I just received small shipments of Bourbon Red Turkeys, Swedish Ducks, and Ameraucana Chicks. Yes, I know it is very late in the season. And, yes, winter chores protecting these babies won't be easy but I just wasn't ready during the summer and didn't want to lose the year. This blog is about my learning experiences and, I hope, more successes than failures.
Everyone is doing well under heat lamps and it has been fun watching and listening to their little voices. Already, I've learned to recognize their contented sounds when the feeders and waterers are full, the temp is right, and the brooder is clean and dry; and their alarmed sounds when water has spilled out or the family dogs have stuck their nose too close.
The arrival was an overall success. I lost 1 chick and 1 duck upon arrival but through this first week all are thriving. I'm using an all purpose food, not a medicated chick starter.
Feeding, watering, keeping coops clean and deep bedding in good supply are not my worry right now. My biggest worry is predators because I have multiple predators right here on my farm in the form of dogs. Lots of dogs.
So, what is my plan to keep poultry and dogs at the same time? Any advise from readers would be appreciated. I am putting hardware cloth under and around the coops. I am thinking of adding an electric wire or two around the perimeter as well.
I can do some boundry training with the dogs but know from experience that when they are in a pack, training can go out the window. When I'm home, I can maintain order. I'm a really strong pack leader. But when I'm at work or off the property, my husband and grandchildren aren't very dog aware and that is when bad things are likely to happen. So how do I create coops that keep the most determined predators out?
Security is the primary focus this next week. I'll keep you posted.