order chicks from a hatchery for way less than that and have a rooster or two in the mix as well if you wish. You will be raising them and know what has gone into them and how they were raised by your standards and not someone elses. You dont want to inherit someone elses problems like parasites and diseases in their chickens, even from feed stores. You would want to keep dogs away from your chickens...dogs would want to "play" with chicks/chickens.
    I've ordered chicks from Ideal hatchery, Meyer hatchery and MyPetChicken over the years with no problems. Good luck.
     
  5. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome! I second the protection from predators message. I had a goat stolen by a bear when we lived up there. Between the hawks, big cats, and bears, the coop needs to be predator proof. Have fun, though! Chickens are great. [​IMG]
     
  6. dannodamanno

    dannodamanno Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Sonora, CA
    Quote:Yeah that was the initial plan. Unfortunately, I am a student at Davis during the school year and my wife has to work as well as we have a 20month old little girl. Between all that I am a hockey player and the season starts September. We are traveling alot this year and My wife will be around less than is needed to actually care for the chicks as they progress. So paying the $60 now to have established flock is a bit more economical givne the fact that everyone is telling me they are all gonna die. If the do then I will try again after improvements and school lightens up. Only have 2 years to go. We are most likely going to get a PyreneesXAnt.... whatever cross in the future to protect our flock as well as all the other animals. We simply just dont have that much time for a pup right now and it would not be fair to the dog let alone the two others I have right now. Thank you everyone for the welcome and again i am still intereseted in any and all advice. I just found new holes in my hen house so I am off to lowes to get some cement or something to start the patching process. I want these gals to live. Also, any thoughts on the whole leaving hens int he house for so many hours/days so the know home. There are so many mixed reviews and I dont have a run. These ladies are going to have some prime ground from day one but I am not sure letting them out right off is right or wrong. It is starting to cool of but as those in the valley know.. we are not there yet. I am in Sonora if anyone else is up here by the way. Thanks again.
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    [​IMG] from Somerset!

    Losses do occur, that's a fact of chicken life no matter where you raise 'em. Don't let the nay-sayers ruin your plans.

    I keep chickens in the coop for close to a week when I move 'em, so they learn "This is my new, safe place to sleep at night."

    I have let my flock range freely for well over a year and only lost a broody duck and her eggs due to predation - she chose a more distant place to set up her nursery. Now, I am not up in Somerset quite yet, but I will have the flock there within a month's time. And I will let them range freely during the daylight hours.

    I know there are other BYCers in Sonora. Good luck!
     
  8. ashleylancaster

    ashleylancaster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A BIG [​IMG] FROM ALABAMA. YOU CAN PROBLEY GO ON CRAIGS LIST AND FIND SOME CHEAPER. I LOOKED THERE THE OTHER DAY IN MY AREA AND THERE WERE TOO MANY TO COUNT THAT WERE SELLING. MY MOM LIVES IN ARKANSAS OUT IN THE WOODS AND SHE HAS FREE RANGING AND FENCED IN CHICKENS. SHE SAID WITH THE FREE RANGING JUST TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE TREES AND WHEN IT STARTS GETTING DARK THEY WILL GET UP IN THE TREES WHERE THEY CANT BE SEEN. OR YOU CAN PUT ONE OF THOSE ATOMMATIC DOORS ON THE COOP WHERE WHEN THEY GO IN AT NIGHT IT CLOSES AND THEN OPENS BACK UP IN THE MORNING.
     
  9. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi from Big Bear ca. yes take your time view this site from top to bottom, study coops and runs. You must have a feed store with in 20miles of you, that has or can order your chicks...and one more thing just BREATH it will be OK and you'll love your new life and place warts and all. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    Welcome [​IMG]
     

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