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post #1 of 7
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Not sure where to begin.  I am wanting to get about six laying hens and a chicken coop for my back yard. I have researched enough that I am really confused as to what to get and where to start.  Any help or suggestions appreciated.

post #2 of 7

Welcome to BYC :frow​ Glad you joined us! There is SO much information out there, it can be a bit daunting! Let's start at the start:

 

Before you get the chickens, you'll need a coop for them, or a brooder, if you plan to raise chicks. For 6 hens I'd recommend you look for a coop in the "Medium" to "Large" category. Here are some plans and pics to give you an idea:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/medium-chicken-coop-designs-pictures-of-chicken-coops

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/large-chicken-coop-designs-pictures-of-chicken-coops

 

Breeds-wise you're looking for layers. Some breeds are better layers than others, but there is still a fairly good selection in the "good layers" group. I can recommend quite a few breeds, but at the end of the day it's down to personal choice. Good news is you can keep a few different breeds together. Here's some guidance to help you choose breeds:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pickin-the-right-frickin-chicken-guide-to-picking-backyard-chicken-breeds

 

For general chicken keeping info, feeding them, keeping them healthy, safe, etc, there is a lot of good info in the Learning Center here:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

 

I hope this helped some :)

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #3 of 7

What you need: A coop with something for the birds to roost on and a couple or three nesting boxes, a run where they can run around and not escape.

 

Besides that, your coop needs to lock up well at night so hungry creatures can't access them at night. And make sure they have easy access to water and all the food they can eat. Unlike certain dogs, chickens will eat however much they need to push out an egg every day.

 

If you can open their run and let them run around and eat bugs and grass, they'll eat a lot less feed and your eggs may taste better and be bigger. On the downside, it'll become more dangerous to walk around in your yard (due to chicken poop).

 

Another thing they need: dirt. They'll bathe in it. If you give them a defined run, it'll turn to dirt soon enough. If you let them free range all day, they'll find some dirt or create a li'l dirt patch. But you can get a kiddie pool and toss some dirt in it for them if you're real nice.

 

Others have a lot more experience and will have better info than me.

post #4 of 7

And welcome aboard!

post #5 of 7
Yes, chickens love a dust bath. Some people get a sand box and fill it with sand, grit, dirt, fireplace ashes etc. The chickens love to roll in it - it helps keep mites and lice off them.

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post #6 of 7

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 #7 of 7

Welcome to BYC! And good luck with everything!

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