Communal pens or seperate pens?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mtnhighgirl, May 13, 2005.

  1. mtnhighgirl

    mtnhighgirl Well-Known Member

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    I have some ducklings and I'm getting some chicks soon, so I'm trying to figure out how to set up the pens. Eventually I'll have a couple of goats, rabbitts and a dog. I was wondering if you kept your animals together in one pen, or had them in seperate pens? I would like to keep it as "communal" as possible, but I don't want to put animals together if it will cause health or social problems.Thanks for your feedback! If you have pics of how you set things up, please post them. I love seeing how other folfs have done things on their homestead. :)
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I keep the ducks in a separate pen from the chickens because the ducks need a lower protein diet to avoid health problems. Of course, the chickens take every chance to invade the duck pen and make off with the duck food. Then I have to remove chickens because the ducks refuse to eat while chickens are in the pen. I wouldn't put rabbits in with the birds, tho it would be ok to let the birds under the rabbit cages. Just don't let the birds roost on the cages. You can run hoofed critters with your chickens tho.
     

  3. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    We're doing a fair amount of shuffling now because we've got several batches of chicks of different ages coming in. Here are my thoughts.

    Keep the chicks separate from the bigger guys until they'll closer to full grown. Then introduce them slowly and watch them closely for fighting, aggression, etc. The ducks and chickens can be in the same general area I guess, but if you've got water, I would consider making a place for the ducks near the pond and keeping the chickens nearer the barnyard and the other animals.

    Put the chickens, full grown, in with your goats. They'll clean up after them and get the rest of the grain that the goats missed or passed. The dog can probably be let loose with the animals, as long as he is trustworthy and you're sure he won't eat a baby chick.

    I would keep the rabbits pens separated. I'd find a nice shady spot for them a little away from the rest of the crowd.
     
  4. mtnhighgirl

    mtnhighgirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies...keep them coming. :) Anyone have pics if their "barnyard" they'd like to share?
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I have a separate house for rabbits and chickens. Rabbits have their side, and are in cages, with worm beds under. Chickens have a 'moat' around the garden, and an automatic feeder. They also have a double ladder over the moat fence into the pasture, so they can go out to free range, but the goats can't get to their food. Ducks and geese stay in the pasture with the goats as well. Turkeys will be joining the group once they're old enough to range. Pastures are quite small, since we're only on 5.5 acres, but I rotate to give graze time to grow back up. I also keep just a few of everything, except lots of chickens.

    Meg