long over due hello and chicken ?

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hello everybody I just can't find time to wright I just have time to read all your posts. out here on the sidewalk still i have just time to come home water feed the ladies and back at it had my frist tomato last week and it was great! i do find time to sit and watch my chickens (the ladies) well that bringes me to my question when Ilet them free range do I have to worry about them eating plants that will harm them I.E. nightshade oleander ect. or do they try and say yuck. my chicks are now fou months old now and are thking on the dog now 100lb doby. she thinks it's play and is veryu good with them and even heards them in on comand. well look foward to your responses and i'll see you 4 of july at the gun shop or range Shaun

-- shaun&terri (shaun-terri@juno.con), June 22, 2000


Shaun & Terri: Start looking forward to eggs! Our pullets were laying two weeks ago, when they were just 4 months old, too early, but they are eating laying pellets with the other hens. Those little eggs are cute, and often double yolked. Good luck, and post when you can. Jan

-- Jan in Colorado (Janice12@aol.com), June 22, 2000.

Hey! I've been wondering about you guys! Glad to read that you are doing well! Sheesh, who'd think a Dobie would be a herd dog!? Maybe you can get her to set on a clutch of eggs!! As for your hens eating bad stuff....I don't know, but then I've never had my hens around noxious plants that I know of...Gerbil probably will know...take care!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), June 23, 2000.

Gee, thanks Sheepish. All I know about oleander is that it can be a very pretty house plant and every now and then a group of boy scouts poisons themselves using branches to cook hot dogs. When we moved in here we had a bunch of deadly nightshade. Never noticed the chickens going after the berries, and the sheep have eaten it all since then with no ill effects. Animals are usually pretty good at not eating the bad stuff, as long as they aren't starving. My chickens always seemed more interested in insects and worms than plants. Mostly they ate grass when they did.

It is great your dog is protecting them. It doesn't sound as though you'll have too many problems free-ranging your chickens with her to help. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (ima_gerbil@hotmail.com), June 23, 2000.

I wouldn't worry. Ours have been free-ranging for years and I haven't seen a problem yet. Even had a couple pecking at the newly emerging rhubarb this spring and eating the tiny leaves. No ill effect! How they know what's bad for them I don't know, but they seem to! GL!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), June 24, 2000.

Shaun and Terri, I have a Dobie too so glad to hear yours is herding the chickens! they have such terrific scare factor most folks so not know what fun dogs they can be. Chickens have a different digestive system than most mammals, I think it is the gizzard that breaks food down, anyway never had a chicken get poisoned from free-range, a copperhead bite will kill them fast tho! karen

-- Karen Mauk (dairygoatmama@hotmail.com), June 24, 2000.

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