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megs girls

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am very new here, although I keep rosella parrots, cockatiel and 2 budgies I also would love to start up a chicken coop and run in my back garden. I have a large 12ft by 12ft slabbed area which I feel would be safe for the new coop/run as I live in the countryside and although I get a deer family coming down I expect other animals to venture into my garden. I would like to say I have been wanting chickens for many years but felt I was too busy between work and young family. Now I work from home and very rarely out I find birds are the best pets and I think it would be very educational for my granddaughters who love the birds I already have.

I have been online looking for coops/run and have decided to get a large one which is usually made for 4 hens, I thought id have 2/3 hens.so what to do? buy the coop/run put in place buy bark for the run, hay/straw for indoors and sawdust, food/water bowls food then what? which chicken would you recommend for me I love bantams I have pictures, ornaments, dishes and all sorts of stuff in my kitchen with bantams on them. But I also like little white fluffy ones selkies I think their called. I don't know. I would also like to know some chicken language what is a pullet? What do I need to do to make my new family members healthy and happy? By the way the new coop/run will be right in front of my kitchen window so I can keep an eye on them. and I would like to share my experiences with my new family members with you. Thank you

post #2 of 8
Welcome to BYC!

First of all, I would recommend getting 3 hens, not two because it allows them to form a proper pecking order and I find is better overall for their wellbeing.

2. A Pullet is a young hen - usually 18-30 weeks old although that definition varies from person to person. Most people call them a Pullet until they have reached maturity and have begun laying eggs.

3. As a beginner, I would recommend some docile hens that will lay eggs for you and be very tame towards your grand children. Orpingtons are known for being 'lap chickens' and you can get them in the bantam variety aswell. Red and black Sexlinks are good egg layers and docile. Polish and Silkies are primarily ornamental - Google them, they are very unique looking and silkies tend to be very docile.

4. Get the coop and all of the equipment first before you get the hens.
Edited by XxMingirlxX - 1/4/16 at 7:40am
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
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Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
post #3 of 8
Hi and welcome to byc. This is just my opinion, here goes...

Buying a shed is more cost effective and allows for flock expansion (I guarantee you will want more). Prefab coops are often not so practical and rarely house the number of chickens they claim. All you need to add are roosting poles and a low shelf for a nest box or two (I use large plastic basins as nests). Check out the coops forum for further ideas.

It may be better to build a larger run into the garden area if you can. More space on grass etc means more bits of food, place for a dust bath and generally more space which enhances peace among your flock.

If you wish to provide coop bedding (I have a concrete floor that I do not cover with bedding) then straw is better than sawdust (wood shavings would be OK).

Buying a proprietary feed is the easiest way to keep them happy.

The breed you choose depends on what you want. If you want a good supply of eggs then bantams may not be the best option, but if you want them as pets, then go ahead. Check the breed forum here on byc for inspiration.

Hope this helps a little for starters.

All the best
Ct
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #4 of 8

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 #5 of 8

Welcome to the BYC flock.  Please do check out the Learning Center, which l should answer a lot of your questions.   Generally  a chicken required 4-5 sq.feet per bird inside the coop, excluding roosts and nest boxes.  In the outdoor run  allow 10 sq.feet per bird.    Chickens hate being overcrowded and will turn to bullying, feather plucking, and even worse if it continue.

 

You may also like to read up on predators and coops.  The coop section(whether you build, rehab or buy) will bring out what things are essential to their welfare.  Draft free, good ventilation,   etc. etc.   I also recommend the thread  "Raising Backyard chickens"

 

You are always welcome to come back and  ask us, if you cannot find answers you need.

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post #6 of 8
Welcome to BYC! I also have rosella and parakeet and a canary. Chickens are great for little kids, my little cousins love mine and are I little more unafraid and durable than exotic birds. I have 47 chickens (9 roosters) and I think 3/4 chickens are fine. Sexlinks are great cuddlers and great "lap dogs" mine always love to be petted and they're fabulous layers and red ones are gorgeous and friendly. One of my reds lived with my ducks for awhile and now she thinks she is one. Kitty (my red sexlink) also loves my cats hence the name Kitty.
post #7 of 8
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Raising chickens is a wonderful experience for children. With children involved I would suggest going with breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle such as Australorps, Faverolles, Orpingtons, Silkies, Cochins, Sussex, or Brahmas. Of course there can always be an exception with any breed. If egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list. If you don't mind hybrids as opposed to pure breeds, Black Sex Links (Black Stars) are very friendly and hardy egg laying machines that will lay more than 300 large brown eggs per hen per year. If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center. There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
post #8 of 8
I'm a bit late, but better then never. smile.png
Hello!

Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
Reply
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