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Need some guidance

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm new here and I need some guidance so I can be steered in the right direction.

I live in a suburban neighborhood on a 1/4 acre lot. My house sits in the middle and I have a relatively small back yard. I would like some chickens for eggs. I don't want a large hutch and want something rat proof. My first thought is a chicken tractor and some bantams. I figured it would be easy to move around and will keep them secure. I have raccoons and Hawks in my neighborhood.

Are the larger breeds much harder to keep? What would you recommend?

Is a rooster out of the equation in a neighborhood setting? I read they will protect the hens which I like.

What is the best kind of coop and enclosure for a small backyard?

Thanks,
Billy
post #2 of 9

Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Given your criteria and situation, I would suggest going with one of the standard sized breeds (for egg purposes) that has a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (and relatively quiet as chickens go) such as Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, or Faverolles (all of these breeds are good layers and Australorps are exceptional). Brahmas are probably the quietest standard breeds I've had in 50 years of raising chickens, but keep in mind that there can always be an exception with any breed. Definitely do not get a rooster in your neighborhood. Not only are they overrated as hen protectors (the rooster is just as likely to fall prey to a predator as the hens), but you will definitely get complaints from your neighbors about the crowing. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.  


Edited by Michael OShay - 11/20/15 at 8:49am
post #3 of 9

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
My friend built the Purina coop and it seems pretty nice. Are there any other plans that are easy to build? My cousin had Buff Orpingtons and I liked those a lot.

How many chickens would you recommend me getting?
post #5 of 9

:welcome I'm glad you joined our community!

 

There are many good coop plans that are easy to build, or you can make up your own plan. I'd check out the coop page and see if there are any coops that catch your interest: Chicken Coop Plans Or, you could post some questions in the Coops thread: Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance

 

As for how many chickens you should get, that will depend on how many eggs you want and how large your coop will be. Keep in mind that each standard sized chicken should have 3-4 square feet of indoor coop space. You'll also need one nest box in the coop for roughly every four hens. During the summer, many birds will lay 5-7 eggs a week each, especially if they're one of the more productive breeds/hybrids (Sex-links, leghorns, Australorps, etc.). In the winter, egg production will slow down or even stop unless you provide supplemental lighting (14 + hours of light a day is best). Also, most birds will molt for 1-3 months each year, during which time they don't lay.

 

As long as you can prevent overcrowding and take care of them well, there really is no such thing as too many chickens. :D I would, however, caution against getting only 2-3 hens, as chickens are social creatures. If you have two hens and one dies, you'll have one lonely bird remaining. If you have three hens and one dies, you'll be left with a pair that is at risk of eventually resulting in a single hen. I'd recommend at least four hens.


Edited by BantamLover21 - 11/20/15 at 2:18pm

Breeder of Dutch bantams, Wyandotte bantams, and a few exhibition rabbits.

Feel free to ask me questions about chicken and rabbit care, breeds, and showing! I'm always happy to help!

 

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts."

--William Shakespeare

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Breeder of Dutch bantams, Wyandotte bantams, and a few exhibition rabbits.

Feel free to ask me questions about chicken and rabbit care, breeds, and showing! I'm always happy to help!

 

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts."

--William Shakespeare

Reply
post #6 of 9

you may want to check out the coops section for ideas, different sizes and types. A tractor  is more likely to be overturned by predators or they will dig up under them and get your birds. I think a permanent coop is best.   If you are desiring  eggs,  generally 3 bantam eggs = one  regular size egg.  Also a good idea to peruse the predator threads.

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                                         Please visit  "Current Movies - Thumbs UP or Thumbs DOWN"pop.gif

                                                           Movie  reviews    & comments -   welcome                                                 

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post #7 of 9
Chicken tractors are in general to small to keep happy chickens. I started with one in combination with free range. But it wasn't save and the grass started too look awfull.

Now I have a bigger coop and run that has mesh in the ground against predators. The chickens still may free range an hour or two when someone is home ( most days). I dont feel guilty if they have to stay in because the run is big enough. Experiencing both I would never recommend a tractor.

Against rats you can use fine and strong mesh. Take the food out at night and be carefull if you ever have young chicks. I lost two young chicks because of a brown rat.

I had a rooster by accident and I had to bring it back because my neigbours complained of the noise and I woke up too early every morning (spring).
Edited by BDutch - 11/21/15 at 12:51am
3 dutch bantam girls and 3 pullets (offspring from april)
colors: 1 light brown partridge, 2 red pyle, 1 lavender, 2 rusty black
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3 dutch bantam girls and 3 pullets (offspring from april)
colors: 1 light brown partridge, 2 red pyle, 1 lavender, 2 rusty black
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bantams are not out of the mix yet. I'm going to build a regular coop s d then decide what breed I want.
post #9 of 9

Welcome to the BYC flock!  We are glad you joined us!

 

:jumpy:cd:welcome:cd:jumpy

Sassafras Grove Farm

sassafrasgrovefarm@outlook.com     sassafrasgrovefarm.weebly.com (not yet published)

 

Black Double Laced, Blue Double Laced and Splash Barnevelders

Silver Double Laced Bantam Barnevelders

Silver, Charcoal, and Birchen Iowa Blues

Swedish Flower Hens

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Sassafras Grove Farm

sassafrasgrovefarm@outlook.com     sassafrasgrovefarm.weebly.com (not yet published)

 

Black Double Laced, Blue Double Laced and Splash Barnevelders

Silver Double Laced Bantam Barnevelders

Silver, Charcoal, and Birchen Iowa Blues

Swedish Flower Hens

Reply
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