Chicken and a Horse question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread


Good news - the fence is up on the chicken coop!!! Yeah!!!

Anyway, here's my chicken question: how do you venilate a coop without losing too much heat in the winter? Would one of those spinny things on the roof work? Or can I just leave a window cracked??

Another one: I'm planning on getting 25 chicks this spring - 15 for meat and 10 layers. I mentioned this to my folks and all the sudden they want some of my fresh chicken meat. My hubby's folks will probably want some too. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy that they want to share in this, but now I'm thinking I should get more meat chickens. My only concern is that we've never done this before and we thought 25 would be plenty to learn on and we could add more later. I would probably raise it 35 or 40 for the extra meat for our folks. Is that too much for newbies to handle?

Now the horse question: Everyone is always talking of the horrors of a spoiled horse. I am the number 1 animal spoiler and I'm scared to death I'm going to ruin him once I get him. I'm going to try really hard not to spoil him, admitting you have a problem is half the battle. :) But what is spoiling a horse or what things do people do that make a horse spoiled? I've even read a couple books, and they all say don't spoil them, but they never say WHAT spoils them!!

Thanks for your advice. And, hey, if anyone wants to see the fence on my moat go to:


-- Stacey (, November 17, 2001


In my opinion, spoiling a horse involves letting them get away with naughty behvior. For instance, we took in a blind baby donkey a few years ago. Of course, she was a "poor little thing", so we let her get away with lots of mischief...biting, shoving, rearing, etc. What started out as cute and harmless became annoying and dangerous as she got bigger. She became a little monster! Finally, a horse trainer came out and observed Molly in action, and taught me how to straighten her out. It took some doing, and I'm sure Molly was perplexed as to why she was suddenly being stopped from behavior she had always been allowed to engage in; but now she is much more pleasant and trustworthy and easier to love. It wasn't like we beat her all of a sudden, but we would give her a pop in the mouth when she bit, and we'd spin her when she refused to stand or lead or otherwise cooperate. As for spoiling with treats, I definitely don't reccommend overdoing that. I have a big former camp horse here, and he was just obnoxious when he first arrived, always expecting treats when we came out to the horse pasture. We went several months without ANY treats, and now I only offer them sporadically, so he doesn't think he's going to get one every time he sees me.

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, November 17, 2001.

On the advice of chickens, get more then you need, especially if you are getting a straight run of birds (this means they do not sex them for male or female) Most times you have more roosters then hens. Also, since you are a newbie (nothing personal, most of us were) you will lose some.

On the horse, since they are a herd animal, they should have some kind of companion, either another horse or goat. My horse had a pet goat that worked out well for me.

I agree with Shannon on the letting them get away with things as being spoiled. When I was young, I always thought I would never hit my horse if I ever got one...yea, right. If you watch horses in a pasture, you will see they handle themselves with a bite, knock or kick so a pop here or there is something they understand. I'm not talking about a beating here (although she did get a beating once when she was young when she purposelly kicked me. Not only did she never do that again, but she would hurt herself before hurting me or another person because of it) just a slap will work (sometimes just the sound is more effective) Of course, there are also additional training methods you can use if necessary. Also, don't let the horse trying to lead you, walk over you as you are leading and just try to be top horse.

I once knew someone who thought she had to give her horse 3 pounds of carrots (yes, three pounds) every time she rode her horse. She used to have a hard time because the horse walked all over her (literally)

I had a hunter pull down a no hunting sign once. I left a note on his car stating that it was illegal to pull down signs and he never came back. I think he was so used to hunting there year after year that when he saw I had built a house on his "spot", he didn't have anyplace else to go.

Congratulations on your fence. Doesn't it feel great to get things done? I still have about 2 more acres to fence in.

-- Dee (, November 17, 2001.

A spoiled horse is a dangerous horse!! I have had horses for several years from foals to old geriatric horses. But the one thing I do consistantly with them is they are expected to obey. (This is easier to explain then type!) Mine are not allowed to push or crowd me when I walk out to the pasture. I allow them to come up to me but if I say back or push them I expect them to step back. No biters are tolerated here, if they even nip at me they will have a slap to the muzzle. Usually does not take much more then a few times and they learn the lesson. Same with kickers, thump them as soon as they even shift their weight to kick out and they will stop. Remember horses are herd animals and that there is always a boss horse, just in this instance you get to be the "boss Horse" I treat mine with consistancy and they do well. Yes they get treats but only when I choose to give them, they get rewarded with a pat or soft word when they have preformed well. Horses react to positive reinforcement quite well. Just remember consistancy! One other thing I always do with mine, when they are turned loose after riding or taken to the pasture. I slip off the bridle or halter, I then walk away.....the horse does not run off from me, once I have walked away the horse may leave to roll or run. This keeps them from taking off turning and kicking out and possibly accidently hurting someone because they are close to you. Good Luck I hope this makes some sense, hard to type what I want to explain! Denise K.

-- Denise K. (, November 17, 2001.

As a newbie to chickens I can say it isn't that much more work to take care of 30 chickens as it was to take care of 15. I have had chickens now for about 3 months. I started with 15 and now have 30 plus. I am raising some for layers and the rest for meat. I would say the biggest thing is do you have the space for extra chickens. It's definately easier to raise them as one big batch because you can't just add extra chickens a few weeks later as the older ones will pick on the new ones. I have 2 pens so once I eat up one batch the second batch will be about ready in the second pen and I can start a new batch in the first pen.

-- Anita in NC (, November 17, 2001.

In responce to your chicken question. Our problem when we were new to chickens was the butchering. You can not butcher a chicken as fast your first few times as you can later after you have more practice. We were slow at first one chicken every 15 mins, that is bad. You should consider raising 25 at a time starting a new seperate batch every 10 weeks till your meet needs are met.

-- Sherrie R. Clifton (, November 17, 2001.

lol Sherrie, is that all it took you? my first and last one took me over an hour. it was cold and my hands didn't want to work.

-- george (, November 17, 2001.

Its pretty simple to say, just harder to understand and do. Treat them with the same respect you would any passing stranger and demand the same courtesy, without exception.

-- susan norfolk (, November 19, 2001.

Thanks so much for all your responses. I'm going to get more chickens (hey, they can help with the butchering) and I feel a lot better about the horse spoiling thing. It's still going to be hard - discipline is not best quality - but I'll have to learn if I want this too work. Hopefully I'll be able to find an older horse with good manners to begin with. Then I just have to maintain. I do want to try to raise a baby someday, but I think I'll practise on an older horse first. :)

-- Stacey (, November 20, 2001.

Don't forget to get the new horse a friend. It will make him all the happier.

-- Dee (, November 20, 2001.

Hi Stacy, Horses, dogs and kids (human that is) all require three things. Love. Firm, consistant rules. Instant disipline. Also, it's a good thing to NOT let them get away with any unacceptable behavior, ever. It's easier to keep a habit from forming, than to change it. Any behavior you want them to exibit as mature adults, must be encouraged, praised while they are learning/ growing. Mostly, it's good old fashioned common sense! Mona

-- Mona Jensen (, November 24, 2001.

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