Newbie in Maine

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by lleighton, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. lleighton

    lleighton New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2013
    So happy to have found this site! I live in southern Maine and am planning on starting my backyard flock in the spring. I am doing lots of research so that I start this flock avoiding as many newbie mistakes as possible! This site is so full of great information, I know I will be spending lots of time all fall and winter reading through all the threads and informational pages! My goal is to start with just a small number of laying hens. I have a great area for a permanent coop (for winter) but am planning on using the movable paddock (or tractor type) for spring, summer and fall. I have about an acre of land which has a 40 x60 fenced in garden already on it and want to have as free-ranging chickens as possible. However, I have two German shepherd dogs who will have to be trained not to chase and torment the chickens, so I won't be able to let the chickens totally free-range until the to dogs are good with them. Of course the best scenario would be that the dogs end up protecting the chickens and keeping them home (hence the herding nature of this breed of dog). Luckily my soon-to-be permanent coop area is an already-constructed "storage" area that is approximately 4 x 12 x 1 1/2 stories tall attached to a back studio of my house. It has a dirt floor and I should be able to create a pretty sweet coop from it. It even has a door accessible to it from the inside, as well as two doors accessible from the outside (one on each end). Okay, enough for now, I am going to go read all about this wonderful BackYard Chicken family that chats here on this site!

    cheers,
    Laura
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, Laura, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us! Spring chickens!! That is exciting. You have all fall and winter to decide what breeds you want...and to change your mind a dozen times!! Do you know what breeds you are thinking about starting out with? As to your dogs...they may surprise you (in a good way). The pooch in my avatar has retrieved many the duck, dove, pheasant, and quail that I've hunted. But he totally ignores the chickens. He is very interested in the peeping noises baby chicks make but once they are a couple weeks old, nothing. He has, in fact, chased off coyotes and even caught and killed one. Same with raccoons and the occasional possum. Not sure I'm I'm just lucky or what - many on BYC advise against keeping a dog around chickens...seeing them as just another potential predator. I can't speak for them but my dogs (I have a golden retriever as well - he's not the protector the lab is but he is totally ignores the chickens and turkeys) have cost me zero birds and have saved me ???? Who knows how many. Good luck to you with your poultry education and acquisition!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  3. lleighton

    lleighton New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2013
    Hi Redsoxs, Yes, I will be searching out breeds and having lots of fun planning the flock. Yes, the dogs will need training for sure. They chase the neighbors chickens when they wander into the yard and my oldest dog (5 years old) is quite fast and cunning. We have had her since she was a puppy and she listens well and will stop chasing the chickens when yelled to. She is quite a herder though. always trying to keep her people and her brother together..and she is a very sweet, well behaved dog.. she just has a very intense prey drive. But I truly have no worries about getting her to do her job and protect the chickens and keep them home rather than torment them. :) Her brother on the other hand is new to us (we got him as a rescue last October) he is only 18 months old and "teenage" shepherds are notoriously bratty. During this stage they are always trying to be the alpha. He isn't as coordinated or cunning as his older sister, but he didn't listen and stop chasing the chickens when yelled to. Luckily he didn't catch them either! We will have to work with them this fall and winter (especially him) to get him up to speed before spring! I am very excited about this coming new adventure and am looking forward to chatting with all you wonderful folks!

    cheers,
    Laura
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    North Central Kansas
  5. lleighton

    lleighton New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2013
    Thanks for the site! decisions, decisions, decisions [​IMG]
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] There are some discussions on training dogs not to eat chickens here on site. If you type the words "train dog" into the search bar above, just below the brown header, you'll see them. Have fun!
     
  7. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Sometimes one dog will teach another, for instance hopefully sister will give brother a good barking out, when he tries to go after "her chicks".
     
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Happy you joined!
     
  10. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! Be very very cautious with the dogs & chickens, one of my dogs killed my entire flock one day. It was awful.
     

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