Russians and a chicken?

SpdTrtl

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Hello All,

It's been a long time since I have last logged on but I have a question that I thought you guys could give me some good advice on.
I have a fully enclosed habitat for 3 Russian tortoises, they each have their own space that is separated by a short wall that they can't climb over but that we could easily walk over. We have a human sized door to it so I am guessing it's about 9 feet tall and about 25+ feet long These are rough estimates but it's pretty close.
210.jpg
I am thinking of getting 1 egg laying chicken, I never had a chicken before so i'm starting small. I have ordered a coop with a small run but I was thinking of placing it inside the tort habitat so she would have more room to run during the day. She would also be safer because we do have raccoons and birds of prey, which is actually why my torts live in the mansion they do.

I have not purchased a chicken yet.

My question is, can they live together in harmony? Does anyone already have experience with this?

*Also the first 2 pics attached are from when it was first built about 2 years ago and then the 3rd and 4th pic were after we built their little beach houses last year (we have flooding here so this gives them a safe place to go).

661.jpg 662.jpg 210.jpg 203.jpg
 

surfergirl

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chickens peck and eat at everything, constantly. all the green stuff in the pen would be eaten in a matter of days even with one chicken. if the turtle moves they will get pecked or it happens to see their eye it could be pecked out. the chicken also moves rapidly and I think it would constantly stress the tortoises out even if the pecking risk was not there the running back and forth is constant sometimes. they are rough on frogs and snakes, they eat them in a flash. so I would think they would look at a tortoise the same way. they would stand and run over their shells. chickens poop every two minutes so the tortoises would be walking around in chicken dung all day. I think the chicken would eventually harass or peck the tortoises to death and then eat their flesh.

sorry to be so graphic but in my experience of raising chickens, they really should not be with any other animals in a pen but chickens.
 

SpdTrtl

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Thank you Surfer girl. That is exactly what I needed to know. With my inexperience with chickens, these are things I would not have even thought about until possibly to late.
 

Team Gomberg

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I had a chicken playdate today...what a coincidence LOL

My friend brought 3 of her chickens over to help me with a bug problem. For the 5 hours they were in the yard I removed my tortoise from the area. Pecking the tortoises eyes is exactly what I was worried about.... You can still have chickens, just keep them out of the tort pen.
 

SpdTrtl

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We have decided to build a separate small run on the outside of their area, on the other side of the door, like a closed off extension. It's just one chicken but better safe than sorry. And... chickens solve bug problems? LOL! I really need to read more about chickens!!
 

rbcurdt

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I have our tort completely separated from our free range chickens. They think everything is food, so I wouldn't trust them to leave him alone.

Also, why just one? They are social animals and like companionship. Two, or three (or more) is no more work than one. Just make sure your coop is big enough for the number you settle on. Also, pecking order is a very real thing, so if you have one and then decide later to get more...the introduction phase could be ugly! I love our hens, and am so so glad we added them to our little urban homestead.
 

SpdTrtl

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I have our tort completely separated from our free range chickens. They think everything is food, so I wouldn't trust them to leave him alone.

Also, why just one? They are social animals and like companionship. Two, or three (or more) is no more work than one. Just make sure your coop is big enough for the number you settle on. Also, pecking order is a very real thing, so if you have one and then decide later to get more...the introduction phase could be ugly! I love our hens, and am so so glad we added them to our little urban homestead.


When I started with torts, I didn't know much, so I started with just 1. So I guess in my mind I figured since I don't know much about chickens I would start with just 1. lol
I did buy a pretty nice looking coop (at least as far as I can tell from the box, have not put it together yet) but I think it would not be good for more than 2. We do plan to build onto it to make a larger run.
I did not know they were social (I really got to start reading about chickens) so now that I do know, I will get 2 to start.
My husband will put the coop together this weekend and we will get it all fixed up with feeders and such and then we will go out in search of our 2 new family members. I am already super excited!!!
 

Yvonne G

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I really like that tortoise pen.

I also vote to keep the chickens out of the tortoise pen. The tortoises eat the plants and grass and the chickens poop on the plants and grass.
 

SpdTrtl

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I really like that tortoise pen.

Thanks Yvonne! We are continuous updating and upgrading it. The torts seem to like it, I know they don't really smile but when I watch them walk around I just know and feel they are happy. :<3:
 

Tom

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I did not know they were social (I really got to start reading about chickens) so now that I do know, I will get 2 to start.

Get 3 or 4. Pairs are much too personal.

Its also fine to get just one. It will bond to you and hang out with your family. I think they make great pets when raised as single chicks. They are smart, trainable and engaging. If you have a group, they will bond to each other and not be as interactive with you outside of feeding time.

You are going to love the free eggs. They taste so much better and richer than store bought stuff.

Look into all the different breeds. There are lots of them. It will be tough to pick a favorite. :)

The feed stores near me get in groups of chicks a few times a year and sell hem off. They are hard to resist.
 

dmmj

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They are very social I did not know that. when you buy chicks can you tell what sex they are hens or roosters?
 

Tom

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They are very social I did not know that. when you buy chicks can you tell what sex they are hens or roosters?

Most of the ones I've seen are incubated for female. That is all I buy. Occasionally you get a rooster in the bunch. Not a problem unless you get more than one rooster...
 

dmmj

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Most of the ones I've seen are incubated for female. That is all I buy. Occasionally you get a rooster in the bunch. Not a problem unless you get more than one rooster...
would you happen to know if a rooster would make more egg production or less a production or what?
 

Tom

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would you happen to know if a rooster would make more egg production or less a production or what?

In my experience you will get far fewer eggs out of a rooster than a hen. :)




HA! Kidding. I don't think there is much difference in egg production in a group of hens with or without a rooster. Where this would matter is for people who consume raw eggs. Unfertilized, uncooked eggs can cause a biotin deficiency. Cooking or fertilization neutralizes this problem.
 

Minos90

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I keep pigeons and they eat and peck at everything. I assume chickens would be the same. Good thing you're going to keep them separate
 

Maro2Bear

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If u haven't purchased your chicks yet, check out Murry McMurry or something like thst. They have all kinds of chicks for sale and their catalogs and info on the breeds are great. Brown eggs vs white, quiet hens, large hens...etc. i started with 25! Fresh eggs from your own hens, just great.
 

Yvonne G

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A couple years ago Tractor Supply had baby chicks. I can't remember their breed, but they may have been called "Turkins." Just out of curiosity, my daughter bought two of them. They grew up to be fairly large chickens, however, the have long necks with no feathers and are extremely ugly.
 

Maro2Bear

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If u haven't purchased your chicks yet, check out Murry McMurry or something like thst. They have all kinds of chicks for sale and their catalogs and info on the breeds are great. Brown eggs vs white, quiet hens, large hens...etc. i started with 25! Fresh eggs from your own hens, just great.

Correction...Murray McMurray. I had Black Astralorps. Large birds, great big brown eggs, hens were quiet and friendly!
 
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