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I need a few answers to my questions
Were do I keep them?
I have a pen made and there's no grass just hay is that ok?
In my pen there's a few plants it's that ok?
Can they run around our garden and fields near without any wire to keep them in?
Will they be safe around my labradour?
What do they eat and how much?
I suggest you buy a decent Poultry keeping magazine or get a book from your library because there is lots of information you need to know before embarking on keeping a few chickens. This website is fairly good Http://www.backyardchickens.com/
Chickens need grass OK, grass is what makes their egg yolks so yellow. If you keep them on hay and it rains the hay will get covered in chicken poop and go mouldy which is a health hazard for them. They need as a large a pen you can build to keep them safe from predators, this is still free range just they are not fox food. My pen is 60ft x 40ft (the fence is 5ft high) with a 6x8ft shed in the middle for them to roost in at night and during the day if it rains. Woodshavings is the ideal bedding for the henhouse/shed and it must be cleaned out thoroughly every 2-3 weeks. Be wary of red mite build up. The hens must have constant access to a secure coop/hen house with perches and nest boxes, chickens must perch at night otherwise their feet suffer.
If you let them free range around your garden they will wreck it within a few weeks, they will scratch up your plants, poop everywhere and dust bathe wherever there is open ground creating large hollows. If you let them go in the neighbouring fields you run the risk of a predator taking them, foxes and mink are very devious and will come back time after time if they taste blood.
If your labrador is OK with birds you can let them out together, my 3 dogs are fine with my chickens but some dogs will chase poultry and kill if they get chance. If your dog is likely to chase them you must keep them away from the dog at all times
You need to feed them proprietary layers food if you want plenty of eggs, work out how much this will cost. I buy a 25Kg sack every 2 weeks for my 14 chickens, 3 roosters and 2 turkeys, also they have a 25kg sack of rolled oats every 2 weeks and all the stale bread, left over food and household scraps such as pasta/rice/salad/apples etc that we can lay our hands on (neighbours bring their left over food too).
We have a dog who attacks our chickens. Before he started, they were free-ranged, but Now they need to be contained. We have a coup with a fenced-in yard about 7×9 feet, but there are 8 chickens who are used to scratching and pecking all over. What can we do to keep them in and keep predators out, but still let them range over a larger area?
Build a chicken coupe that can be moved around your property. Mother earth news magazine has some great plans that you can make that is able to be pulled and moved to a new spot in the yard.
What about a dog yard ..with a secure fence.
Keep all the animals stress free.