Now you're clucking!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by AzMamaHen, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. AzMamaHen

    AzMamaHen Hatching

    Jan 2, 2015
    Hello Everyone!

    I am very new to chickens. I have never had my own chicken, my husband is pretty much a city-slicker.
    I grew up in the country, I worked on a cattle farm for three full years with my father and his friends. My great-grandmother never learned how to drive or had a 9-5 kind of job. My great-grandfather worked while she raised their 4 children. They had a huge piece of land where they had a large garden, bees for honey, chickens, goats, and so forth. After my great-grandfather passed my family helped GG on her "farm". My sister and I helped in the garden and with the chickens.
    It wasn't the loveliest experience, and so I never had much desire to have our own chickens until recently.
    The home we live in is yardless, my kids have not got to experience the same things I have and it makes me sad. My two youngest LOVE farm animals on tv. My brother lives in the country and has the most gorgeous and happy chickens I have ever seen, producing more eggs than he knows what to do with. My sons love going to uncle's to play with the chickens!

    We will be moving back to the country in two months, and have decided to start a garden, but I want to kick it up a notch, I want chickens. I thought Easter chicks would be cute for the children. But once again I wanted to kick it up a notch!
    Why not teach my children a little further and hatch our own?!

    I have been researching, reading, talking with, and now joining a group, to learn everything I can to hatch and raise the happiest, healthiest chickens we can!

    I am open to all "FYI", recommendations on incubators, materials to make coops/runs, what to feed our chickens, where to get hatch-able eggs, even some breeds you feel are best.

    I have been eye-balling Hovabator brand incubators, looking at Rhode Island Reds, "Easter Eggers", LongHorn, and Delawares. I want primarily egg layers that have a good disposition so the children can "play" with the chickens, meaning at least be able to pet them without being pecked.

    We have a dog, German Shepard/Aussie mix. I am concerned she might go after the chickens, my brother gave me some pointers on how to train her, but I am open to more suggestions :)

    Thank you!
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] So glad you joined us. I have no experience with hatching but there's a lot of information on this site. Check out the learning centers and post questions on Incubating and Hatching thread for experienced input.

    I personally don't think you can train a dog to be totally safe around chickens. There are numerous posts from folks who lost their flock to their own dogs. A friend of mine had a dog that lived in peace with his free ranging flock for years and then killed all of them one weekend they were away from home. But, hope your experience will be better.

    I do think you will find the experience of raising your own flock will be quite rewarding. I think the way we raise them today is quite different than how things were handled by our grandparents. Whether you hatch your own or get baby chicks from another source, I am sure you and your children will have a great time.

    Good luck.
  3. JLBS

    JLBS In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2014
    Hi! Welcome to BYC!

    My name is Jesse and I have two chickens, a rhode island red and a buff orpington. The red laid eggs before she was six months old. She is feisty, but we can handle her just fine. I am not sure I'd get another like her if I had very young children. However, the buff orpington hen started laying about sixth months old. She is very mild tempered and she is easy to pick up and hold. My nephews come over and pet both of them, but I bet if you have your birds from the time they hatch, they will really bond with your own children.

    Secondly, I have a dog, two cats, and two birds. No one has been eaten or injured so far. We introduced the animals very slowly to each other and watched carefully for a long time before we trusted them on their own. Our dog is massive and although he probably would never bite the chickens, he likes to chase them and wags his tail excitedly. He thinks it's great fun and our chickens get really freaked out. So, we monitor them when they are together. What I would say for sure is that some dogs have aggressive natures that make them terrible with small animals no matter how much you train them. I'd say, you'll know within the first few days if your dog can be trusted with chickens.

    Hope you have a wonderful experience with your birds. I am new to having birds too and my experience has been so positive. Post pictures when you hatch your chicks. I'd love to see them.

  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So glad you could join our community!!

    Chickens can be so much fun, rewarding, they are intelligent and many of them are affectionate as well.

    Have you stopped by our learning center yet? Lots of good articles on all the aspects of keeping chickens....

    Just be very very careful with dogs around chickens. Most of them see chickens as dinner. Lots and lots of threads started in our emergency section on how "my dogs just ate my chickens". So be very very careful with this and do not take any chances and leave your dogs unattended around your birds. Keep the chickens in a run at all times and when they are outside, keep the dogs locked up inside.

    Make yourself at home here and we do welcome you to our flock!
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    In the majority of cases dog + chickens = dead chickens. They regard chickens as squeaky toys and once they stop squeaking (dead) they look for another. I've never heard of a chicken killing a dog.

    Even large, gentle dogs can kill them with a wag of the tail, or stepping on them. The best way to have chickens and dogs is to make sure they are ALWAYS isolated from each other.
  6. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!

  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
  10. CrazyChookz

    CrazyChookz Songster

    Jun 15, 2012
    Chasing Chooks
    Hello and [​IMG]. Have a happy 2015! The breeds you have picked out are quite good, personally I recommend black Australorps as they were one of my first birds and are docile and friendly. Under no circumstances should a dog and chickens be kept together, training doesn't seem to rule out killing either. Good luck!

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